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Fast Company
Jon Bradshaw
Publisher: Vintage Books (1987)
Pages: 239
ISBN: 0-394-75618-5
First Publication: 1975

Fast Company is not really a book about poker specifically - it's a collection of six biographical sketches of legendary gamblers. Three of them are legendary poker players - Johnny Moss, Pug Pearson, and Titanic Thompson. The other three are tennis player Bobby Riggs, pool player Minnesota Fats, and backgammon player Tim Holland, and you get the impression any of them would feel right at home in a high-stakes poker contest. Bradshaw seems to have done a bit of legwork to get to talk to his subjects, and does a good job of interleaving material from his travels and his interviews with other material on his subjects. All six come across as interesting people, and it doesn't really matter whether it's Bradshaw's writing or the intrinsic interest of his subjects. At its best, the book seemed to give just a little bit of insight into how these six men think. Unsurprisingly, you probably won't learn much about how to play poker from it. You might learn a bit about how to run a hustle, although I doubt it. But for me the book was worth reading for the interesting look at the lives of six people who've made a living gambling in one way or another.

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