The Story of Poker.
By James McManus.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 516 pp. $30
Not long after graduating from college, I, like millions of other enthusiasts infected by the millennial poker craze, developed a slightly unhealthy interest in no-limit Texas hold ’em. Nearly every Friday night, I bellied up to a basement card table or, if a home game couldn’t be found, ventured out to an East Tennessee bar called Mayo’s, where tournaments of dubious legality and $50 buy-ins started every half-hour. Sometimes I won. More often I watched my weekend pocket money go out...