I'm All In: High Stakes, Big Business, and the Birth of the World Poker Tour

Published By: Cardoza

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Business & Economics

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Reviewed by Bob Pike CSP, CPAE-Speakers Hall of Fame

Lyle Berman was born into a family that had moderate success in a very niche market: leather products, especially coats. He learned the business from the ground up, helped his father build the business, sold it, bought it back, merged it, sold it again and used the proceeds to build wealth for his family.

Along the way he learned the art of the deal and the rush he got from that paralleled the rush he got from playing high-stakes poker. The two came together the first time when he became the outside agent who became the driving force that launched Indian Gaming. He accelerated gaming in Mississippi when he recognized that the need to be "offshore" on the Mississippi Gulf Coast did not necessarily mean on a boat, and he used barges to create bigger, glitzier, and more hypnotic casinos than would otherwise be possible.

The two "rushes" came together again when the timing was right to create the World Poker Tour. From concept to product to launch--The World Poker Tour came together in a series of meetings that at first made the probability of it going anywhere seem unlikely. But Lyle's connections and experience put the pieces together to launch a product in a niche market that was ready for something new. The details make for fascinating reading.

What also makes for fascinating reading is Berman's candor about what success costs. While he doesn't dwell on it, he does acknowledge that his drive for business success also laid the seeds of personal failure in his marriages and the impact it had on him and his children.

Armchair Interviews says: Well worth reading--especially for the person who is willing to read between the lines for life lessons that can be learned.

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