Wednesday, October 29, 2008
THE HAND YOU'RE DEALT by Paul Volponi
With the recent popularity of poker, especially Texas hold'em, Paul Volponi's new book is sure to be a success. Usually Volponi focuses on sports, but his switch to poker as a theme in THE HAND YOU'RE DEALT will still satisfy his fans and most likely earn him some new ones.
Huck Porter has grown up surrounded by poker. His father was a local poker champion and taught Huck everything about the game. As he sat by his father's deathbed at least he was comforted by the fact that the man proudly wore the treasured watch every tournament winner got to wear for a year until a new winner was crowned. But that comfort suddenly disappeared when the watch was stolen by Mr. Abbott, Huck's high school math teacher, who insisted his poker skills had won him the right to wear it.
From the moment of his father's death, Huck swears to seek revenge. His every waking thought is focused on how and when he will beat Abbott and wear the watch that had made his father so proud. Unfortunately, many things stand in his way. His mother doesn't approve of the poker tradition set by her late husband, his best friend thinks it's time to let the whole thing go, and the girl of his dreams doesn't view their relationship to be as serious as Huck would like. Even getting in the famed local poker tournament is proving to be a bit of a challenge.
Volponi uses family loyalty, colorful characters, and card shark action to draw readers into the story of Huck's attempt to regain what rightfully belongs to his family. Understanding the finer points of poker is not a necessary requirement. Readers just need the ability to follow some fast-paced action and cheer on the good guys.