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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Biggest Game in Town

The Biggest Game in Town

Al Alvarez



Al Alvarez touched down in Las Vegas one hot day in 1981, a dedicated amateur poker player but a stranger to the town and its crazy ways. For three mesmerizing weeks he witnessed some of the monster high-stakes games that could only have happened in Vegas and talked to the extraordinary characters who dominated them--road gamblers and local professionals who won and lost fortunes on a regular basis.

Set over the course of one tournament, The Biggest Game in Town is botha chronicle of the World Series of Poker--the first ever written--and a portrait of the hustlers, madmen, and geniuses who ruled the high-stakes game in America. It is a brilliant insight into poker's appeal as a hobby, an addiction, and a way of life, and into the skewed psychology of master players and fearless gamblers. With a new introduction by the author, Alvarez's classic account is "the greatest dissection of high-stakes Vegas poker and the madness that surrounds it ever written" (TimeOut [UK]).

Praise for The Biggest Game in Town

“A classic . . . There is no better book on America's national pastime.” —James McManus, Author of Positively Fifth Street

“Probably the best book on poker ever written.” —The Evening Standard (UK)

“A magnificent book. Beyond the straights and fullhouses, Alvarez has written a book about people who are extremely good at what they do, and about America.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“[Alvarez] endows the game with all the desperate fun and wry futility of life itself.” —New York magazine

“Conveys an understanding of gamblers and their milieu that can appeal to someone who has never seen a casino or doesn't care to.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Thoroughly entertaining . . . both perceptive and literate.” —The Washington Post


Reviews from Goodreads

Al Alvarez

Al Alvarez is a poet, novelist, literary critic, anthologist, and author of many highly praised nonfiction books. From 1984 to 1994, he played regularly in the World Series of Poker. He lives in London.

Al Alvarez


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