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One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey ',The Kid', Ungar, The World's Greatest Poker Player

By Nolan Dalla, Peter Alson

Now in paperback comes the first and authorized biography of Stuey Ungar, the best card participant of all time, who used to be sponsored via the Mob in big apple earlier than relocating to Las Vegas the place he gained the realm sequence of Poker thrice, then died mysteriously in a seedy lodge at the Vegas strip on the age of 45.

He used to be the Jim Morrison of the on line casino, a legend earlier than he used to be of felony age. Stuey Ungar, the son of a Jewish bookie on Manhattan's reduce East facet, dropped out of highschool to turn into an underground card-table sensation, ultimately doing away with each best gin-rummy participant at the East Coast. Bankrolled by means of the Genovese crime relations, Stuey could quickly go back and forth round the state looking for new competitors and opportunities—including poker. He might move directly to win the area sequence of Poker a checklist 3 times. after which his success started to run out.

One of a Kind is the startling story of a guy who received at his video game and misplaced regulate of his existence. even if tossing away his winnings on the racetrack or on a unmarried roll of the cube, Stuey was once infamous for playing each greenback in his pocket. notwithstanding he had received an envisioned $30 million in his lifetime, Stuey had no checking account, no longer even a house deal with. He was once discovered lifeless in a Vegas motel—with $800 in money on his individual, the single cash he had left—at the age of forty-five.

An intimate, approved biography—Nolan Dalla used to be commissioned by way of Stuey in 1998 to pen his tale, leading to hundreds of thousands of hours of taped interviews and conversations—One of a Kind illuminates the darkish genius of 1 of poker's such a lot memorable figures.

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The 2 grown males scrambled round at the on line casino carpet like a few young children. “Let’s make it 1000 a toss,” Stupak recommended. “Bet,” Stuey stated. Stuey had no concept that Stupak had hustled his schoolmates out in their lunch cash pitching cash whilst he used to be a child again in Pittsburgh—and that even in Vegas he nonetheless practiced frequently. It was once a straight-up hustle. inside of mins, Stupak had gained again the total rack from Stuey. “Fuck it,” Stuey stated, figuring out that he’d been taken. while it got here to playing in simple terms for the sake of playing, if Stuey had a rival, it was once Jack “Treetop” Straus. Brunson and the remainder of them wagered excessive, yet they have been continuously taking a calculated hazard. Straus, like Stuey, gambled for the sheer pleasure of it. Legend has it that Straus had to have a hundred and ten percentage of his bankroll in motion day by day. making a bet his final $1,000 or $100,000, Straus gambled heroically. “Better to spend someday as a lion than an entire life as a lamb,” he used to be keen on announcing. Straus was once really an anomaly one of the execs. In an international of cutthroats, the place suckers have been by no means given a good holiday, Straus had a center. He were born in San Antonio, Texas, and he used to be nicknamed “Treetop” simply because he stood six ft seven inches and used to be a celeb basketball participant at Texas A&M within the overdue Fifties. At 16, he gained a motor vehicle in a poker video game. however it used to be his personality greater than the rest that got here to outline him. He used to be downright chivalrous. One recipient of his largesse, a tender enterprise proprietor who walked into the poker site on the Golden Nugget past due one night in 1982, defined his stumble upon with Straus: “I walked to this desk behind the room. there has been a bit man; a tremendous, heavy man with horn-rimmed glasses; a chinese language man; a obese blond-haired man; and this tall man with a cowboy hat,” the administrative recalled. “At the time, I had no notion who they have been. Later, i discovered out it used to be Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Chip Reese, and Jack Straus. besides, I checked out the sport and observed some of these black chips flyin’ and that i simply needed to get in. ” The younger guy, who had lately inherited his father’s enterprise, didn’t be aware of a specific thing approximately Texas Hold’em, yet he went to the cashier’s cage and purchased $20,000 in chips. “I went again to the desk and requested, ‘Is there a seat open? ’ They stated, ‘Yeah, come on in. ’ So I sat down within the video game. In under an hour, my complete twenty thousand used to be long gone. I obtained up and walked again to the cage. good, i used to be status in line, on the point of take one other twenty thousand out of the field, and an odd factor occurred. the massive tall man within the cowboy hat, who’d been within the video game, was once abruptly status there subsequent to me. I don’t understand the place he got here from. He should have me over. He tapped me at the shoulder and acknowledged, ‘Hey, accomplice, I’ve bought whatever to inform ya. yet don’t enable anyone recognize, ok? ’ “ ‘Okay,’ I acknowledged. ‘What is it? ’ “He seemed me instantly within the eye and acknowledged, ‘Don’t purchase again into that video game. You can’t beat it, simply because it’s no-limit hold’em and people are the easiest 5 gamers on this planet sitting correct over there.

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