|October 17, 2002
For more information:
Frank R. Scatoni
"No Kill Date"
Venture Literary Sells Legendary Gambler Stuey Ungars Bio to Atria Books/Simon & Schuster
On October 17, 2002, Greg Dinkin of Venture Literary sold World rights to The Man Behind the Shades: The Life and Times of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, the Worlds Greatest Gambler by Nolan Dalla to George Lucas at Atria Books, a division of Simon and Schuster.
Steve Fishman, in a 1999 profile for New York magazine, called Stuey "the Mozart of the card table." World Series of Poker champion Amarillo Slim said that Stuey had "the best mind for cards Ive ever seen in my life." And Poker Nation author Andy Bellin said that "Stuey was a little bit of a gangster, genius, madman, tragic hero, and cardsharp."
By the time he was seventeen, Stuey established himself as the greatest gin player in New York, winning hundreds of thousands of dollars for his financial backer, the Genovese crime family. When no one would play him in gin anymore, he moved to Las Vegas with the help of the Mob and established himself as the best poker player in the world. The first time he entered the World Series of Poker in 1980, he won. In 1981, he stunned the poker world by winning it again. Nicknamed "The Kid," Stuey was 5'5", never weighed more than 120 pounds, always wore dark sunglasses, and looked like a teenager even when he was in his thirties. But there was nothing childlike about his savant-like ability; The Kid broke a lot of hard men with the simple turn of a card.
From 1992 to 1996, Stuey didnt win any poker tournaments and was homeless and destitute. In 1997, however, Stuey stayed clean long enough to treat the poker world to the greatest comeback of all time, winning the World Series of Poker (and the million-dollar prize) in one of the most skillful and dramatic performances ever seen. But the poker comeback didnt lead to a life comeback: A little more than a year later, at the age of forty-five, Stuey died a mysterious death in a seedy Las Vegas motel room with $800 and countless debts to his name. In May 2001, Stuey was posthumously inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame at Binions Horseshoe in Las Vegas, as his once estranged daughter, Stephanie, proudly accepted the award.
Nolan Dalla was commissioned by Stuey in 1998 to write his autobiography and has the storyincluding hundreds of hours of taped conversations with Stuey, his family, Mob figures, and other gamblers. Dalla is the lead sports handicapper for Casino Player, Western Player, and www.madjacksports.com, and has written for Gambling Times, Card Player, Poker Digest, Poker Pages, and The Intelligent Gambler. The book will be published in Spring 2004 to coincide with the World Series of Poker.
To learn more about Venture Literary, visit www.ventureliterary.com
To learn more about Atria Books, visit www.simonsays.com
To see a photo and learn more about Stuey, visit: http://www.lvlife.com/may2002/feature3.html