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The Only Way To Play It

Arbitrary Press, 2020

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With bitter memories of a father who selfishly sacrificed his family to lead the life he wanted, Nate Fischer finds to his astonishment that he’s going down the very same road, making choices that may cost him his marriage, his family, and everything he holds dear. With an insider’s knowledge of New York’s underground poker world and an eye and ear for the characters who populate it, The Only Way To Play It is a story that shows once again that Alson “has a knack for revealing character...suggesting the ways in which choice, chance and a variety of imperatives fuse, deciding who we are and what we do with our lives.” (The New York Times)

“It’s like a sequel to Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer —with poker as a stand-in for movies, and the protagonist now having married and become a father.I started reading, couldn’t stop.” — Tom Beller, author of J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist


“Here is the poker novel I’ve been waiting years for someone to write. It doesn’t just feel true. It is.” —Brian Koppelman, co-writer of Rounders and Billions


“What a ride! I have to confess sometimes the anxiety was so great I had to put the book down and build up my courage before I could pick it up again. But I was so glad I did and was bereft when the book ended—sad to be off this roller coaster ride through the world of live-or-die high-stakes poker and marriage.” — Beverly Donofrio, author of Riding in Cars with Boys and Astonished

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