One of the biggest stories in the poker world over the past few weeks has been Ben Mezrich’s new book Straight Flush. Mezrich, who’s famous for writing The Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House, took an in-depth look at the rise and fall of Absolute Poker in his latest work. But many poker players don’t believe that Straight Flush does an adequate job of explaining the corruption involved with Absolute.
The famed author largely disagrees with this notion and defended the angle he took with his poker book in an interview with CalvinAyre.com. When asked about TwoPlusTwo forum members bashing how he allegedly skipped over a major cheating incident at Absolute Poker, Mezrich explained the situation with the following:
There’s a group of people who feel that Scott (Tom) is very evil and that the founders of AP are horrible and cheats. And I think the book is a works-in-all tale, although they would disagree. But I think the cheating scandal’s in there, there’s no cover-up, there’s no defense. It tells the story in their words. It’s certainly from their point of view. But I think the rise and fall of AP is told well in this story, and certainly what happened with the UIGEA and what happened with the industry, which I think is what’s important in this story.
Ben Mezrich went on to show some sympathy for those who’d lost money due to the scandal and said that he gets why the book is controversial. However, writing a book completely about the cheating scandal isn’t what he wanted to do. Instead, Mezrich wanted to focus on the rise and fall of Absolute Poker along with how unjust the UIGEA was.
The author’s recent interview with CalvinAyre is still unlikely to win Mezrich any points with hardcore poker enthusiasts, some of whom lost money when Absolute went offline following Black Friday. However, he does do a good job of defending his position, which has always been writing entertaining, glamorized stories about young college students who build financial empires, only to experience struggles and controversy along the way.
This formula has helped Mezrich’s books be spun into two huge movies in The Social Network (Accidental Billionaires) and 21 (Bringing Down the House). And as he contends in the CalvinAyre interview, it won’t be long before Straight Flush is turned into a major film.