Bringing Down The House: How Six Students Took Vegas For Millions – Ben Mezrich

Synopsis from

Real-life all too rarely offers stories that are quite as satisfying as fiction. “Bringing Down the House” is one of the exceptions. Cheating in casinos is illegal; and card-counting – making a record of what cards have so far been dealt to enable the player to make some prediction of what cards remain in the deck – is not. But casinos understandably dislike the practice and make every effort to keep card-counters out of their premises. “Bringing Down the House” tells the true story of the most successful scam ever, in which teams of brilliant young mathematicians and physicists won millions of dollars from the casinos of Las Vegas, being drawn in the process into the high-life of drugs, high-spending and sex. “Bringing Down the House” is as readable and as fascinating as “Liar’s Poker” or “Barbarians At the Gate”, an insight into a closed, excessive and utterly corrupt world.

My Review

I really enjoyed this book, it’s fast paced and filled with plenty of drama to keep the pages turning. Mezrich’s writing style is very casual and easy to read, and he keeps up a good pace through out the book. The story itself has been likened to Ocean’s 11 and I can kind of see why, only this actually happened, which made it all the more gripping. I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to pull of the stunts that their MIT group did, but they sure got their reward for it, with lots and lots of money. I also think it’s amazing how they counted cards, whilst keeping up an act and chatting to people around them, and to do them convincingly, it just seems crazy. There was nothing really that I disliked about the book, I just marked it 4/5 because I’ve read better things this year, but I’d definitely recommend it, especially to people who have an interest in the Vegas or gambling lifestyle. I’d also recommend the film which is equally as good.


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