|Cowboys, Gamblers and Hustlers: The True Adventures of a Rodeo Champion and Poker Legend
|Byron Wolford and Dana Smith
|2002 (updated 2005)
|Very entertaining. The early days of rodeo and the early days of poker were equally wild, and Wolford was very adventurous.
|Too much rodeo and not enough poker. A little repetitious, as if the individual articles were published individually.
|Prologue by Dana Smith
|Gettin' Started on Big Indian
|Rodeoin' and Hustlin' at the Garden
|A Roper Ain't Nothin' Without a Good Horse
|Ropin' and Gamblin' at Calgary
|Ropin' with the Champions
|Cowboy Celebrities & Other Famous Folks
|A Titanic Proposition
|Trouble in River City
|Benny and the Boys in Las Vegas
|Rebel and Mr. Lucky
|Vintage Las Vegas
|The Luck of the Draw
|The Cowboy's Poetry
Note: actual contents go one level deeper but with no page numbers.
For example, Doyle Brunson would probably have played in the NBA if he hadn't injured his knee, T.J. Cloutier played in the Canadian Football League, and Mike Sexton earned a gymnastics scholarship to college.
As he got older, he had a fairly easy decision to turn to poker full time. He'd already been running poker games in his hotel rooms and was the best poker-playing cowboy in the world. Wolford even notes the similarities between his two vocations: "Rodeos in the old days were something like poker tournaments in that we all traveled from town to town entering the competitions, paying our own expenses, and not being guaranteed a quarter. The rodeos had five to seven events and today's big tournaments might have ten to twenty or more events, including two or three limit hold 'em events with various entry fees. In both sports you can pick how many events you want to enter. And you can choose your own schedule, living wherever you want, working as much as you need, and traveling whenever you please."2
Cowboys, Gamblers and Hustlers makes a better movie script than a poker primer, but it's worth reading for the vicarious thrills of the old, untamed days of rodeo and poker.