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Extended Audio Sample Busting Vegas: A True Story of Monumental Excess, Sex, Love, Violence, and Beating the Odds Audiobook, by Ben Mezrich Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.41 out of 53.41 out of 53.41 out of 53.41 out of 53.41 out of 5 3.41 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ben Mezrich Narrator: Ben Mezrich Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9780061121104
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Semyon Dukach was known as the darling of Las Vegas. A legend at twenty-one, this cocky hotshot was the biggest high roller to appear in Sin City in decades, a mathematical genius with a system the casinos had never seen before and couldn't stop -- a system that had nothing to do with card counting, wasn't illegal, and was more powerful than anything that had been tried before.

Las Vegas. Atlantic City. Aruba. Barcelona. London. And the jewel of the gambling crown -- Monte Carlo.

Dukach and his fellow MIT students hit them all and made millions. They came in hard, with stacks of cash; big, seemingly insane bets; women hanging on their arms; and fake identities. While they were taking classes and studying for exams during the week, over the weekends they stormed the blackjack tables, only to be banned from casinos, harassed, on the wrong end of guns, and beaten in the notorious back rooms of casinos.

The stakes were high, the dangers very real, but the players were up to the challenges, the consequences be damned. In the classroom, they were geeks. On the casino floor, they were unstoppable. Busting Vega$ is Dukach's unbelievably true story; a riveting account of monumental greed, excess, hubris, sex, love, violence, fear, and statistics that is high-stakes entertainment at its best.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A riveting yarn.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Breathtaking…Dukach's team of mathematicians and computer experts had devised a system far more sophisticated than mere counting. In Busting Vegas, Ben Mezrich describes how Dukach's plan made him almost unbelievably rich—and nearly cost him his life.”     

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review

  • “A story line that’s…as fascinating as any you'll hear. As narrator, the author is likable and easy to listen to. His brief interview at the book's end is a bonus for anyone interested in the writer's craft.”

    AudioFile

  • ANew York Times Bestselling Author
  • USA Today Bestselling Author

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becca | 2/19/2014

    " Interesting follow-up to Bringing Down the House. It was a very similar story, with different card tricks and more casinos... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Walter Straus | 2/18/2014

    " This should have been a very short story, but it was an interesting book. This is the story about how a group of MIT students found a way to beat casinos at Blackjack and went around the world doing it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 2/7/2014

    " Definately not as good as Bringing Down the House. It was much the same story, without the pull of the other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey | 1/29/2014

    " This book was given to my husband by his brother. My husband didn't even get a change to finish the book before I took it over- it is that good. Suprisingly so. It's about the MIT students that found a way to bet the odds in Black Jack. Even if you are not into gamling, you will like this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christi | 1/27/2014

    " simply astounding what this group from MIT was able to accomplish from studying mannerisms and memorizing sequences of cards "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elisa | 1/22/2014

    " Gripping and sexy. The true story of a bunch of MIT geniuses who take on Vegas. They are too smart for their own damn good, and it is fun to see them go from dorky kids to ass-kickin' Vegas high rollers. Romance, action, greed...it has got all the fun stuff you are embarrassed to love to read. I dug it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susie McNamara | 1/15/2014

    " Having read Bringing Down the House first, this one was decent, but not nearly as good... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ida | 1/11/2014

    " Certainly this is not a literary masterpiece, but the subject matter is definitely captivating. "Busting Vegas" is an interesting glimpse into how a handful of MIT students managed to beat the casino system and at the same time revealed how corrupt gambling can be. Basically, you are not allowed to win big, no matter where you play. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Abby | 1/7/2014

    " I loved Bringing Down the House, but couldn't even get halfway in this book. It seemed too similar yet I didn't like the characters in this book as much as I did in BDTH. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannonry | 12/30/2013

    " good drama and excitement...thats pretty much the jist of it. good mindless reading--unless you want to learn how to manipulate card techniques, then it takes a different turn altogether. however, not absolutely necessary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 12/29/2013

    " Very similar to Bringing Down the House, but this one has more likable characters, especially the main dude Semyon, a little more action, and just overall a better story. Not to mention the system they use is pretty awesome and ingenious. Anyway, an easy, fun read, especially if you like gambling. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Paolo | 12/26/2013

    " Maybe one star is a bit harsh, but then 2 stars is also a little generous. I can't really think of anything positive to say about this book so I'll leave it at that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mr. Alex Haney | 12/24/2013

    " another book about blackjack by ben mezrich. I enjoyed reading it. Story of an MIT blackjack team that took counting cards to the next level, actually they're not counting cards but using 3 new techniques that earn them millions, but how long will it last? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcy | 12/21/2013

    " REad another book,Bringing Down the HOuse. Liked this one more. An attempt to "Out" Vegas. NOt really interested in going to Vegas EVER, but enjoyed both as quick reads, hard to put down...fun "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karina | 9/18/2013

    " Since Dan worked for semyon, this makes lots of sense!, "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitie | 8/24/2013

    " I really enjoy this book, its interesting and keeps your attention. You don't have to know anything about gambling either! Although...I am like 75% done and there hasn't been ANY sex yet, which is something the book claims in the title! Jeez. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zac | 4/4/2013

    " 3rd book of Mezrich that I have read and it is as good as Bringing Down the House, except it happened to come second and will thus not be considered as good. Fun, cool and exciting story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Hildrum | 12/21/2012

    " Just like Bringing down the House it is a fast easy fun read about beating Vegas. The people in this one utilize a different system than in the other book, but it is very similar. I read the two separated by a few months, so it wasn't so repetitive. But still a very entertaining read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 11/9/2012

    " Interesting book about how to break the Vegas Casinos. Story left a little to be desired, but was an ok read. Little too much violence for my taste and gambling isn't really my thing so I didn't get the whole obsession with constantly betting and winning or loosing big. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 George | 4/12/2012

    " If you are heading to Vegas on a plane, this is a quick and fun read to get you ready. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiffany | 3/20/2012

    " Interesting story very much like Bringing Down the House, but with the students using a different technique than card counting. The writing style kept me engage, but only "just". It is intriguing that this is non-fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cullen | 2/6/2012

    " Great story of the MIT kids that learned how to beat the system. Great for the gambling enthusiast. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven Graham | 12/9/2011

    " Another great book by Mezrich. Different from bringing down the house, but still the same idea. Good read, but after reading BDTH, no other blackjack book will compare. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 10/6/2011

    " What an amazing story...not about card counting as depicted in the movie 21 but of other techniques the elite MIT team used to beat blackjack...its so amazing that this is a true story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bernard Morris | 6/20/2011

    " if you know Ben writing style you can expect a very well crafted story that seems way to wild to be non fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 6/8/2011

    " A great story - interesting and fascinating - a true page turner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 5/31/2011

    " I was surprised at how un-boring this book is...I'm very left-brained and very un-good at numbers, so reading a book that's essentially - well - numbers, was about as uninviting of a prospect as regular Pepsi.

    I liked the story, but hated the movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 3/23/2011

    " Excellent Book! I highly recommend it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mrs. Tolbert | 3/17/2011

    " A fast-paced story about six MIT geniuses who legally beat Vegas's largest casinos out of more than $3 million in less than two years. I am not a big fan of gambling, but I still enjoyed this book. I'd recommend it highly for people who love math! "

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About the Author
Author Ben Mezrich

Ben Mezrich graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. He has published fifteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Accidental Billionaires, which was adapted into the Academy Award–winning film The Social Network, and Bringing Down the House, which was the basis for the hit movie 21, as well as the national bestseller Once Upon a Time in Russia.