Thursday May 30,2013 : PLENTY OF COVERAGE FOR NEW BOOK ON ABSOLUTE POKER
UK press give detailed reviews on how Absolute was founded.
Gambling author Ben Mezrich will be pleased at the amount of UK mainstream press publicity his new book "Straight Flush" on the founders of Absolute Poker achieved following its launch this week.
Several mainstream newspapers and magazines reviewed the book in detail, publishing pictures of Absolute Poker founders Brent Beckley, his step-brother Scott Tom, Garin Gustafson, Pete Barovich, Shane Blackford and Oscar Hilt Tatum IV, how they raised funds and enjoyed the good life until it all came crashing down.
One review in particular carries the book's harrowing description of Beckley's arrest and incarceration by federal agents here:
The Daily Mail also carried a long and detailed review supported by images on the rise and fall of one of online poker's biggest and most controversial companies here:
"Now, a new book traces the chaotic fortunes of the six-fraternity brothers from the University of Montana who set up Absolute Poker," the newspaper announces, saying that "Straight Flush" chronicles how a weekly poker game in the backroom of a bar in Missoula, Montana was parlayed into one of the biggest online Poker sites in the world.
Starting in Costa Rica, the frat boy founders raised $750,000 from Korean investors to get the venture up and running, but came short when the Caribbean bank they were using failed, necessitating more fund-raising around the world.
The reviews note that stepbrothers Scott Tom and Brent Beckley emerge as the most forceful characters, pushing the project on.
By January 2005 Absolute Poker was valued at $30 million and was bringing in about $800,000 a day in revenue. By August 2006 the company had grown by more than 100 percent year on year and was valued at $100million.
It was party-time, and the founders indulged in a high-living lifestyle with expensive material possessions like luxury cars and homes.
But on 15 April 2011, federal officials lowered the boom after a two-year investigation that included setting up a faux payment processor, and the frat boys' dream was shattered, with Beckley and Tom indicted on a slew of federal charges.
The book provides an update on the fate of the founders since Black Friday. Pete Barovich is self-employed and settled in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and young family; Beckley ended up in a federal jail in Denver, Colorado serving a 14-month sentence; Tom remains "at large" and is believed to be in Antigua.