|Title||All In: The (Almost) Entirely True History of the World Series of Poker|
|Author||Jonathan Grotenstein & Storms Reback|
|Pros||Detailed run-throughs of every World Series of Poker Main Event, including many hands from the final tables.|
|Cons||Focused on the stories, so it's hard to jump to a particular year or find out who finished in what place. A few minor errors.1
Most of the mistakes can be found in almost every similar book of the era: misspellings of "Dandalos" for Nick Dandolos and "Brian" for Bryan "Sailor" Roberts, presenting the Dandolos-Moss match as fact instead of myth, and repeating that Chris Moneymaker started his World Series of Poker run in a $40 satellite (it was actually $86, not $39).
|xi||Note from the Authors|
|7||Two the Hard Way||1|
|25||Fading the White Line||2|
|99||The Lion Has His Day||6|
|139||The Orient Express and the Poker Brat||9|
|158||Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?||10|
|173||Silver and Gold||11|
|230||Five Days Is a Long Time||15|
|275||Afterword: To Infinity and Beyond|
For example, Amarillo Slim in a World of Fat People talks about the 1972 WSOP, Total Poker covers 1973, Bobby Baldwin's Winning Secrets 1978, The Biggest Game in Town 1981, and Cowboys, Gamblers and Hustlers 1984.
After a brief history of how the WSOP came to be, the 35 festivals through 2004 are chronologically presented in seventeen chapters. For most years, the number of preliminary events and the size of the Main Event field are stated to indicate how the WSOP continued to grow almost non-stop, but the book is more about stories than numbers. Details of some preliminary events are occasionally given, then the Main Event is described, usually including each day of action with more hand recaps and stories starting from the final table.
Almost every player who made a deep run in the Main Event gets some ink; most get a short biography and a general evaluation of their playing style. Many are quoted talking about their play or their opponents.
As a sideline, the history of Binion's Horseshoe and the Binion family is updated throughout the book, from Benny Binion's exile from Texas to the family squabbles that ensued after his death.3
Many of the sections are better covered in other books (e.g., Binion's family is thoroughly examined in James McManus's Positively Fifth Street), but All In does a great job of including the essence of the most interesting stories.
Overall, it's an engrossing and well-written narrative of the first 35 WSOPs that almost feels too short despite running almost 300 pages.