Double or Nothing

How Two Friends Risked It All to Buy One of Las Vegas' Legendary Casinos

by Tom Breitling, Cal Fussman

On Sale: 03/18/2008

Double or Nothing

How Two Friends Risked It All to Buy One of Las Vegas' Legendary Casinos

by Tom Breitling, Cal Fussman

On Sale: 03/18/2008


About the Book

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 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.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Tom Breitling’s inspiring and jealousy-inducing story of the entrepreneurial bravado that led him and a friend to own The Golden Nugget.” - Esquire

“Beyond all of the colorful stories in Double or Nothing, beyond the eye-opening success of two young American entrepreneurs, there is the most important story of all: a story about friendship and loyalty.” - Andre Agassi

“Tom Breitling and Tim Poster are the ultimate American entrepreneurs. Tom has a great story to tell.” - Tony Bennett

“For whatever misguided reasons, Tom Breitling says he grew up wanting to be me. Instead, he wound up owning The Golden Nugget and making two deals each worth upwards of a hundred million dollars. Looks like he grew up to be A-Rod instead.” - Bob Costas

“A great read, and a true rags to riches American success story…The narrative goes down smooth as a good scotch, with a rhythm that would have made Sinatra proud!” - Ben Mezrich, bestselling author of Bringing Down the House and Rigged

“There’s no shortage of nuggets in...Double or Nothing. Breitling reveals the tense times with his Golden Nugget partner, Tim Poster…,and the hardball deals.... Masterful writing and reporting by co-author Cal Fussman take the reader on the wild ride that made [Breitling and Poster] millionaires in their 30s.” - Norm Clarke, Las Vegas Review Journal

“[A] fantastical story…. The book is full of interesting tidbits…. But the big “aha!” in the book might be the realization that they sold out too soon. It will be interesting to see the next trick up Breitling and Poster’s sleeves.” - Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers

“[A] delightful and insightful travelogue...Breitling presents a tale of a remarkable friendship interwoven with indelible portraits of various players…. But the book is more than a series of memorable characters…It also provides details of gigantic transactions that make you a fly on the wall of boardrooms with legends.” - Las Vegas Sun

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780060835835
  • ISBN 10: 0060835834
  • Imprint: HarperBusiness
  • On Sale: 03/18/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • List Price:31.00 CAD
  • BISAC1 : GAMES / Gambling / General (see also SELF-HELP / Compulsive Behavior / Gambling)

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