Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions
By Ben Mezrich
- Author: Ben Mezrich
- Publisher: Free Press
- Published: October 2003
- ISBN-10: 0743249992
- ISBN-13: 9780743249997
- Format: Paperback
- Copyright: 2002
- Subject: GAMES / Gambling / Table
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Recounts the story of how a notorious gang of MIT blackjack savants devised and received backing for a system for winning at the world's most sophisticated casinos, an endeavor that earned them more than three million dollars. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.
Thriller author Mezrich (Reaper, 1998, etc.) depicts a team of card-counting MIT students who live the Vegas high life for a while before getting caught and barred from all casinos everywhere.Approached to join the MIT blackjack club, Kevin Lewis was hesitant: Aren't they nerds who play cards in the library all night long? Still, Kevin is far enough along in his education to know that he's not cut out for the typical life of an MIT alum, so he decides to check out the club, which he discovers is churning out teams of card counters. (The author suggests that the Techies developed a new system for card counting, but it seems more likely they simply expanded its possibilities.) After passing a series of tests, learning "basic strategy," and such, Kevin is allowed to join the teams of counters spread throughout a casino so as to raise the chance that someone will find a sufficiently advantageous situation to play in. (Playing alone can take forever.) Soon he's mastered all the dodges, and before he can say Ocean's 11 he's rolling in dough and dating an LA Rams cheerleader. The scam works for a time—it's legal, actually, so where's the fun?—but soon enough the casinos seem to be onto them. Faceless authority suddenly assumes the form of Vincent Cole, who may work for a private investigation service specializing in routing out counters. From there it's mainly a question of how the counters got caught. Did one of their own turn them in, or was it facial recognition software developed at (you guessed it) MIT? Mezrich's prose is generally colorless, and he unwisely attempts to punch it up with some over-dramatized scenes at the card tables and by using italics wherever he's talking about a lot of money.Compelling—if you're into that sort of thing. Copyright Kirkus 2002 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved
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