Jonathan Grotenstein & Storms Reback: Ship It Holla Ballas! - A Book Review

Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback’s latest book titled SHIP IT HOLLA BALLAS!: How a Bunch of 19-Year-Old College Dropouts Used the Internet to Become Poker’s Loudest, Craziest, and Richest Crew, details the story of arguably the most infamous poker crew from before Black Friday.

Ship It Holla Ballas

Advanced praises of the book go as follow:

"The loud narcissism and adolescent degeneracy of these talented 'ballas' ain't pretty, but the testosterroneous world of high-stakes online poker in America before Black Friday, in all its doomed glory, steadily throbs in Grotenstein and Reback's swift prose."

James McManus, New York Times bestselling author of Positively Fifth Street

“An infectious tale, told with the speed of a rocket sled, SHIP IT HOLLA BALLAS! Puts us in with a gang of under-age poker geniuses as they turn Las Vegas on its ear, making off with the gelt as well as the girls.”

Bruce Porter, New York Times bestselling author of Blow

About the same time as the popularity of Facebook began to rocket up, so did online poker’s, paving the way for about a dozen college dropouts and high school kids to seek and put into practice knowledge of poker via the internet. Eager to gain fame and acknowledging the usefulness of the internet in order to do that, Michigan State University dropout ‘Good2cu’ initiated the crew that was to become to be known as Ship It Holla Ballas! A dedicated website was also launched to publish the details of their successes as well as their “outrageous exploits including dancing with strippers, crashing a BMW, and literally swimming with sharks,” the official press release reads.

Indeed, once getting bored of online play alone, the guys went on to undertake adventures like entering the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, “where they flaunt their new found wealth, drinking heavily (thanks to fake IDs), frequenting strip clubs, and, of course, cheering each other on at the gambling table with their patented “Ship It Holla” shout-out. In fact, in one night, after TheUsher wins $284,000 at the 2006 World Series of Poker, he and his fellow Ballas blow $40,000 in the famous Spearmint Rhino strip club.”

Of course, 15 April, 2011 marked the end of the Ship It Holla Ballas! as well. Some of the crew went broke, losing the income to maintain their newly acquired, luxury way of life, while others managed to make it to among the best all-time pros, including the likes of 'durrrr'. “Collectively they won close to $20 million in live tournaments and perhaps another $20 million in live cash games and online, making them »the most successful poker crew of all time. And they’re all still under thirty. «”

About the authors:

Jonathan Grotenstein is a former professional poker player and the author and co-author of eight books. His first book, Poker: The Real Deal (with Phil Gordon), remains one of the bestselling poker books of all time.

Storms Reback is a former professional poker player and the co-author of two books, including All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker (with Jonathan Grotenstein).

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