Breitling’s account is one in which he describes himself as the conservative one in his friendship and business partnership with Tim Poster, an old school friend of his who carried an image as an extreme risk taker even in high school. Ever the gambler, it was Poster who invited Breitling to join him in the fledgling travel business that ultimately financed the pair’s entry into the
Breitling tells his story in a conversational style that makes for easy reading but he focuses so much on his relationship with Tim Poster, and how much they have meant to each other over the years, that the more interesting aspects of the story are disregarded. Readers expecting to find behind-the-scenes details on the operations of a major
One of the book’s most interesting characters is the unnamed “Mr. Royalty,” a big time gambler who went on a roll lasting almost a year and who caused Breitling and Poser great anxiety as they watched him take their new casino for some $8 million, finally forcing them to lower their betting limits in self-protection. Readers like me who realize that the gambling industry is based on one gigantic scam perpetrated on a gullible public will likely find themselves rooting for Mr. Royalty in what becomes his very personal competition with the Golden Nugget owners. The book begins and ends with a description of that epic battle.
Double or Nothing is an interesting book, especially if read as a business book, but the story is not as impressive as I imagined it would be. Breitling and Poser are brash risk takers but the book exposes enough of their childishness to leave the impression that they are also two of the luckiest businessmen on the planet.
Rated at: 2.5