I consider Johnny Hughes to be the William Manchester of poker historians.
With Hughes—no task is too burdensome, and no detail is trivial. He flat out
gets the story. His writings are a testament to an era of Americana that is as rich
as the Old West. Scrolling the pages of a Hughes narrative is like lighting a lantern into the darkest recess of poker’s subculture. He brings the legends of the
past and present to life and often provides the very best portrait of these unique
real-life characters of anyone on record.
Nolan Dalla Media Director. World Series of Poker. Dalla co-authored the
best-selling biography “One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey ‘the Kid’
Ungar, the World’s Greatest Poker Player.” He writes for Card Player Magazine.
Las Vegas, Nevada.
One of my all-time favorite poker writers … Johnny Hughes poker stories are a
national treasure. As one of the few remaining genuine, old-school poker writers,
Johnny’s hilarious stories and colorful characters are timeless classics and deserve to be placed on the same shelf with all the classics of the genre. This is the stuff of history. Of where our beloved game came from. And it rightfully deserves to be shared.
Iggy a.k.a. Ignatius J. Reilly, the Blogfather of Poker—GuinnessandPoker.com
… a roller coaster ride of how road gamblers from Texas made their cash, played
their game, along with the characters you would most likely meet along the way.
This book is told with authenticity and the knowledge that only a true road gambler could possess. If you love poker, then you have just stumbled upon a book that you will love. If you don’t play poker, you will surely have an enormous appetite for the great game after a few page turns. A highly enjoyable read.
—Anthony Kelly, Editor in Chief—Player Europe Magazine Dublin, Ireland.
Johnny Hughes is a gifted writer from the Lone Star State. A Ph.D. A poker
raconteur. Author of novels, short stories, essays and poems. The man’s an
enigma. Cryptic, dark. Irrefutably unique. Elliptical euphemism and metaphor
are his tools. Gambling folklore and parables abound. All told with a twinkle in
the eye and one finger on the trigger. Johnny writes evasively, challenging us to
refute, impelling us to believe.
—James Dodd a.k.a. Tetuso, Bet-the-Pot.com, London, England.
A fascinating look into the inner life of the old-time Texas road gambler.
Whether you play poker or not, you will love this book. I love this book.
This is a riveting story from a man who has been there and done that. If you are interested in poker, insight into the mind of the true gambler, or just a good captivating read, then this is your book. I couldn't put it down.
It has the smoke and the sweat, the triumph and the tragedy, the sheer exhilaration of America's greatest contribution to the world of gaming, all boiled down into one gritty cup of strong West Texas drink.
—Milton T. Burton, author of The Rogues’ Game and The Sweet
and The Dead.
“In a new-school industry full of new-school faces, an old-school voice reminds
us of where we came from. I’m a Johnny Hughes fan; he has survived the wars of the felt and shared that experience with the world. Now, he gives us another gift; the benefits of his experience combined with a unique story-telling style that
allows us to live that life through his narrative…Hughes has a truly unique style
… there’s no real substitute for actually having been there. Johnny’s been there.
Johnny’s been everywhere. Johnny bore witness to a lot of the Texas road goings
on that the rest of us only hear about … Hughes’ style is hard (like the man had
to be) … These men remember a time when poker wasn’t so much glitz and
glamour, when the cameras and lights were substituted for by cigars and guns. It
feels a lot safer the way we do it now, but you have to admit there’s a romance to what once was.”
Gary Wise. Poker Historian. Bluff Magazine, ESPN.com, Wisehandpoker.com.