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.