Issue 77
February 26 - March 4, 2002
Volume 2
page 3
 

NCAA Record Book; Two Problem Gambling Books
By Howard Schwartz

There isn't a pointspread to be found, nor the mention of a spread on any page, but the Official 2002 NCAA Men's Final Four Tournament Records book (225 pages, paperbound, $15.95) is a wonderful package of facts, stats and trivia for those who revel in nostalgia, old photos and memorable box scores of the past.

This resource, along with a rediscovery of Gary Ross' Stung (301 pages, paperbound, $10) and When Luck Runs Out (Help for Compulsive Gamblers and Their Families) by the late Dr. Robert Custer and Harry Milt (239 pages, hardbound, $29.95) are three new shelf additions to Gambler's Book Club this week.

The NCAA tournament records book, for example, will tell you who scored the most points in a game; who the greatest free-throw shooters were; what team scored the most points in a game; the longest overtime games; how often a No. 15 seed was won a tournament game; how rare it is for a team with 13 losses to advance to the Final Four; all-time coaching records; photos of winning teams from the 1939 tournament on; plus many a potential bar bet or argument-settling fact.

This book may not make you any extra units as a sports bettor, but you'll sound like an expert when March Madness comes around.

*********

Brian Molony, a Canadian banker, lost $10 million gambling in a lifetime, but still didn't believe he had a gambling problem. Even after losing more than $1 in a single night, he thought it was merely a "financial problem."

This is the story of a man who lost control of his passion for gambling, of a banking system that allowed him to slip through, embezzling at will, and of a casino which acted oh-so-innocent after finding out the million dollar loser did it all with someone else's money. How the case was handled criminally; how Molony saw himself, and how others saw him, and how money talks (stolen or not) is what Stung is about.

*********

Dr. Robert Custer, one of the pioneer names in the area of treatment of problem gambling, has passed on. But his book, titled When Luck Runs Out, remains a must-read classic for those who have a problem and the families of those individuals seeking help.

Custer's work, published in 1985, has been out of print until Gambler's Book Club located a supply recently. In my position as a reviewer, I have to say that
it is to find a book that covers the subject of problem gambling with such clarity and directness. Sadly, too often those who are trained to help folks in need fail to communicate in their writing by being overly technical. The tend to be experts writing for other experts-to impress them with their own studies perhaps, and are not effective in helping those who need help the most.

But Custer knew the subject and the desperate people whose backs were up against the wall, and the anguish of their families and friends seeking to help. It's with this knowledge and compassion that he covers the roots of compulsive gambling; phases in the gambler's life; the impact on family; the female problem gambler; recognizing and diagnosing the compulsive gambler and the treatment.

This is truly a book that should be in the library of any clinical psychologist, help-giver or family member searching for alternatives.

Books mentioned here may be ordered from Gambler's Book Shop, 630 South 11th St., Las Vegas NV 89101. Order by phone at 1-800-522-1777 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday or by the store's web site at www.gamblersbook.com. Use MasterCard, VISA or Discover (no American Express). Or send a check or money order for the book(s), adding $6.50 for one book, $1 for any additional books. The store has a free 80-page catalog. It is online at the store's web site or ask for a hard copy by phone, by mail or by fax (1-702-382-7555). The catalog includes 1,000 books in 30 areas of gambling plus computer software and videos.


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