Books Like Molly's Game

Books Like Molly's Game


Image by Thorsten Frenzel from Pixabay

Molly Bloom caused quite a stir in 2014 with the release of her memoir Molly's Game. The memoir chronicles her experiences hosting poker tournaments after an injury put an end to her dreams of becoming an Olympic skier. Her poker tournaments attracted celebrities, sports figures, and other wealthy individuals until her arrest in 2013 for being a key player in an illegal gambling ring. Her memoir was later turned into an American biographical film by Aaron Sorkin starring Jessica Chastain. For more books that chronicle the high-stakes world of legal and illegal poker, check out the following books, like Molly's Game.  

Big Deal: A Year as a Professional Poker Player

By Anthony Holden


Big Deal: A Year as a Professional Poker Player is a 1992 book by Anthony Holden, who was known as a biographer of artists. He was also a keen poker player and decided to spend a year playing poker around the world. His idea was to try and make a profit from his winnings, and the book chronicles his experiences between 1988 and 1989. Along with his own experiences, Holden also covers a lot of things about the gamesmanship of poker, and the book was an impetus for some poker players to become professionals.    

Straight Flush

By Ben Mezrich


Straight Flush by Ben Mezrich is based on the true story of six college friends who dealt their way to a billion-dollar online poker empire. Mezrich wrote the story after extensive insider interviews and participation to provide readers with a never-before-seen look at the events behind the headlines. It features six University of Montana frat brothers who ran a weekly poker game in the basement of their local dive bar. Eventually, they decided to create an online poker website that would go on to become one of the largest online companies in the world. However, while the founders embraced the outrageous lifestyles their new riches could afford them, they didn't realize that the U.S. Department of Justice had them in their crosshairs. 

The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King

By Michael Craig


The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King by Michael Craig offers an inside look at the richest poker game of all time. It is a poker game that has reached legendary status in poker lore thanks to the more than $20 million that was on the table by the time it ended. The participants include Howard Lederer, who earned his nickname the "professor" due to his analytical approach to each game. The "banker" is Andy Beal, a self-made billionaire obsessed with beating the best at their own game. His determination to win saw him continually raising the stakes against the syndicate of professional players who were determined to take him down.

All In

By Jonathan Grotenstein & Storms Reback


All In is a look at the World Series of Poker, considered to be the greatest poker tournament in the world, by two professional players, Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback. The duo combined extensive archival research along with interviews and their own firsthand encounters to chronicle the history of the tournament. From its humble beginnings in 1970 as a mere gathering of Texas road gamblers meeting up in downtown Vegas each spring to its transformation into the cultural phenomenon it has become.

The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death

By Colson Whitehead

the noble hustle cover

Colson Whitehead is a bestselling American novelist known for books such as The Underground Railroad, Harlem Shuffle, and The Nickel Boys. However, in 2011, he was given $10,000 by Grantland magazine to play at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The only catch was that Whitehead had never played in a casino tournament before and only had six weeks to train. The Noble Hustle chronicles his experience going to Atlantic City to learn how to play before going to Vegas for the multimillion-dollar tournament.

Positively Fifth Street

By James McManus

positively fifth street cover

Positively Fifth Street was written by James McManus after being sent by Harper's to cover the World Series of Poker in 2000. His assignment was to go to Las Vegas and focus on the progress made by women in the tournament, as well as the murder of the tournament's prodigal host, Ted Binion. However, McManus risked his entire advance to play in the tournament himself so that he could better capture the story of what goes into becoming a world champion. Ultimately, McManus made it to the final table of the Main Event and chronicled his own unlikely progress as well as the suspenseful account of the tournament itself. 

Every Hand Revealed

By Gus Hansen


Every Hand Revealed is about Gus Hansen, one of professional poker's most intriguing and fascinating players. His fearless and aggressive playing style has earned him the nickname "The Madman" amongst many but has netted him the inaugural Poker Superstars Invitational title. Hansen is also the only player to win three World Poker Tour tournaments, and in 2007, he walked away with $1.2 million in winnings from the Aussie Millions Championship. In Every Hand Revealed, "The Great Dane" analyzes every hand he played during the tournament and shares his winning secrets.