ADDRESSES: Home—Eugme, OR. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Thomas Dunne Books, 175 5th Ave., New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Writer, journalist, sports reporter, columnist, and professional poker player. Jackson Hole News, sports reporter and columnist.
(With Jonathan Grotenstein) All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2005.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The Last Showdown, a novel.
SIDELIGHTS: A writer, journalist, columnist, and professional poker player, Storms Reback is the author, with Jonathan Grotenstein, of All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker. The authors "offer the definitive history" of the game, which started humbly in 1970 with eight players and which has since grown to an internationally popular televised event, with hundreds of players and millions of dollars in prize money, commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. "The prize money for the 2004 World Series of Poker was more than the purses of the Masters, the Kentucky Derby, and Wimbledon combined," noted a writer on the Venture Literary Web site.
The game started as a "publicity stunt," noted a Kirkus Reviews contributor, when infamous player Nick "The Greek" Dandalos convinced Horseshoe Casino owner Benny Binion to host a high-stakes poker game attended by the most notorious card players in the world. Reback and Grotenstein chronicle how the World Series of Poker grew steadily from these beginnings, encountering controversy, murder, eccentric players, and criminal activity along the way. They profile players such as Amarillo Slim, a flamboyant character of phenomenal poker talent whose most salient characteristic was his willingness to take a bet on nearly anything with odds, including one infamous wager on whether or not a fly would land on a particular sugar cube. They also detail the life of series host and advocate Benny Binion, whose own shady background meshed well with the world of professional gambling. As the game continues to evolve, Grotenstein and Reback chronicle the reluctant passing of the torch to the up-and-coming players, many of whom learned to play online and through videogames. "Grotenstein and Reback mine to good effect the lore surrounding old school legends" who helped build the World Series of Poker to the popular event it is today, the Publishers Weekly contributor remarked. The Kirkus Reviews critic called the book "the end-all, be-all history of the World Series of Poker, whether you like it or not."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2005, review of All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker, p. 1011.
Publishers Weekly, August 29, 2005, review of All In, p. 49.
Venture Literary Web site, http://www.ventureliterary.com/ (April 14, 2006), biography of Storms Reback.