Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Double or Nothing

Rate this book
Currently between gaming ventures, entrepreneur Tom Breitling, with the help of journalist Cal Fussman, delivers the inside story of what it's like to run a casino when one is young and living the Vegas life.

Audio CD

First published March 1, 2008

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
36 (20%)
4 stars
72 (41%)
3 stars
49 (28%)
2 stars
13 (7%)
1 star
2 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 22 of 22 reviews
449 reviews
August 9, 2011

Winner Takes It All or Super Casino is better.

Would have been more interesting if it had focused on the inner workings of what it is like to run a casino.

Someone should have told the author that descriptions of his "bro-mance" with his partner, intricate business deals and mediocre attempts at motivational speaking are NOT as intersesting as what is going on in the casino!

I knew I was in trouble when Steve Wynn and Tony Bennet briefly make appearances and I realized I wished I was reading a book about either of them!!

About a third to half of the book is about the casino, the other half to two thirds is a combination of the author's description of his youth and how it made him who he is (you are from a small town in Minnesota--we get it!! That and you will be so sick of forced basketball analogies--you were not the starting point guard in high school--we get it!!), his relationship with his business partner--which would have been much more interesting if a third party wrote who could have described their personalities warts and all --rather than repeating the same neutral lines about how he is friendly, small town and Tim is Joe Pesci--there is a reason love stories are often times not written in the 1st person!! The last quarter of the book is all about a business deal which at times was interesting, but like much of the book you get the definite sense you are only hearing one side of the story (ie when he goes out of his way to describe a gambler who wins millions from the Nugget as mean who is only out for revenge--overlooking the fact that the guy makes an astonishing 22 passes in craps and is NOT cheating!). The section on the deal reaches it supposed climax with the lines "...we need the guys from Skadden Arpps.." Yes a law firm. How exciting!

Profile Image for Andrew.
202 reviews14 followers
April 23, 2008
Mildly entertaining true account of 2 friends pulling off a couple of profitable business ventures, back-to-back, hence the title, "Double or Nothing". It left me feeling that the guy telling the story should have been Tim Poster, partner to the author, because he was more the Vegas insider. Overall it was okay. The author was forthcoming about the set-backs they experienced in selling a business and in dealing with shooting a reality TV show in the casino at a stressful time. Not for everyone, this book is best for casino/Vegas junkies.
436 reviews15 followers
February 27, 2009
I thought an account of what it's like to suddenly get rich and own a casino would be interesting. I was wrong.
December 26, 2020
Fun read about early internet company and Vegas casinos, but dear Lord did this dude think he was way more important than he was
Profile Image for Will Sinnott.
2 reviews
September 10, 2018
"I was the point guard on the basketball court, remember..." How could 1 forget considering it's the only metaphor Tom Breitling knows & he is sure to use it once a chapter?

Reading this after having finished "Super Casino," really highlights that the writing in this book is quite pedestrian. A book like "Super Casino" is great at detailing the history and inner workings of corporate Las Vegas; this book is written in quite general terms without much excitement.

At 235 pages with type that is just slightly smaller than that found in a book for the hard-of-seeing, it, thankfully, is a quick read.
Profile Image for Erik Surewaard.
186 reviews4 followers
September 5, 2017
Entertaining read but nothing more than that. Two guys that got lucky by selling out twice just before a significant market correction: (1) their Internet hotel reservation company just before the IT bubble burst; and (2) a casino just before the credit bubble burst. So be prepared on some bluff talk about how good they think they are as entrepreneurs... But in the end still a worthwile read. The ghostwriter has done a fantastic job.

Profile Image for Adam.
463 reviews9 followers
December 18, 2019
Even if your a saint the action in this book will make you hard! I don't gamble but I went out and bought a bunch of casino stocks. A lot of business lessons in this book. One of the few books I am looking forward to reading again.

"Things my ear picked up on"

