Great Gambling book

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Pepka » 01/05/06 05:47 AM

I've been reading a great book by Ben Mezrich called Busting Vegas. This is part of the story about a handfull of kids from MIT who beat blackjack tables in vegas with card counting and other strategies. I had to laugh outloud, at one point he is describing "shuffle-tracking" strategies employed by the team. He goes into detail explaining what cardmen know as the Gilbreath principle,(and Maven fans know as a thing of terrifying beauty.) Another book on the same subject by Mezrich is called "Bringing down the house". I recommend both for anyone fascinated with con stories, Vegas and gambling.
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Postby John LeBlanc » 01/05/06 06:53 AM

I first read about this in a 2002 issue of Wired Magazine. The story is posted online:
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.09/vegas.html

Great story, isn't it?

John
http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 01/05/06 07:20 AM

This story has also been made into a movie and shown on either Discovery or the History channel. I've seen it a couple times. Fascinating.

Adrian
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/05/06 10:29 AM

I believe the 'official' film of Taking Down the House was made with Kevin Spacey, but I never heard more about it. There was a film made last year called The Last Casino, which was essentially the same story. Only mananged to get halfway through it so far...

If you like Mezrich's writing there's another book called Ugly Americans, which is about the far Eastern money markets, if that floats your boat.

Take care, Ian
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Postby Pepka » 01/05/06 10:57 AM

I've heard the Spacey movie as well, but it may have been scrubbed. Breaking Vegas was a short lived series on the history channel. The first episode dealt with the MIT kids. This is really interesting reading considering I'll be in Vegas for WMS next month.
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Postby Adrian Kuiper » 01/05/06 05:10 PM

The documentary was called "Breaking Vegas" and was shown on the History Channel. If I do this right, I'll provide a link to a catalog listing for the DVD.

BreakingVegasListing
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Postby Guest » 01/06/06 04:07 PM

I havent read the other book but I just finished Bringing down the house myself...great story and easy read...makes an flight go by really quick. See you in Vegas Pepka.
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Postby Guest » 01/06/06 06:04 PM

Originally posted by pepka:
I've heard the Spacey movie as well, but it may have been scrubbed.
IMDB claims that a project called "21" is in the works for 2007, based on the Mezrich book, script by Peter Steinfeld.
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