The World Series of Poker, an internationally televised event that put game Texas Hold ‘Em in the popularity spotlight and drove millions to take up the game did just appear out of nowhere and create a new celebrity class out of ordinary average guys and gals who became poker champs.
Binnion’s Horseshoe Casino, in Las Vegas became synonymous with big bucks jackpot and the much sought after silver bracelets in the early days of the World Series’ rise to national prominence. But most didn’t know the story of the founder of the event, the casino that was its early home and the infamous background from it evolved.
Until now. Blood Aces – The Wild Ride of Benny Binion: The Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker by Doug J. Swanson, details the checkered past of the Texas cowboy who would stop at nothing to succeed. While the creation of Las Vegas is the stuff of gangster legend, Binion’s tale is a much grittier and darker story.
Swanson, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist for the Dallas Morning News, pulls no punches in detailing the often blood soaked story of Binion’s rise from the rough and tumble dirt tracks of Texas to becoming one of the most legendary figures in the Las Vegas story that is chock a block with colorful, legendary characters. This one makes a great read for poker fans, and fans of real life gangsters alike.