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The Professor, The Banker, And The Suicide King

Reviewing: Warner Books The Professor, The Banker, And The Suicide King  |  Rating:
By pdcd on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 7 | Other Entertainment Expertise:

The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time is a book by Michael Craig chronicling what happens when billionaire bank owner and mathematician Andy Beal decides to take up high stakes heads up limit hold'em poker.

Beal practices and analyzes the game of heads up limit hold'em and wants to play against the best in the world at the highest stakes anyone has ever played. Money is not an object for him, but for his opponents they must pool together funds and share a collective bankroll. They play marathon sessions and, as limit is a very swingy game, there are many ups and downs for both sides. Each side is up or down millions of dollars at any given time.

The book goes into the background of many of the people involved, and if you ever watch poker on TV you'll be familiar with them: Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, and Jennifer Harman, amongst others. You get a sense of respect for players like Doyle who carry enough weight to be able to organize such an event and your jaw will drop when you hear about players like Ted Forrest who accidentally joined one of the games and put nearly all of his money on the table just to play Andy Beal.

I won't reveal the ending, and to that extent the ending is not the real ending after all. Beal can't play poker all the time so he frequently comes out for a week or two to play and then goes back. However, after the book was written Beal continued to play, so there is no real closure in the book. If you do read it, I'm sure you'll take the initiative to go look up the later sessions that Beal played.

A fun read, and at 250 pages it can be finished in one sitting. Even if you don't play poker and just watch poker on TV, this is worth a read. You get some backstory on many famous professionals, and get to see how they react to playing at higher stakes with more on the table than most of them are worth.