Poker is a game that is all seriousness. There is an air of tension that hangs over the game that, more often than not, is something you can nearly cut in the air. Many times there is a huge stack of chips on the table, representing a sizeable portion of money to each player. If you were in a game with the Tiltboys, however, and folded out of the action, they would have one response: P***Y!
One of the most important things about the game of poker is that it is a social occasion. With the advent of online poker, it seems that many have forgotten about the fun and frivolity that can occur when people gather together around the felt. One group that has never forgotten this point, or lost out on a moment to have some fun, is the notorious group known as the Tiltboys.
The Tiltboys, for those whose poker knowledge is recent, are a group that includes Phil Gordon, Rafe Furst and Perry Friedman, among many others (even including a female Tiltboy!). They started out as a group of friends that came together for a weekly poker game in 1987 and, as they progressed from young adulthood to later life and with an interchangeable cast, the various things that started there that have carried into their adult lives.
The new book, "Tales From The Tiltboys" by the gentlemen themselves and edited by the female Tiltboy, Kim Scheinberg, is a rollicking ride that chronicles their trip through young adulthood and life (although "adulthood" with the Tiltboys might be questioned!) and the world of fun, with a little poker thrown in on the side and normally fueled by sleep deprivation and alcohol. The book has an air of uncertainty when it comes to what the gang will do next, but you can usually assume it will be funny as hell and will, at the minimum, be done to bust down at least one of the Tiltboys in one way or another.
It seems that the Tiltboys have made it their goal to remind us all that poker is a fun game, after everything is said and done. Several years ago, when told that they could not participate in a women's only tournament, the Tiltboys went about entering the tournament in drag (and if you can imagine the sight of some of them in women's clothing, that should bring a laugh to your system right there!). The entire trip report from that momentous occasion is just one of the exploits that are revealed here.
Along with that, there are excellent features on each of the Tiltboys. You can learn about the men who have made it the goal of their lives to live each moment to the best they can. You'll also learn who is the easiest to put on tilt (which is like money to the Tiltboys. Hint: he's the tallest member of the group), what effects the antics have on a social life and a married one, and to what extent these guys will go in the name of excitement and fun. Another excellent piece of advise is to NEVER Roshambo with these guys!
While everyone is looking for the next great strategy book, it also needs to be said to remind poker players to have fun with their lives. "Tales From The Tiltboys" delivers that "fun" side that is needed to balance out everything that a poker player faces in their games and their lives. There were several moments in my reading of the book that, in all seriousness, I had to stop reading and just laugh uproariously as the Tiltboys demonstrated this pursuit of fun and happiness.
The book is out now and can be easily found. For $19.95, check around your local bookstore or you can go to the actual source of the frivolity, tiltboys.com. It is also available from the publisher of the book, Sports Publishing LLC, at sportspublishingllc.com. You won't be let down, although your sides may be sore after getting the book and reading the adventures.
"Tales From The Tiltboys" is something that we all need in life; a momentary lapse of reason and civility, just to have fun with everything that goes on in our interactions with our friends. It would be a great sidelight for every poker player if they had friends like this that would be that "release" that everyone needs. To top the antics of the Tiltboys, however, may be impossible!
Ed Note: WPT host Mike Sexton proudly endorses Party Poker ...Can the Ambassador of Poker be wrong?