Calling All Bluffs

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Is it just chance that the winner of this year’s World Series of Poker is named Chris Moneymaker? The annual event at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino in the flashy, trashy city of Las Vegas attracts cards of all suits: Amarillo “Slim” Preston, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Huckleberry Seed; along with CEO’s, cowgirls, call girls, mothers, lawyers, and everyone else looking to put on a poker face and go head to head with seasoned pros and bright-eyed amateurs.

It’s high-stakes, no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em poker. Some of the participants get a seat at the table the hard way – by earning it, racking up wins at mini-tournaments. Others just drop ten-thousand dollars for a seat. This year’s winner took home 2.5 million dollars.


James Mcmanus, author of “Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion’s World Series of Poker.”

Jodi Wilgoren, Chicago Bureau Chief for the New York Times.