Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker

Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker

James McManus

Language: English

Pages: 608

ISBN: 0312430086

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE

Cowboys Full traces the story of poker from its roots in China, the Middle East, and Europe, through the back rooms of saloons and the parlors of U.S. presidents to its evolution as a global phenomenon. It describes how early Americans took a French parlor game and turned it into a national craze by the time of the Civil War. It explains how poker, once dominated by cardsharps, is now the most popular card game in Europe, East Asia, Australia, South America, and cyberspace, as well as on television. Along the way, James McManus examines the game's remarkable hold on American culture, seen in everything from Frederic Remington's paintings to countless poker novels, movies, and plays. Cowboys Full is raucous and fascinating, a lively, definitive history of the game that, more than any other, explains who we are and how we operate.

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outlasted every pro to finish heads-up with Ungar—who was Jewish himself, though extravagantly not Orthodox. Green even managed to build a sizable chip lead, but one huge late hand put Ungar in the driver’s seat. “Perry had more chips than Stuey when they got it all in,” the ever-present Brunson recalled. “The flop came J-9-8 with two clubs. Perry had the 10-2 of clubs, but Stuey had the A-J of clubs. The fourth card was a 6 and the last one was a blank—but if that 6 had been a 7, Perry could

irreverence—some called him an obnoxious motormouth—he reminded many folks of Ari Gold, the agent played by Jeremy Piven on Entourage. But earlier that year the real agent had switched careers and begun to make his way as a producer. The question for Lee and Wasicka was, Did Gold have a queen or jack in his hand, or at the very least an ace? Both scanned Gold’s face long and hard for a tell, and both folded. Before hauling in the mountain of chips, Gold showed them the 3 of spades and 2 of

Joint Endeavor, made U.S. leaders appear to very much mean it, although Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, the fiasco in Tora Bora, and the occupation of Iraq all cut in the other direction. For his part, Ahmadinejad seemed to mean it when he took over our embassy, recruited children to march across minefields, stonewalled IAEA inspectors and, more recently, when he arms and funds Hezbollah, Hamas, and countless Shia suicide bombers. Expect duplicity. Former secretary of state Warren Christopher, who

hundred chip units together and push them all forward. How far? About halfway between your stack and the pot. “Splashing” them directly into the pot makes it impossible for others to see what the bet is. After the round of betting is complete, the dealer will pull all the chips to the middle. Any form of collusion is illegal and unethical. This obviously includes teaming with partners to raise and reraise other players, but it also includes soft-playing each other—not betting strong hands, for

declines to sit in any game “unless there are at least three suckers” playing. Not surprisingly, he came to be known as Old Adhesive, presumably because he was too “sticky” to give action without a huge starting hand. As David Sklansky would describe a similar approach in The Theory of Poker, “A good player develops the patience to wait for the right situations to play a pot and the discipline to release a hand he judges to be second-best.” Yardley, if anything, had even less gamble in him than

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