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Take Me to the River: A Wayward and Perilous Journey to the World Series of Poker
by Peter Alson (Goodreads Author)
MEET PETER ALSON An overeducated underachiever, he's spent his postcollege decades doing his best not to grow up. Now, having just turned the incomprehensible (to him) age of fifty, and staring down his own mortality, this rambling- gambling bachelor decides it's time to settle down. After years of equivocating, he pops the question to his longtime girlfriend. A wedding ...more
Hardcover, 290 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Atria Books
(first published 2006)
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an excellent poker book, with just the right mix of real life. the author attends the 2005 World Series of Poker and shares his view on how much the poker scene has changed in the last few years. lots of good hand play description, many vignettes about well-known players and a somewhat touching personal story. very good!
Alson plays quite a big semi bluff in this book but he can't resist flashing his cards at the end of it. In truth this book is little more than that tired format of a journalist /writer having a crack at the top end of a sport and then writing about how tough it is. It's a well worn path. But Alson sells this as if he is a hard core down at heel poker player giving it one last crack to get enough cash marry his sweetheart and lead an honest life. It's nothing of the kind as is revealed as the ...more
The fact that Alson makes the worries of getting enough material to write a book on the 2005 WSOP a major thread of TAKE ME TO THE RIVER might have influenced my sense that the excellent writing and often exciting and insightful poker action suffers from significant padding. Then again, I didn't get into the Binion murder plot in Jim McManus's Positively Fifth Street, a book which Alson refers to with unabashed admiration. Perhaps he could have chosen his sidekicks better -- I would have ...more
A quick read and interesting story of a writer playing in the World Series of Poker. Poker fans will recognize several names and events. I found it a much more pleasant read than Positively 5th Street which was essentially the same experience a few years prior but with a much more self absorbed vantage point.
I'm a sucker for a well-written tale that interweaves poker and real life. Positively Fifth Street is a hard high-water mark to approach, so it's unfair to compare this (or any book) to the McManus classic. This was thoroughly enjoyable.