Renowned probability theorist Edward O. Thorp revolutionized the casino industry by developing card counting systems for the casino game of blackjack. Les Golden, the celebrated blackjack, roulette, and craps columnist for Bluff Europe, Gambling.com, iGaming Business, GamblingOnline, and Jackpots Review magazines, tells Thorp's incredible true story of lucrative applied probability with charm, wit, and humor.
Whether you visit casinos for fun, dinner money, or a living, or whether you're simply interested in a story of romance and casino intrigue, this lively biographical novel will capture and delight you.
Illustrations by the author.
"I found the story tremendously entertaining, with a pantheon of compelling characters such as gambler Ed Thorp and bookie Manny Kimmel taking us from the casinos of Nevada to those of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Les Golden's novel is a triumph begging for adaptation to the screen."- LANA WOOD, Film and T.V. Producer, Actress ("Diamonds Are Forever") Best-selling Author, Natalie, a Memoir
"Les Golden has an ever-increasing influence and burgeoning popularity.A significant name in the industry, the 'go to' man for strategy and anecdotal literarydexterity. I cannot acclaim his star highly enough."- JAMES MCKEOWN, Editor, iGaming Business Magazine and Gambling.com Magazine
"Les Golden is a comedy genius. It really is as simple as that. An expert in the field,he makes getting educated not only painless but actually funny."- DAVE BLAND, Editor, Flush Magazine
, British television pundit
"I learn more about strategy through Les' writings than I do through many failed tripsto Vegas. Always concise, easy-to-read, and intelligent."- JON YOUNG, Editor WPT (World Poker Tour) Magazine
"Les Golden makes numbers hilarious. He's simply the funniest gaming strategy writer there is. His writing is 'rakish' and 'bond-esque.' "- PHILIP CONNELLER, Editor, Bluff Europe Magazine
"The dialog crackles and the fictional elements brilliantly illuminate how cool Ed Thorp is. And there's just the right amount of blackjack and math. I love it."- AARON BROWN, Professional gambler, Wall Street risk managerAuthor, The Poker Face of Wall Street
Leslie Morris Golden received the B.A. with Distinction and Masters in Engineering Physics from Cornell University, where he studied astronomy under Frank Drake of SETI fame and was the award-winning editor-in-chief of the Cornell Engineer magazine. He received his M.A. and Ph.D in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. He performed his dissertation, "A Microwave Interferometric Study of the Subsurface of the Planet Mercury," under William J. ("Jack") Welch, the Watson and Marilyn Alberts Professor of Extraterrestrial Intelligence Emeritus.
Mr. Golden obtained a National Research Council Resident Research Associateship grant to continue studies of Mercury at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory before obtaining his academic appointment at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he became affiliated with both the physics department and the Honors College. He has also taught probability and statistics at the Heller Graduate School of Business of Roosevelt University, Chicago. He applies probability and statistics to blackjack, craps, and roulette as a columnist for five London-based gambling magazines and has published peer-reviewed papers in the field. He has won numerous awards for both fiction and non-fiction writing, including the prestigious Lili Fabilli-Eric Hoffer Laconic Essay Prize. As detailed in a series of columns, he developed the Golden Diagram system for blackjack and the Magic Circle strategy for roulette. He was named a 2016 Scholar by the International Gaming Institute of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Mr. Golden has additional careers as a professional trumpet player and vocalist, bandleader, stand-up comedian, professional actor, music notation software developer, and cartoonist. At the University of California, he was one of the founding fathers, a trumpet player and vocalist, and the long-time announcer for the prestigious University of California Jazz Ensembles as well as a popular emcee for jazz festivals throughout California. He has appeared in over 100 stage, motion picture, radio, television, television commercial productions and magazine and newspaper ads, including film and television featured roles with Forrest Tucker, Tippi Hedren, Troy Donahue, Charlotte Ross, and others. He was mentored by the legendary Del Close of Chicago's Second City improvisation theater.
Golden is a fervent environmentalist and passionate, nationally-known animal welfare advocate, working nationwide to save dogs, abused circus and zoo animals, and other animals, as well as to reform animal laws. He lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with his rescued canine, feline friends, and the occasional injured or orphaned wildlife.
PART ONE.- 1 Recollections.- 2 A Shayna Madel.- 3 A Date With Patsy Cline.- 4 Linear Operators.- 5 Chipped Beef on Pillows.- 6 Graveyard Shift.- 7 Royal Garden Blues.- 8 The Ships That Go Sailing By Crickets.- 9 Did You Hear the One About....- 10 A Coming Out Party.- 11 Braun's Brawn.- 12 Forbidden Fruit.- PART TWO.- 13 The Liechtensteiner Polka.- 14 Stargazing.- 15 Toy Slot Machines and Other Diversions.- 16 Hot and Sour Soup.- 17 Get a Job.- 18 Strike When the Deck Is Hot.- 19 Holding Hands at Midnight.- 20 A Little Jazz Music.- 21 A Milk-Bone for Gauss.- Epilogue.- The Vivian Name Game.- Appendix I: Poetic Licensing.- Appendix II: Card Counting Systems.- Appendix III: Camouflage - Acting for Card Counters.- Appendix IV: Harry Dubner and the Development of the "Hi-Lo" System.- About the Author.-Bibliography.- Index.