|Ghosts at the Table: Riverboat Gamblers, Texas Rounders, Roadside Hucksters, and the Living Legends Who Made Poker What It Is Today
|Great storytelling and myth-busting from poker's past up to 2007.
|Chapters cover a random assortment of topics of varying importance. Publication should have been delayed a few weeks to finish the story of the 2007 WSOP Main Event.
|Preface: The Four Ages of Poker
|The first age of poker: Fact or fiction on the frontier?... an investigation into the mythology of poker's past
|Aces and Eights... Death in Deadwood
|Poker in the Old West
|Drama on the River
|The second age of poker: Fadin' the white line... the life and times of the Texan Road Gamblers
|Poker in the Lone Star State
|The third age of poker: Las Vegas
|The Godfather -- Part I
|The Godfather -- Part II
|The World Series of Poker
|Bobby Hoff's bad beat... and Hal Fowler -- the champion who vanished
|Million-dollar hands... The world of high-stakes poker
|The fourth age of poker: The twenty-first-century phenomenon
|Poker takes off: Card rooms in cyberspace
|Ghosts and guardians at the 2007 World Series
|Appendix: 2007 WSOP ME Top 9 finishers
|Appendix: Stop Press
|Appendix: My thanks to...
|Appendix: A simple guide to Texas Hold'em
|Appendix: Notes (footnotes)
|Appendix: Additional reading
Note: Some chapters actually have longer descriptions.
On the other hand, Wilson passes on as truth many other poker stories of the Old West (including the Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone), riverboat gamblers, mid-twentieth century road gamblers, Benny Binion, and Doyle Brunson. He even does some serious detective legwork to figure out what happened to Hal Fowler, who basically disappeared from the poker world after winning the 1979 World Series of Poker.
Wilson also covers online poker and high stakes poker and includes a relatively short section on women in poker, mostly discussing their history at the World Series of Poker. The WSOP gets its own long chapter with stories about his eight favorite Main Event final tables. The final chapter of the book returns to the WSOP but unfortunately ends as the 2007 Main Event final table is set.Because Wilson traveled all over the U.S. to interview people, he has some unique insights, especially regarding Fowler. Although not as comprehensive1
At first glance, Cowboys Full appears to be about 50% bigger, weighing in at a hefty 516 pages to Ghosts at the Table's 368, but McManus dedicates a significant 88 pages to its footnotes, bibliography, glossary, and index, whereas Wilson uses but 15.