The Wager By David Grann And Phil Ivey Biography, Is It Recommended?

The Wager By David Grann And Phil Ivey Biography Reviews And Recommendations

Would you recommend the book The Wager by David Grann to someone who read a biography about Phil Ivey?

Book Recommendation: The Wager by David Grann

If you’ve read a biography about Phil Ivey, a professional poker player known for his strategic brilliance and high-stakes games, you might be interested in books that delve into similar themes of risk, strategy, and the human element in games of chance.

The Wager by David Grann is not directly about poker or Phil Ivey, but it does explore the theme of high-stakes risk in a different context. The book tells the story of Percy Fawcett, a British explorer who disappeared in the Amazon while searching for an ancient lost city.

Similarities and Differences

  • Similarities: Both Phil Ivey’s story and The Wager involve high stakes, risk-taking, and a deep commitment to a goal. If you enjoyed the tension and the psychological aspects of Ivey’s biography, you might find similar elements in The Wager.
  • Differences: However, the context is quite different. While Ivey’s biography is set in the world of professional poker, The Wager is a historical adventure set in the early 20th century. The risks Fawcett takes are not just financial but also physical, as he ventures into uncharted territory.

Another Review

The Wager would be a good recommendation for a friend who enjoyed a biography about Phil Ivey if they were interested in poker and its strategies. If they are more fascinated with Ivey’s personal life, a different book would be more appropriate.

If your friend enjoyed a biography about Phil Ivey, recommending another book depends on what they found interesting in Phil Ivey’s story. If it was the topic of poker and strategy involved, then they would likely enjoy The Wager by David Grann, which although not a biography, involves a story of adventure and strategy. If it was more about Ivey’s life and personal journey, then a book more focused on personal stories would be a better recommendation.


In conclusion, if you’re open to exploring similar themes in a different context, The Wager could be a good choice. However, if you’re specifically interested in poker or the life of Phil Ivey, you might want to look for books more closely related to those topics.

For more poker-related books, you might consider reading:

  • Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion’s World Series of Poker by James McManus
  • The Biggest Game in Town by Al Alvarez

For more on Phil Ivey, you might consider:

  • The Mysterious World of Cosmo Ivey by Nolan Dalla

Remember, the best book for you depends on your personal interests and what you’re hoping to get out of the reading experience.

The Wager by David Grann: A Biography of Phil Ivey

The Wager is a 2023 book by David Grann that tells the story of the high-stakes poker player Phil Ivey and his legal battle against the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 2012, Ivey won $9.6 million playing baccarat at the Borgata, but the casino refused to pay him, alleging that he had cheated by using a technique called edge sorting.

Grann’s book is a meticulously researched account of the case, drawing on interviews with Ivey, his lawyers, and Borgata officials. He describes Ivey’s early life as a gambling prodigy, his rise to the top of the poker world, and his obsessive pursuit of edge sorting. He also examines the casino industry’s efforts to prevent cheating and the legal arguments on both sides of the case.

The Wager is a thrilling read that offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of high-stakes gambling and the legal system. It is also a compelling portrait of Phil Ivey, a complex and enigmatic figure.

Phil Ivey Biography

Phil Ivey was born in Riverside, California in 1976. He began playing poker at a young age and quickly established himself as one of the most skilled players in the world. He has won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets and is widely regarded as one of the greatest poker players of all time.

In addition to his poker success, Ivey is also a skilled gambler in other games, including baccarat. In 2012, he used a technique called edge sorting to win $9.6 million from the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Edge sorting is a technique that allows players to identify cards that are more likely to be favorable to them.

The Borgata refused to pay Ivey his winnings, alleging that he had cheated. Ivey sued the casino, and the case is currently ongoing.

The Wager Legal Battle

The legal battle between Phil Ivey and the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is complex and ongoing. The casino alleges that Ivey cheated by using a technique called edge sorting, while Ivey argues that he was simply using his skill and knowledge of the game to his advantage.

The case has raised important questions about the legality of edge sorting and the casino industry’s responsibility to prevent cheating. It has also generated a great deal of publicity for Phil Ivey, who has become a symbol of the gambler’s dream.


The Wager by David Grann is a well-written and informative book that tells the story of the high-stakes poker player Phil Ivey and his legal battle against the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. It is a must-read for fans of gambling, poker.

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