Tuesday Teaser ~ Double or Nothing

Double or Nothing by Tom Breiting is a reread for me because it's research for the novel I'm about to start the second draft of. (I like to read widely before I write the first draft and then reread the best resources after the first draft is done to make sure I haven't screwed up the details.) But aside from being research, this is a fun look at what it's like to own a Las Vegas casino.

If Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn had come of age at the end of the 20th century looking for an all-American adventure, they probably would've headed for Vegas.

They'd have been hard-pressed to go on a wilder ride than the one taken by Tom Breitling and Tim Poster to the top of the famed Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino.

Call them the Odds Couple.

Breitling is the kid who lives next door if you grow up in Burnsville, Minnesota. He never saw a hundred dollar bill or The Godfather until he went to college.

Poster comes from a family of oddsmakers who reach for the Doritos on football Sundays and scream for the point spread. He was whistling Sinatra and booking games at his Las Vegas high school.

Their unlikely friendship began in college over an $8 veal parmigiana sandwich that led to a partnership in a hotel reservation business. Starting with a desk, a chair, a pillow, and a telephone, Tim and Tom grew a company that they sold during the dot.com boom for $105 million. This allows Tim to pursue his childhood dream of owning a casino and bringing back the glory days of Vegas.

When Tim ups the odds and raises the limits to give gamblers the best game in town, a craps player nicknamed "Mr. Royalty," who's on one of the hottest winning streaks in history, heads for The Nugget. When he begins to take Tom and Tim for millions, the partnership is put to the test. But Tim refuses to back off on the odds or the high limits, telling his partner, "It's a ballsy proposition here. It's gonna be a roller coaster ride. But we don't have a public company to answer to. It's just you and me."

When Mr. Royalty rolls twenty-two consecutive passes and rakes in a mountain of chips, he takes Tim and Tom to the brink. They must figure out a way to hold up The House.

Just as they do, the roller coaster ride really gets rolling—and the ride becomes crazier than they'd ever imagined.

  "Royalty is coming."
  Well, Johnny D. didn't say it exactly like that. Mr Royalty is what we'll have to call a guy whose real name I can't tell you. The House doesn't reveal the identities of its gamblers. But Mr. Royalty is a good cover. There's plenty of truth and irony in it.
  The truth is Mr. Royalty was able to swagger into The Golden Nugget carrying a pillowcase stuffed with hundred-dollar bills over his shoulder because of the royalties he was making off a line of video games that he'd created. If you're a man between eighteen and forty, you know his games. You've probably played them. One of his games grew so popular, rumor is he sold it outright for $40 million.

A true gambler never goes bust. Everybody else might see him as busted. But he never does. He sees himself as temporarily out of ammunition.

Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current readOpen to a random pageShare two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! To see what others are sharing on the Teaser Tuesdays, check the comments at: http://adailyrhythm.com/

Share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you are reading. Here's the link: Bibliophile By The Sea


  1. Hi Suzie, this one made me smile, yet somehow don't think it's for me. Hope you like it.

  2. This sounds like an interesting book. I like the intro. Wouldn't we all like a bag of money like that? I'm not sure I would want to gamble with it though, but then, I've never been a big gambler.

  3. The characters sound funny....but I probably wouldn't pick this one up. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.