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Book Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything by Kevin Cook (2012-01-05)


Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything by Kevin Cook (2012-01-05)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything by Kevin Cook (2012-01-05).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    Kevin Cook(Author)

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2.4 (7407)
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  • Kevin Cook(Author)
  • Picador (1780)
  • Unknown
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Review Text

  • By Matthew Lala on December 30, 2013

    I was interested in this book as a pool player, I'd heard that nobody bet as high as Titanic at the pool table. However pool was not his strong suit, so it gets barely a mention here. That's ok, as long as the story's engaging.But is it? I guess that depends on what engages you.Titanic's actual strong suits were Golf, Poker, and, well, throwing things. To that end, he cruised across the country hustling people with proposition bets. The meat of the book seems to repeat the same basic story: "one day Ti arrived at this town and set up this gaff bet. He lured one or more suckers into taking it. Then he cashed in."Many of his skills were hard-earned and impressive, the result of thousands of hours of practice and a keep mind for odds... golf in particular, but also pitching cards, coins, or horseshoes. He'd feign incompetence at these and then reel in naive bystanders. Others bets revolved around lame tricks like "I bet I could throw this watermelon onto the roof of that building." (Whereupon he takes the elevator to the roof of a taller neighboring building and drops it).Some of the stories are tough to swallow and sound heavily romanticized, if they happened at all. The author explains that he had to leave some stuff out because it was too implausible and not verified. I'm guessing most of the info came from Titanic himself, and it sounds like it has a hustler's spin on it... doesn't sound like much cold, unvarnished truth snuck in. For example, his wife knew he slept with other women on the road but didn't mind because of prowess in bed and his "titanic" proportions below the waist. Really?Well anyway, the book is loaded with historical context and gives you a sense of what life was like through the Depression and beyond, during an exciting time in the country's growth. At least some of it is factual.I think Titanic was probably more interesting in person than on paper. His life seemed to follow a predictable routine for decades... blow into town, hustle some golf or poker scores, make proposition bets, partner up (or fleece) other gamblers, then move on to the next town once the action dried up or he got arrested.I suspect this man had huge amount of charisma and personality, and some of it is lost in this book. Without that personality to make the man likeable, what we're left with is an unappealing character... someone who didn't work, cheated at everything, hustled strangers and friends alike, picked up teenage girls (then impregnated them and left town), and avoided most of the consequences.I guess I enjoyed the book, but it was despite Titanic and not because of him.

  • By triple g man on November 27, 2013

    Cook includes some very interesting and, apparently, well-researched tidbits in this tome, such as the origin of the word 'poker' and how the picture cards came to have the King, Queen & Jack. Reading the book, one gets a genuine feel for the atmosphere in pre-depression America. I doubt very much if the author himself believed half of these tall-tales, like Titanic blatantly cheating Al Capone to his face. One story has Titanic somewhere in the Midwest challenging the best horse shoe player in town to a match for $10,000 (the author says the annual avg income was $500, so that's the equivalent of a 20 year's income). After clandestinely lengthening the horse shoe posts, Titanic proceeds to win, and the mark then proceeds to drive Titanic to his bank, withdraws 10K and hands it over—no fuss, no muss and batteries included! Gimme oxygen, puhleeeeease! Nonetheless, hehe, I'd reccomend it.

  • By GMann on April 2, 2014

    I'd heard of Titanic Thompson, but these stores of his life are unbelievable. He wasn't just lucky, he worked his butt off to get the odds in his favor. Sure, he was tricky when making a simply seeming wager, but he was fearless when betting large sums. A true vagabond , gambler. He even hired a phd mathematician to figure out the best odds in poker. He really broke gambling down to a science.He figured out that golf could provide large gambling pots, and he worked harder than anyone around the greens, he figured out that's where the scoring was. He beat many touring pros, even a Masters champion. Why didn't he join the tour? He couldn't live on the little prizes they won.If you want to get a feel of a master gambling back in the days of mobsters (he played poker with Arnold Rothstein), up until the Vegas million dollar poker tournaments now on espn, you'll love this book.

  • By Charise Olson on October 5, 2017

    Great read and surprisingly inspiring. Cook portrays Titanic as a man determined to live his best life. The book is well-researched and thorough and there is enough context provided to make the story even more potent. The ending was bittersweet. Be sure to read all the follow up notes at the end.

  • By MoMo on May 20, 2014

    I was excited to read this book on a recommendation. I typically like biographies of hard-drinking, womanizing gamblers. And while Titanic Thompson is teetotaler, that’s not the main reason why I didn’t like the book. I would point to the stilted, adolescent writing style of the author as the main irritant. At times it felt like I was reading a 5th grader’s book report on Titanic Thompson. The anecdotes themselves got repetitive and I only got the most basic contours of Thompson’s personality. I would pass

  • By Richard Lucas on October 28, 2017

    I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 due to personal bias. The author did an excellent job of making the book a fast-paced read that is difficult to put down, as well as regret over how soon it is finished.I recommend this book to all who enjoy a good story about little known people that lived larger than life. Few readers will not enjoy the time spread on this book.

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