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Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everythingby Kevin Cook
Synopses & Reviews
Born in a log cabin in the Ozarks, Alvin "Titanic" Thompson (1892-1974) traveled with his golf clubs, a .45 revolver, and a suitcase full of cash. He won and lost millions playing cards, dice, golf, pool, and dangerous games of his own invention. He killed five men and married five women, each one a teenager on her wedding day. He ruled New York's underground craps games in the 1920s and was Damon Runyon's model for slick-talking Sky Masterson. Dominating the links in the pre-PGA Tour years, Thompson may have been the greatest golfer of his time, teeing up with Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Lee Trevino, and Ray Floyd. He also traded card tricks with Houdini, conned Al Capone, lost a million to Minnesota Fats and then teamed up with Fats and won it all back. A terrific read for anyone who has ever laid a bet, Titanic Thompsonrecaptures the colorful times of a singular figure: America's original road gambler.
Recounts the colorful life of the gambler-hero who became the inspiration for Guys and Dolls's Sky Masterson, from his pre-PGA golf prowess to trading card tricks with Houdini, conning Al Capone and losing a million dollars to Minnesota Fats.
Capturing the spirit of a freewheeling era, this rollicking biography brings to life the gambler-hero who inspired Guys and Dolls.
About the Author
Kevin Cook's Tommy's Honor—a Sports Illustratedbook of the year—won the USGA's Herbert Warren Wind Award in 2007. A former editor at Sports Illustrated, Cook has appeared on ESPN and CNN. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Out of the woods — Fun and games — Alice and the sargeant — Capone, Houdini, and a couple of corpses — His first million — The wrong kind of hero — Trial and error — The widower's ambush — Oils, fats and Thomas Thomas — A homecoming — Titanic's last stand — Living legend.
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