|Title||All In: From Refugee Camp to Poker Champ|
|Author||Jerry Yang with Mark Tabb|
|Skill Level||any (history) / Beginner (poker strategy)1
Yang details several WSOP Main Event hands throughout the book which contain some poker advice, but he ends the book with an appendix titled "Jerry's Winning Poker Strategies", which contains brief sections on "8 Things Beginning Players Need to Know", "Top 8 Rookie Mistakes", "Top 8 Tells", "Top 8 Hands to Play", and "Basic Tournament Strategy".
|Pros||Fascinating stories of Yang's escape from Laos and success at the poker table.|
|Cons||Yang's luck at the poker table is extraordinary,2
For example, during his first day of the 2007 WSOP Main Event, Yang was dealt pocket Aces seven times, far above the one or maybe two that could be expected.
|1||Prologue: The Longest of Long Shots|
|13||In the Shadow of Vietnam||1|
|29||The Hmong Tom Sawyer||2|
|43||I Can Do This||3|
|51||Vegas or Bust||4|
|63||A Not-So-Distant Thunder||5|
|85||Two Tournaments, One Prize||7|
|95||Between the Rio and the Roach Motel||8|
|109||Through the Jungle||9|
|137||Across the Mekong||11|
|151||I Actually Belong Here||12|
|163||An Impossible Climb||13|
|171||Next Stop: The Final Table||14|
|187||A Place Where People Went to Die||15|
|197||The Happiest Day||16|
|207||Free at Last||17|
|217||On the Cusp of a Dream||18|
|229||Landing in Paradise||19|
|241||I'm All In||20|
|253||This Is America?||21|
|265||The Jerry Yang Show||22|
|279||Reaching for the American Dream||23|
|291||It All Comes Down to This||24|
|299||Postscript: The Heart of a Champion|
|305||Appendix: Jerry's Winning Poker Strategies|
|307||8 Things Beginning Players Need to Know|
|311||Top 8 Rookie Mistakes|
|315||Top 8 Tells|
|319||Top 8 Hands to Play|
|321||Basic Tournament Strategy|
Most Main Event winners need an extra dose of luck, but for Yang, it's the story of his life. In his autobiography, All In: From Refugee Camp to Poker Champ, Yang (or more accurately, his ghostwriter Mark Tabb) deftly jumps back and forth detailing his two treacherous journeys, in poker and in life, where a single misstep could be fatal, one literally and the other figuratively. The book opens with the Californian heads-up at the World Series of Poker Main Event but then flashes back to the separate tracks of his childhood in Laos and the start of his poker career.
Although the title cleverly rhymes "camp" with "champ", Yang's beginnings were so humble that reaching the refugee camp was already a major accomplishment. Before leaving his birth country, he was so poor that he had never worn shoes or underwear and played soccer with pig-bladder balls and marbles with carved rocks. He, his family, and his entire village are in constant danger from North Vietnamese soldiers, crop failures, and Mother Nature, so his father decides to risk everything, as little as that is, to leave the country and hopefully relocate to the United States. Carrying just some food and a few of their meager belongings, they try to use the cover of darkness to reach the Mekong River, where they hope to find a way to cross into Thailand.
Meanwhile, Yang's poker story begins on his sofa, where he is enchanted by the World Series of Poker Main Event final table playing on ESPN. He quickly realizes that Texas Hold 'Em is about much more than the cards and is immediately hooked. He starts with a meager $50 bankroll, plays small tournaments in local casinos, and dreams of satelliting into the WSOP Main Event.Yang needs significant amounts of good fortune to survive his two difficult journeys, but he's an intelligent, quick learner who goes from ESL3
English as a Second Language.
Sometimes you need to make your own luck.