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Straight Flush

The True Story of Six College Friends Who Dealt Their Way to a Billion-Dollar Online Poker Empire--and How It All Came Crashing Down . . .

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House—the sources for the films The Social Network and 21—comes the larger-than-life true tale of a group of American college buddies who brilliantly built a billion-dollar online poker colossus based out of the hedonistic paradise of Costa Rica.

One problem: the U.S. Department of Justice was gunning for them. . . .

Based on extensive insider interviews and participation, acclaimed author Ben Mezrich's Straight Flush tells the captivating rags-to-riches tale of a group of University of Montana frat brothers who turned a weekly poker game in the basement of a local dive bar into, one of the largest online companies in the world, on par with some of the behemoths of the Internet. At its height, Absolute Poker was an online empire earning more than a million dollars a day, following savvy business strategy and even better luck. Its founders set up their operations in the exotic jungle paradise of Costa Rica, embracing an outrageous lifestyle of girls, parties, and money.

Meanwhile, the gray area of U.S. and international law in which the company operated was becoming a lot more risky, and soon the U.S. Department of Justice had placed a bull's-eye on Absolute Poker. Should they fold—or double down and ride their hot hand? Impossible to put down, Straight Flush is an exclusive, never-before-seen look behind the headlines of one of the wildest business stories of the past decade.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 29, 2013 – Mezrich (author The Accidental Billionaires, the basis for the film The Social Network) displays his well-established storytelling chops in this brisk narrative of the rise and fall of an Internet gaming empire that stars six frat brothers from Montana. The tale opens in 2011 with Brent Beckley s surrender in a Costa Rican airport to an American official. While not convinced of the illegality of his acts, Beckley admits that maybe we were stupid. The scene returns to the beginning at the SAE house on the University of Montana campus in 1997, where principals Garin Gustafson, Pete Barovich, Shane Blackford, and Scott Tom are introduced. After graduation, Tom s enthusiasm for poker inspires him to create Absolute Poker, an online poker site. As the money flows in, Blackford suffers a breakdown and two different cheating scandals mar their success. Ultimately, the question of legality dogs them. In 2006, the men flee corporate offices that they have set up in Vancouver when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police begins an investigation. The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act in the same year ultimately spells their downfall. Readers curious about fast-living frat boys with questionable judgment will enjoy this debauched business saga.

Customer Reviews

Straight Flush

Great Story!!! Would recommend to anyone looking for an intriguing & entertaining read!

Straight Flush

One of the worst written books I have ever read. It could have been a really interesting story for a book in the hands of a good writer.
Has a really great opening to catch your interest to buy the book, but goes downhill after that.


This books is nothing but lies!!!! People got stolen from.

Straight Flush
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Games
  • Published: May 28, 2013
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings