All In

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All In

From Refugee Camp to Poker Champ

All In provides a poignant, sad, and interesting insight into Mr. Yang's life as well as into a little bit of the Hmong culture.

There are too many moments that speak of heartbreak but there are also moments of humor and happiness.

Mr. Yang's, and his family's, journey shows exactly what can be done when a person puts his (or her, as the case may be) mind to doing something.

One thing that some readers may have an issue with is how the book (or at least the advanced copy I read - I do not know if this changes between the review copy and the finalized copy) is set up in that it goes back and forth between the author's childhood years and the lead-up to the 2007 World Series of Poker. While I usually do like to read this type of genre in a linear fashion, rather than going back and forth, All In is, for me, better for this kind of set up.

Book Blurb for All In

In this intimate profile of an unlikely poker champion, the life story of Jerry Yang is laid out—from his difficult Hmong childhood to his success as a professional poker player. Born in the mountains of northern Laos, Jerry spent four and a half years in a Thai refugee camp after his family escaped the Communist forces. He endured horrific living conditions there and watched his family members die at gunpoint, but miraculously escaped and immigrated to the United States. From his first chance encounter with poker to winning the 2007 World Series of Poker, his struggles and achievements are chronicled here. It details Jerry's domination in the sport and how he uses his winnings to give back to the organizations that fed and clothed him during his childhood at the refugee camp. This autobiography is truly inspirational and is a reminder that the American dream is attainable for those with the courage and tenacity to pursue it.

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2011 5.00