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Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker | [James McManus]

Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker

In the spring of 2000, Harper's magazine sent James McManus to Las Vegas to cover the World Series of Poker. But when McManus sets foot in town, the lure of the tables is too strong: he proceeds to risk his entire Harper's advance in a long-shot attempt to play in the tournament himself. Only with actual table experience (he tells his skeptical wife) can he capture the hair-raising subtleties of poker that determines the world champion.
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Publisher's Summary

In the spring of 2000, Harper's magazine sent James McManus to Las Vegas to cover the World Series of Poker.

But when McManus sets foot in town, the lure of the tables is too strong: he proceeds to risk his entire Harper's advance in a long-shot attempt to play in the tournament himself. Only with actual table experience (he tells his skeptical wife) can he capture the hair-raising subtleties of poker that determines the world champion. The heart of the book is his deliciously suspenseful account of the tournament itself - the players, the hand-to-hand, and his own unlikely progress in it.

©2003 James McManus; (P)2003 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

What the Critics Say

"A delicious inside look." (Booklist )
"...like all true Beat writing, Positively Fifth Street is a joy to read." (The Los Angeles Times)
"The drama of high-stakes poker is inherently compelling - here is a rare opportunity to read an account by someone who can really write."(Publishers Weekly)
"Exhilarating chronicle....[as] tension-packed as any thriller." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (205 )
5 star
 (74)
4 star
 (78)
3 star
 (34)
2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.3 (33 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (7)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (31 )
5 star
 (14)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Aaron Cammarata CA, United States 07-28-05
    Aaron Cammarata CA, United States 07-28-05 Member Since 2005

    game_maker

    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "I thought there were slander laws"

    This is really 2 books. One about the author's participation in the poker tournament. The other is basically an all-out personal attack, backed by circumstantial evidence, against the folks suspected of murdering Ted Binion. I enjoyed the former, not so much with the latter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnny Salinas, CA, USA 06-26-05
    Johnny Salinas, CA, USA 06-26-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    "Excellent book; next time hire an actor!"

    Having been recently introduced to the intriguing game of poker I was very much interested in this story of sex, murder, greed, and how the author would weave them into the tale and explore the WSOP at the same time. The book is well written however, the author's narration is labored and impassionate. He seems uninterested in the details and the excitement of his own story. This would make a better read than an audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Hansen Utah 03-05-05
    B. Hansen Utah 03-05-05 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Great book for the poker enthusiast"

    The book starts with nothing to do with poker and everything to do with greed, sex, and murder. McManus dances between the Vegas murder mystery of Ted Binion and his own trials at the 2000 World Series of Poker. Great book. Time melts away with books like this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan Baltimore, MD, USA 12-14-03
    Evan Baltimore, MD, USA 12-14-03
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "If you like Texas Hold 'Em buy this audiobook"

    What a great story. I ended up listening to the entire thing without stopping because it was so exiting. You will be kept in suspense the entire time by the author's crazy ride in the world series of poker while a bloody las vegas murder is uncovered. I think once you start you won't stop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Apex, NC, United States 06-02-03
    Karen Apex, NC, United States 06-02-03 Member Since 2001

    I write my reviews under my wife Karen's account. Retired USN Russian linguist/analyst; actor; director; producer. Biography & History focus

    HELPFUL VOTES
    623
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    50
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    18
    0
    Overall
    "Positively engaging"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this look at the WSOP (World Series of Poker) and the author. Risk and its consequences is played out on the green felt of Binion's Casino and the author's psyche, family and business. A quite intriguing, humorous and educational journey past the flop, to the turn, and ultimately Fifth St. Recommend the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Laurinburg, NC, United States 02-21-11
    Robert Laurinburg, NC, United States 02-21-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Positively a good read."

    McManus interweaves his personal experience with some history of the World Series of Poker and the Binion family who created it. A great read for poker fans.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 06-18-03
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 06-18-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    257
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    845
    55
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    6
    Overall
    "Not a volume for a gentle listener . . ."

    The behavior of poker players and the inside information about how they play the game with each other seems to me as interesting as magic or wizardry. I looked forward to this book, but did not make it past the first fifteen minutes comprised of a brutal and detailed description of murder in progress. The information was simply more than I wanted to know, and I folded on this recording before the flop.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful

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