View Full Version : Craig's Professor, Banker, Suicide King Saga--sold 'inside' look at big-time poker

05-26-2005, 07:56 PM
Craig's Professor, Banker, Suicide King Saga--sold 'inside' look at big-time poker

AS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE (http://www.rgtonline.com/Article.cfm?ArticleId=57314&CategoryName=Gaming%20Strategies)

by Howard Schwartz

Not since A. Alvarez's Biggest Game in Town, published more than 20 years ago, has a book detailing a big-time heads-up ($15 million on the table) poker action been written with such insight, gusto and flavor, as Michael Craig's The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King (282 pages, hardbound, $24.95). An unusual title to be sure so an explanation is in order. The Professor is Howard Lederer; the Banker is Texan Andy Beal and the Suicide King is the King of Hearts (for if you look at this card, he appears to be holding a broad sword behind his head--or at it).

This is a book about poker and people, what makes the players tick, what draws them to the cutting edge of the game, who the best are, how and why they play and why they chose the life they live.

Craig, a top-selling, respected business writer has also contributed to almost two dozen magazines. He has the ability to capture the personalities, their values and valued concepts, their need to maintain business sense, their attitude toward luck and their quest for a positive result at the tables. He writes about their attraction to risk and excitement the game brings, especially when playing for millions in tournament money.

Although not illustrated (I think it would have enhanced the book even more), this is well-indexed with names and places. It is packed with history, biographical and background material on some of the biggest names ever to play the game, taking you from poker's early days in Las Vegas to modern times and the red-hot action nationally, internationally.

Those who dream of playing the game as a full-time professional will better understand how and why few reach this high octane magic circle and stay there.

Craig has the unique ability to get into a subject's mind. He writes:
He (Beal) felt his problem was that he was letting the pros get to him ... he was playing too long, losing his focus. Once he became fatigued, he was easier to read. He knew he was becoming careless in many little ways: holding his cards differently, moving his body and head differently..."

The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King takes us to the game at its highest level of play. It is a story of achievement, survival, highs and lows of some of best in the business and Craig tells us about it ever so well.

Any item reviewed here is available from Gambler's Book Shop (Gambler's Book Club). The store's web site is You may order there using MasterCard, VISA or Discover (no CODs please) or by phoning the store any day except Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time at 1-800-522-1777. Orders usually shipped the next working day. The store, now in its 40th year, is located a mile from downtown Las Vegas, a block west of Maryland Parkway, just off Charleston Boulevard at South 11th Street. You may view the store's complete array of books, videos and software via the Web site or request a hard copy of the catalog be mailed free and first class. The store's address is 630 S. 11th St., Las Vegas, NV 89101.