Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People: The Memoirs of the Greatest Gambler Who Ever Lived(HarperCollins, May 2003), includes tales of Slim’s life as a pool hustler, cardsharp, and proposition bettor mixed in with age-old wisdom and poker secrets. Slim describes some of his greatest gambling exploits–from winning the World Series of Poker in 1972 to creating proposition bets that rivaled the great Titanic Thompson’s to running the biggest black market in Europe during the war while giving pool exhibitions (read: hustling) on military bases for Uncle Sam.
Among his most famous bets, Slim beat Minnesota Fats playing pool with a broom and Evel Knievel in golf with a carpenter’s hammer. He took Willie Nelson for $300,000 playing dominoes; Bobby Riggs for $100,000 playing Ping-Pong (with a skillet!); and Bob Stupak pitching coins for $65,000. He’s won bets for rafting down the “River of No Return,” riding a camel through the fanciest casino in Marrakesh, and driving a golf ball more than a mile.
A few of his poker adversaries over the years have included presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. His gambling adventures includes stories about drug lords Pablo Escobar and Jimmy Chagra, Las Vegas pioneers Benny Binion and Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder, as well as poker luminaries Doyle Brunson and Johnny Moss. Slim has appeared on The Tonight Showeleven times and will be making a national television tour to promote the book.
Amarillo Slim Preston is a lanky 6′ 4″ Texan who is rarely seen without his snakeskin-wrapped Stetson and custom-designed cowboy boots. The term “living legend” gets tossed around a lot, but consider that Slim played himself in Robert Altman’s California Split, and country singer John Lutz Ritter wrote a song about him–”Do You Dare Make a Bet with Amarillo Slim?” After winning the World Series of Poker in 1972, Slim authored Play Poker to Win. He is married and has three children and seven grandbabies. Amarillo, Texas, of course, is the only place he calls home.
Greg Dinkin is the author of three books and the cofounder of Venture Literary, a literary management company that helps writers find publishers for their books and studios for their screenplays. His book The Poker MBA: Winning In Business No Matter What Cards You’re Dealt (Random House/Crown) capitalizes on the skills he learned as a professional poker player to show readers how to profit in business. He is also a featured columnist for Card Playermagazine and splits time between Southern California and Las Vegas. He can be reached for speaking engagements and seminars via e-mail