MentorPublicLibrary's Reviews > Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions

Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich
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Jan 19, 10

bookshelves: general-nonfiction, steve-h

This is a quick nonfiction read that reads almost like a seat of your pants thriller novel, and although it has its faults, this true adventure keeps the pages turning pretty quickly. Kevin Lewis is a MIT student who is invited to be on a team of 6 card counters that is trained by a math professor, and backed by rich investors. Kevin will eventually lead the team to take the casinos for almost $4 million. It's a cool story that most anyone would love to imagine themselves involved in, living double lives as students during the week, and Vegas highrollers on the weekends, partying with the likes of Howard Stern and Michael Jordan.

There's definitely enough action and adrenaline to keep the reader interested in how long the whiz kids can keep their winning streak going. Card counting is not illegal, but the team takes great measures, including using top Hollywood make-up artits create disguises and having elaborate backstories and identities, to avoid detection. The counters and their signaling system reminded me of baseball base stealing signs- a bent arm would signal to double a bet, arms flat at the sides would indicate a drop in bets to the minimum. The fluid operation that the team was able to acheive was pretty impressive. But all good things must come to an end as we know, and the team finds itself under hot pursuit of the casinos' investigators, even on their own turf back in Boston.



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