The Dark Side of the Felt

  • 5.0/5 rating (3 votes)
  • Published July 31st 2014 by Tyler Nals
  • You know those guys who play poker for millions of dollars on television? I’m not one of those guys. Instead, I risked my life on a nightly basis playing in underground poker games on Long Island and in Charlotte. This story is about how I managed to survive, but just barely.

     

    • Print Length: 346 pages
    • Publisher: Tyler Nals; 1 edition (July 31, 2014)
    • Publication Date: July 31, 2014
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00MBNTCQW

    If I could give this book 3.5 stars I would, but I refuse to contribute to its already bloated Goodreads score by rounding up to four.

    This is an entertaining book. There are times Tyler Nals makes some astute and hilarious observations. That said, it roams far too often. Nals goes off on tangents almost as often as he gives horrible poker advice.

    It is clear Nals knows a thing or two about poker. He gives some great pointers, but as someone who has been a professional poker player since age 18 (I’m 27 now) I laughed heartily at some of the things he said:

    Unfortunately, the only way to become a great poker player is to lose money playing for between five and seven years.

    This is remarkably off. Most professional poker players have a study period of around 1-2 years. I’m considered an extremely slow learner because it took from ages 15 to 18.

    You chose a life that has surrounded you with losers and degenerates. Therefore, that’s what you have become. It’s about the company you keep.” Many poker players are professionals in other fields who can afford to lose the money they choose to gamble with. Most presidents in the United States were card players. You really have to be deep in the worst games on Earth for someone to make this statement.

    (On the topic of table selection.) “What table has huge pots? Don’t choose that table.” The table where money is flowing is usually the EXACT table you want.

    Blake, knew the same secret about the 3/6 Limit Game. He played three times per week and probably averaged about + $300 per session.” There is no chance anyone is making 50 big bets per session reliably from a limit poker game.

    As much as I wanted to explain to these people that I was hustled, not beaten…” Psst…Tyler…being hustled is being beaten.

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    People in this conversation

    • Alta Alfer

      I have never gone to a casino or gambled on anything more then a lottery ticket every week. I never understood the draw to a casino was so big for other people, then I read this book. I'd say that there is an adrenaline rush that makes a person looking for a new rush. The Dark Side of the felt explained uses humor and drama to paint the life of an underground gambler, and draw the reader into the story. The twists came quickly and made me want to read more waiting and waiting for another twist, another resolution. As a non poker player, I didn't relate well, but I think someone who knows poker will appreciate this book. There was good story behind the poker story, I was just interested in the poker long enough to see how it fed the next scenario.

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