Book #41: Michael Craig, The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King

Michael Craig’s book chronicles a series of high-stakes poker games played between Andy Beal, a Texas banker, and top poker pros between 2001 and 2004 in Las Vegas. Beal is far more than an amateur poker player, spending vast amounts of time and millions of dollars to experimentally determine exactly what the pro’s “edge” consists of. At the end of the day, Beal determines that their edge against a truly solid player is thin indeed, with the pros relying more on player selection to beat Beal than anything else, and Beal relying upon consistently high stakes to rattle the pros in return. The book was light reading, of course, but if you’ve watched the World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel or tournaments on ESPN, Craig’s book contains some fascinating stories about the development of the televised poker craze and interesting backstory on many of the pro players.

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