SHIP IT HOLLA BALLAS! by Jonathan Grotenstein


How a Bunch of 19-Year-Old College Dropouts Used the Internet to Become Poker's Loudest, Craziest, and Richest Crew
Email this review


A brisk history of Internet poker through the eyes of a group of teens who aced it.

Former professional poker players Grotenstein and Reback (All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker, 2005) trace eight years in the lives of a group of enterprising teenagers who cashed in on the online-poker phenomenon in the early 2000s. Through online chat rooms at popular poker strategy-sharing sites, Orange County–born medical student “Irieguy” met “Raptor,” a college baseball star turned card shark, who then connected with Canadian 20-something “Apathy” and 19-year-old video game aficionado “Good2cu.” Each of them eventually converted and converged their experiences and endless free time into hard cash with games both online and at casino poker tables. The authors astutely explore the history, intricate gaming strategies and psychologies employed by the successful “Ship It Holla Ballas” crew (“Ship It” is exclaimed after a big win in the poker world). As more young, high-stakes card sharks join the narrative, the authors keep the action moving as the Ballas sweep their enthusiasm and increasing expertise off the computer screen to go live in Las Vegas and beyond, entranced by big bucks, opulent amenities and, eventually, the mainstream media spotlight. The cards eventually folded for the worldwide gaming community and the “still under thirty” millionaire Ballas with an unprecedented governmental crackdown on online gambling in 2011.

A catchy chronicle primarily geared toward poker and online-gambling fanatics.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-250-00665-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2012


NonfictionTHE TODD GLASS SITUATION by Todd Glass
by Todd Glass
NonfictionTHE SPORTSMAN by Dhani Jones
by Dhani Jones
NonfictionALL IN by Jonathan Grotenstein
by Jonathan Grotenstein


IndieTRIPS by Arthur W.  Goodhart
by Arthur W. Goodhart
NonfictionROLL THE BONES by David G. Schwartz
by David G. Schwartz
NonfictionALL IN by Jonathan Grotenstein
by Jonathan Grotenstein