Currently between gaming ventures, entrepreneur Tom Breitling, with the help of journalist Cal Fussman, delivers the inside story of what it's like to run a casino when one is young and living the Vegas life.
In less than a decade, friends Tom Breitling (the conservative one) and Tim Poster (the risk taker) founded a successful Internet travel business and sold it for millions. Then in 2003, the pair bought the legendary and past-its-prime Golden Nugget casino for $215 million. "Las Vegas has always been a magnet for anyone who wanted to take his life to a new place," Breitling explains. "It embraced anyone who wanted to take a risk and wanted to make it better." His account of those heady, hardworking times features a doomed reality show; an arrogant, very lucky gambler dubbed Mr. Royalty; and appearances by the likes of Steve Wynn and Andre Agassi. It's astounding, with such volatile circumstances and a Vegas backdrop, that Breitling's book is so bland. His average-guy approach loses its flavor quickly as his narrative trades insight for clunky, oft-repeated metaphors in which the author compares himself to a point guard in basketball. What should be a story of two young guys trying to steer a risky business in America's playground reads too often like a business seminar transcript with hint of a scandal. (Mar.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information