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Review: Confessions of a Poker Dealer

(The following is NOT a paid review)

When I got an email from Confessions of a Poker Dealer author Mark Friedberg, I was a little skeptical. I enjoy a decent poker book, but the market is so flooded with books, its hard to tell which ones are worth reading.

About two pages in, I knew that I would be done with Confessions within a week, even with the meager time I have the read. The book practically reads like a blog, with its conversational tone and adept storytelling. The basic structure is simply chronological, starting with an anecdote about Archie the Greek, a gambler who went on an unbelievable run in Vegas, before shifting to Mark's experiences as a player/dealer in Vegas, and then his experiences in Atlantic City.

Mark's perspective as a longtime dealer and player also makes for an interesting read. He offers a decent amount of history on the development of poker, from its Vegas stud heydey, to the No Limit Hold'em era we now live in. Along the way, he highlights certain events that he considers major events in the history of legalized poker in the US. Most were completely new and novel to me. The only one that I was somewhat surprised about is his emphasis on Robert Varkonyi's WSOP win. While we all probably see Moneymaker as the man who made the poker boom, Mark's experiences as a dealer/player has led him to believe that Varkonyi's improbable win, a good year before Moneymaker, was actually the catalyst for the current form of any-two-cards no limit hold'em.

If there is any shortcoming about the book, it has to be the length. At about 40-50 pages long, it's a quick read that left me wanting more. Still, as far as shortcomings go, this is a minor one.

On a scale from high card to royal flush, Confessions of a Poker Dealer ranks at bottom set from the High on Poker obscure ratings system. It's a solid hand definitely worth playing, but it lacks the length to be the mortal nuts.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:06 AM,


At 1:30 PM, Blogger Rod said...

"High on Poker obscure ratings system"

Hmmmmm - THAT sounds interesting LOL


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