Who were the Ship It Holla Ballas?
Arguably the most successful poker crew of all time, they took advantage of the online poker boom to win tens of millions of dollars before most of them were old enough to set foot inside a casino. Then they did what any red-blooded teenagers with mountains of cash and no responsibilities would do: They partied like rock stars, transforming themselves from Internet nerds with zero life skills into legends, at least in their own minds.
In Ship It Holla Ballas!, Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback trace the rise and fall of Internet poker through the eyes of its most unlikely stars: A group of teenage college dropouts, united by social media, who bluffed their way to the top of the game.
The popularity of poker, and online forums to talk about it, led to the most successful poker crew of all time, write Grotenstein and Reback (All In: The (Almost) Entirely True History of the World Series of Poker). The members of the Ship It Holla Ballas met on TwoPlusTwo.com, a site for a publisher of poker books that became a place for players to discuss strategy and swap tips. This group of numbers-savvy, computer-bound young men soon meet in the real world, proceeding to dive right into a work-hard, party-harder, 24/7 lifestyle that two key members, Good2cu and Raptor, tackled with varying degrees of success. Good2cu becomes overly concerned with celebrity; Raptor, despite millions in the bank, is dissatisfied with his life. Grotenstein and Reback do a fine job detailing the debauchery of these lost boys, but without a decent narrative arc and glancing over ripe side stories the decline of online poker; the rise of the anyone-can-play poker champ the book feels like a collection of ribald stories featuring sex, giant bets, and youthful stupidity. Everything blurs together after a while. Breezy and readable, for sure, but lacking substance.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great read for poker enthusiasts
Loved this book. Also love to play poker and reading about the lives of these guts was inspirational. Nice turn around with priorities.
Couldn't put it down
If you enjoy living vicariously through poker players, then this is definitely the book for you.