Man Ching's Reviews > Busting Vegas: A True Story of Monumental Excess, Sex, Love, Violence, and Beating the Odds

Busting Vegas by Ben Mezrich
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's review
Jun 16, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: commentary-social, history-memoir-journal

Read as ebook. The problem with this book is that it reads like an advertisement for a blackjack system. The kids (MIT students) didn't get very far; they hit casinos a few times and since they apparently won $100k at a time, casinos noticed. There was one man (Galen) who is/was a security consultant for casinos who took a special interest in them. He seemed instrumental in blowing their cover.

The strange thing about these students is that they continued with their schtick as they were kicked out of every casino they hit. I don't know whether that's arrogance or stupidity (of youth). It sounds like both since they overestimate their own intelligence and underrate everybody else's. What they lacked was an understanding of human nature. It didn't cross their mind that there are extremely smart people who *like* to hack the hackers. It's as much a challenge to disrupt the plans of MIT and CalTech whiz kids as it is for the whiz kids to bring down the house.

One nice thing about Mezrich is that he chose to focus on the drive of the main character. Although it is easy to see how the high roller's life can seduce anyone, it takes a little bit of desperation - in addition to arrogance and greed - to actually commit.

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