Bringing Down the House

By Ben Mezrich, 2002, 257 pages, partial text, amazon

Even tough the book boasts that this is “The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions” and was listed in the non-fiction list when it became a bestseller, large portion of it is indeed fiction. But even knowing this it is a very catchy reading.

“So you guys cheat at cards?” “Absolutely not. We don’t alter any of the rules or … the nature of the game. We use our brains to take advantage of arbitrage opportunities. Blackjack is beatable – so we beat it. We beat the hell out if it.”

Yes, there was an MIT Blackjack Team. Yes, they counted cards. Yes, they made money out of it. That’s what’s true and what the story is based on. Most of the rest is just the fantasy of the author. But a very entertaining fantasy that brings you to the world of MIT and Boston on one hand and shiny, “double layer” world of casinos and Vegas on the other.

Last year there was also a movie made, but it is as far from the book as the book is from the true story.

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