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Take Me to the River

Atria, 2006

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An overeducated underachiever, Peter Alson spent his post-college decades doing his best not to grow up. But having just turned fifty, this rambling-gambling bachelor decides it’s time to settle down. So he pops the question to his longtime girlfriend, then hatches a plan to pay for their wedding –involving poker and a trip to Las Vegas. Boarding a plane bound for the neon desert and the biggest game in town- the 2005 World Series of Poker –this inveterate gambler and bad boy stares down his past and his future while competing for over $56 million in prize money. Take Me to the River is a hilarious, wrenching, full-tilt Vegas exploration of one man’s obsession with poker and the lessons it has to offer –about probability and luck, good fortune and bad, patience, perseverance, and –most fitting for a man with marriage in his near future –commitment.

“A bloody good read.” —Poker Life


“[Alson’s] transparent prose is ferociously honest and deceptively simple.” — Matthew Klam, author of Sam the Cat and Other Stories


“A compelling look inside the often tortured lives of professional gamblers.” — Mason Levinson, Bloomberg News


“Literary, smartly written.” —The Poker Gazette


“Alson is at his best in recounting pivotal hands from his tournament experiences. He expertly builds suspense while explaining how he observes his opponents for clues and calculates his chances of winning a hand.” — St.Petersburg Times


“Without question, one of the finest poker books ever written.” 

James McManus, bestselling author of Positively Fifth Street

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