Poker has taken over the world. It is said that 80 million people now play regularly and close to $100 million is played for online every day. Tournaments generate prize pools that far outstrip all other recreational events - the top prize in the World Series of Poker in recent years has been greater than the money collected by the winners of the four golf majors and the Wimbledon singles tennis champions all added together. But for all its amazing popularity, the game's origins and history are surprisingly unclear. Instead of records and statistics, there is folklore and legend, a gallery of larger-than-life characters and an equal measure of fame and infamy. Here, for the first time, the true stories of poker are told. This is history as a thriller. Des Wilson has approached his definitive account of the game's development as a detective story. He has personally gone back to where poker has been played, stirring up controversy in his refusal to let sleeping dogs lie, and has delved deeper than anyone before to restore to their rightful place in history the ghosts who sit at the table of every poker game played today. Packed with stories that will enthral both poker players and the non-playing public, this is the book that was waiting to be written.