I'm not asking you to be there with a tissue every time I sneeze
Entrepreneurs in the best since of the word
You don't have success unless your learning from your failures
Riding through the ghetto looking for shit to purchase
You only have to get rich once
I don't let history get in the way of future
Instead of thinking why me think try me
Every quarter I put in comes back dressed up as a dollar
Nobody makes it to the Forbes 400 punching a time clock
He couldn't synthesize like me
When uncle Jimmy entered a room it sparkled like a pinky ring
Personality is what you see character is what you are
I inhaled those mottos until they where my own
So much of what happens to us can be traced back to timing
Got his load and hit the road
A good reason for marking favorite passages in books is that this practice enables you to remember easily the significant
sayings to refer to them quickly and then in later years it is like visiting a forest where you once blazed a trail you have the pleasure of going over the old ground an recalling both the intellectual scenery and you're old earlier self
Profile Image for Hillary roberts.
242 reviews11 followers
September 3, 2008
It has been 4 years since the show The Casino aired. Since then Tom Breitling and his best friend Cal Fussman have made another million after selling the Golden Nugget. Double or Nothing is the story of two best friends who went from rags to riches to accomplish unbelievable success.[return][return] Breitling shows that there is a lot more behind the scenes than The Casino let on. Breitling takes us on a whirlwind tour through the ups and downs of chasing a dream then selling it then doing it all again. This book is a fun read that let the author s personality shine through.[return][return] I did not know a lot about gambling when I started reading this book. It did not matter because whatever was needed to get the gist of the background was described beautifully.[return][return] The description that appeared in this book are such that the energy and the enthusiasm and sometimes the grief of the author shines through.[return][return] This book is an enjoyable book. Well worth the read.[return]http://purplemoonmyst.wordpress.com/2...
Profile Image for Sra.
25 reviews1 follower
April 14, 2008
A captivating story of two friends who made two 100 Million Dollar deals before their mid-thirties (lucky bastards).

The best thing about this book is the style of storytelling. It has the same appeal of Da Vinci code, in that the author, Bretling, knows how to use foreshadowing and suspense to keep you turning the pages. The language is very engaging and vivid, almost as if you're watching a movie.

Breitling captures your attention up front by putting you right in the middle of one of the most precarious moments in the journey: when a high-roller, Mr. Royalty, was taking the casino that Tim and Tom just bought for 8 million dollars at the craps tables. Would the duo be able to take this winning streak and still make their upcoming interest payment?

Before answering that question, Breitling takes you back to the beginning, when he and his business partner Tim first met. The story keeps your interest up to the end from there.

Profile Image for Rob Eelkema.
44 reviews1 follower
August 21, 2010
I actually loved this book....not many people have the same likes as me so don't go out and buy this until you read a synopsis of it first. Tim Poster and Tom Breitling started Travelscape in Las Vegas and sold it to Expedia for a huge profit. They took that profit and bought the Golden Nuggett in downtown Las Vegas. Tim and Tom are about my age....and Tom is actually from Burnsville, Minnesota. A lot of the place that these guys were at during their early years...I was in the same place just doing different things. Our paths crossed numerous times but they ended up millionaires :) Great book and an easy read.
Profile Image for Joseph Young.
810 reviews7 followers
April 1, 2010
Do not buy this audio book. The narrator's voice is incredibly annoying with huge overemphasis on every other word. Whoever hired the narrator should be fired. The book would probably be an ok read, although it's subject matter will not appeal to everyone.

Overall, an ok story about business life in Las Vegas. Boring at times, and relies too much on name dropping. Conclusion was unsatisfying and the ending too drawn out. I guess business owning a casino is not as exciting as movies will make it out to be, or the author is just not the greatest storytellr.
Profile Image for Roadhouse.
106 reviews
June 3, 2011
I was reading this book and it mildly had my interest, then BAM! The greatest mineralogical lie of the century was revealed!

The casino, the golden nugget, has a massive gold nugget on display in their casino, but it is all a sham! The nugget on display is a fake! It is a copy of the original.

If we can not trust a mineral display, what can we believe in? Is it all a sham? Is everything a lie?
Profile Image for Alli Handy.
122 reviews2 followers
December 3, 2008
I could not put this book down. I love Vegas and work in the hotel industry so the two combined make this the perfect book for me. It's about some college grads (one from USC) that started a las vegas hotel room reservation business, sold it to Expedia and then bought the Golden Nugget Hotel. Fascinating story about the casino and hotel business in Vegas.
Profile Image for Lisa.
740 reviews10 followers
April 22, 2008
I liked the first half of this book better than the second. You have to read it for the story, not the writing - the writing reminded me of someone just telling me their story, without edits, without perfecting their grammar, and over-repetitive use of some phrases and adjectives.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
96 reviews
February 2, 2011
This book was really engaging. Half of it was about the two friends and their business booking Vegas hotel rooms and how they sold that and it became Expedia and became multi-millionaires and THAT allowed them to buy a Vegas casino.
Profile Image for Dan.
3 reviews4 followers
March 6, 2013
Double or Nothing is a very exciting and interesting read. I found myself loving to flip the pages and see what Mr. Royalty (creator of GTA???) was doing next, or finding out what wisdom Steve Wynn would bring Tim and Tom. It is a fun read, and I encourage all to read this book!
Profile Image for Bill.
593 reviews12 followers
March 21, 2008
Something a bit different, just a quick light story that was pretty cool about two guys striking it big in Vegas as businessmen.
Displaying 1 - 22 of 22 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.