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danielm

A Few Thoughts

A few thoughts now and again about whatever occurs to me while going through whatever books I end up reading

Ship It Holla Ballas!: How a Bunch of 19-Year-Old College Dropouts Used the Internet to Become Poker's Loudest, Craziest, and Richest Crew

Ship It Holla Ballas!: How a Bunch of 19-Year-Old College Dropouts Used the Internet to Become Poker's Loudest, Craziest, and Richest Crew - Jonathan Grotenstein, Storms Reback Basically, this one is [b:The Dirt: Confessions Of The World's Most Notorious Rock Band|25378|The Dirt Confessions Of The World's Most Notorious Rock Band|Tommy Lee|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348978271s/25378.jpg|26119], only instead of being about rock stars, it's about poker stars. It's fine as far as it goes, but nothing special.

Having spent years playing, I already knew a lot of these stories and basically all of these players, but I can see the appeal to a certain sleazy glance into what happens when people who are very young suddenly find themselves making absurd amounts of money.

The book never really does the job it sets out to do when it comes to suggesting that they "grow up" eventually, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying it. It's an odd fault to have, since they did and most of them lead fairly normal lives now.

[The reality is that I probably wouldn't have bothered with a review if it weren't for the fact that all the reviews on the first page here were by a bunch of people so busy moralizing that they hardly had time to insert their brags about getting this book for free or how important they are to have the publisher send it to them. Seriously, some people shouldn't be allowed to review books unless it's for their sunday school indoctrination class or clearly marked as a thinly-veiled attempt to brag about something no one is impressed by.]

The one real complaint I have about the book itself is that you don't come away with even a cursory understanding of just how radical some of these guys were as poker thinkers. Sure, you get a bunch of stories about strippers and booze, but you miss out on the fact that several of them have created theories about the game that are so profound that you can barely consider yourself a player anymore unless you have the concept down. Galfond's (Jman) contributions to the game with "gBucks" is such an important concept in the game that you can literally divide players into the category of those who know and it and apply it properly and those who don't (hint: if you don't know what it is, you're probably in way over your head in anything but a home game). But then, combinatorics don't generally make for a very thrilling read, do they?

I mean, really, who wants to hear about applied statistics and equity evaluation formulas when you could be reading about people doing lines of blow off a table in the middle of a game at a casino?