Ship It Holla Ballas4.5stars



Stunning Eye-Opener Describing Young Internet Poker Players and Their Successes and Excesses

By Jonathan Grotenstein & Storms Reback
St. Martin’s Press, $25.99, 320 pages

Have you ever watched a televised poker tournament and wondered how so many very young people have become so successful at the game, winning boatloads of money against established pros? This is their true story.

An incredible opportunity flashed for a brief period of time for a select, lucky few. A group of very smart teenagers who grew up with computers were savvy enough to recognize the enormous potential riches to be gained by playing poker online. They played thousands of games, gaining vast expertise in a short time, a process that would have taken up to 10 years of playing at actual poker tables. They established an online poker forum where they exchanged strategies and advice. They were too young to be admitted to casinos and instead dropped out of college and sat for hours in front of computer screens playing multiple games and winning piles of money. Being so young, they spent their winnings on partying like rock stars.

Former professional poker players themselves, authors Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback collaborated to document the fascinating history of a bunch of youthful poker players who brought shock and awe to the poker world, describing the journey of this crew of players who call themselves the “ship it holla ballas.” Grotenstein is also the author or co-author of eight other books. His first book, Poker: the Real Deal, written with Phil Gordon, remains one of the best selling poker books of all time. Reback is the co-author of two books on poker.

Upon finally reaching the legal age of 21, these young men sat down at the casino tables with the pros. It was electrifying to see these players in a televised tournament right after reading their personal stories. Entertaining and informative, this book describes how they achieved dazzling success.

Reviewed by Fran Byram

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