Tony's Reviews > Straight Flush: The True Story of Six College Friends Who Dealt Their Way to a Billion-Dollar Online Poker Empire--and How It All Came Crashing Down...

Straight Flush by Ben Mezrich
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it was ok
bookshelves: 2013, biopic, reviewed, non-fiction

Mezrich's works of faction are generally a fun read, even if (or, perhaps, largely because) he rarely lets reality get in the way of a good story. This one, however, doesn't really work on either level. There's an obviously great story lurking underneath — or, if you're not really concerned with the facts, potentially two great stories. At some point someone is sure to write the more in-depth corporate-finance-thriller-esque exposé of the company's increasingly complex attempts to evade the US justice system, all-the-while shamelessly cheating their customers. But even though he obviously didn't want to write that book, Mezrich could still have gone for a much more classic tragedy — the David and Goliath tale of entrepreneurs up against not just better funded competitors, but the the entire weight of a broken political system, leading relentlessly to the key moment, where, hubristically believing they're beyond its reach, they take the path that ends in prison. Instead, the author decides to simply skip either of these in favour of an overly-simplistic frat-boy romp, with all the critical moments either omitted or glossed over so as to get back as quickly as possible to the fast cars and topless chicas.
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Reading Progress

June 6, 2013 – Started Reading
June 7, 2013 – Shelved
June 7, 2013 – Finished Reading
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: 2013
January 5, 2014 – Shelved as: biopic
September 9, 2014 – Shelved as: reviewed
May 23, 2015 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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