5.0 out of 5 stars: WOW!!! All my life through school, I never read books for subjects or anything like that. Though the past 2 years, I started ready poker books for strategy and other ideas of the game. But then I saw someone say something about a book called Cards and I thought i would buy to see. I wasn’t even sure what is was about. I didn’t even know it was a novel. When I received it, I saw that is was a novel and sat it down for a couple of days. Then one day, I opened it just to see what it was like. Right then, the book took great control of me and I was very very hooked. I was really upset because I was wanting more. It is my #1 book to have ever read. I hope Mr. Maxwell will continue with these books and hopefully a movie will be made! -Jack Bonner

5.0 out of 5 stars: A special poker book.
This is a special poker book. It’s an honest story from a fighting bitter but honest guy. I thought the poker hands got kind of monotonous at times (I think it could have been edited a bit), but it was still a very good and special book. You can tell the author lived the experiences because the details are too exact to the real poker life, but at the same time it doesn’t try to be a good book. It’s true literature. The writer has certain true talent that keeps bleeding through. You don’t want the book to end, and when it does you have the urge to read it again. I play a ton of online poker, and I don’t usually read non-strategy books, but a friend of mine recommended “Cards”, and he was right. This book also makes me want to play more “brick and mortar” poker. -SaltyDog

5.0 out of 5 stars: If you love poker, you’ll love this book!
This book is the “Catcher in the Rye” of poker if you will, with most of the book narrated by the hero, Mike the poker player. It is funny, gritty, and if you’ve played poker seriously, you’ll surely be able to relate to both the fortunes and misfortunes that Mike encounters on the felt. -Walter White

Maxwell can write, and he does successfully take you inside the head of a degenerate poker addict. We’ve all played at the table with this guy, the one making move after move, without any idea what to do with the winnings besides buying into a bigger game. It’s very well done. –Ted_Thompson

CARDS author Maxwell is a damn good writer. -anonymous

5.0 out of 5 stars: In a class by itself, really.
If you’re looking for a safe, politically correct poker novel, stay far away from this, because it’s raw, real, no apologies. It seems the author didn’t try to please his readers, instead, he wrote what he wanted, and out came easily the best poker novel to date, probably ever. Strong and defiant. -Rome

Cards by Jonathan Maxwell is excellent and much underrated. It captures something essential about the primitive gambling of a degenerate poker player. –anonymous

Check out ‘Cards’ by Jonathan Maxwell. -LocusHorde

I loved this book. It’s like the Catcher in the Rye of a poker degen. Here’s a good excerpt from the book near the beginning, “This is 3-6 poker. This is true hell. This is one of the most profound concentrations of stupidity on the globe.” -anonymous

I’m trying to find a book that I bought from a 2+2 advert. I lost my copy and now card find it anywhere amazon etc. I think it may have been self-published. I think that it was just called “Cards” It was a green book with two cards with the corners folded up. Anyone have any idea what I’m talking about? -anonymous

Two books that weren’t mentioned: “Broke” a Poker Novel by Brandon Adams, and “Cards” by Jonathan Maxwell. I liked Cards more. –anonymous

Cards poker book by Jonathan Maxwell

This is a tale not of a champion, but of a burnout on the fringe. Coffee and Advil sustain his ability to see not the other’s cards but their souls. The ride gets wild. If he can hold on, his destiny waits at the final table.

Out from our modern world plagued with facsimile comes an account from the inside, without filters or apologies. We are lucky to have this stubborn young man in our ranks.” -David Stowe

He did it. The definitive poker novel has now been written.-Reid Maclean

CARDS p.86… “Forty-eight minutes later I flop two pair with A-J to win my first pot. As I stack the chips, the drunk blonde who replaced boring guy next to me orders another cocktail. She tells me I have nice skin, and I tell her it’s because I don’t get any sun, and that I never use soap because it strips the body’s necessary layer of oil, and imbalances pH levels. She says she’s an optometrist presently on call. Thirty-nine years old, her cute face is marred with crooked teeth and smeared lipstick. In purple stonewashed jeans squeezes a marginally slim body. I’m finding her more attractive than I should. She’s raising the pots almost every hand, and winning too many of them. I toss my cards and begin thinking seriously if I’m gonna lay this woman. The car ride to her place could get kinky, then we’d have nasty sex. But after I finished I’d look over and feel disgusting, then need to be nice for twenty-five minutes. Later she might try to find me to show her friend. Still, I bet sex with the drunk optometrist would be worth it. She’d really let me have my way with her. I lean back to examine her feet. Well, that’s that.

I enjoy East Coast players more than California players, perhaps because I grew up in New York, but it’s more than that. I don’t know if it’s the harsher weather or the concrete of the many metropolises, but people from here care less about what the hell others think of them. They have more of what I call religion. They brawl with less provocation, listen more to illegal business proposals, complain less when luck pummels them to the ground. Look at this drunk optometrist: she could lose her whole career with her antics. I suppose that’s what was sexy about her. Eastern conference basketball teams are tougher this way as well. They grind with defense and win with 78 points. I think it all goes back to the weather.”


I bought Cards by Jonathan Maxwell at the same time I bought Broke. I really enjoyed both, but Cards much more so. -anonymous

A week ago I ordered three poker books from Amazon. I was really impressed with “Cards” from Jonathan Maxwell. It reminded me of Jesse May’s Shut Up and Deal. Of all the three books, Cards was my favorite. -anonymous

I am currently reading Cards by Jonathan Maxwell. It is good. But it is very depressing. -anonymous

Cards by Jonathan Maxwell were both pretty good as well. -anonymous

5.0 out of 5 stars: The most realistic poker book ever written
This is easily the most unapologetic, entertaining and real poker book of all time. Why you connect so much with this character is because he’s not only telling you what’s going on, but tells you what he’s “thinking” about what’s going on. It creates a personal feel, as if he’s truly letting you into his psyche. This is a book that any poker player is going to love and as far as non poker players, I have no idea what you’re going to think cause I’ve been playing for so long lol. My friend recommended this book to me and all he said is, just read the first page, after doing so I read the entire thing in two days. You’ll love it. -Kinetik

5.0 out of 5 stars: Loved it.
A strongly written very unique book. It’s rare that someone would have both qualities of a professional poker player and a novelist. This is the classic poker novel for sure. Very rugged and intense. I fully recommend it. -txwheels

My all-time favorite poker novel is CARDS by Jonathan Maxwell -BJ03

Jonathan Maxwell’s Cards lacks interesting characters, has no plot outside poker, revels in its own offensiveness, and is riddled with typos. It’s also one of the most engrossing poker novels you’ll read. – Ben Saxton, Card Player Lifestyle

This must surely be one of the best poker novels ever written. It is a candid account of the experiences of a professional poker player. Since poker is central to this player’s existence, no apology is made for describing the actual games in detail. One might think that a card-by-card account of hundreds of Texas Hold’em deals would quickly become tedious to read, but in fact the reverse is the case. The brief interspersed comments give a compelling insight into the player’s mood, his tactics and his feelings about the other players ranging from friendship to dislike and from contempt to respect. I have found that even non-poker players can get something from this book. I would strongly recommend it do anyone who is considering playing poker professionally, or who would like for any reason to understand the mentality of someone who would choose this way of life. -John McLeod

5.0 out of 5 stars: Awesome poker book.
As someone who loves poker and plays for a living – I have found a book written by someone who gets it. Hang onto your seat as you enter the roller coaster ride that is poker. This book is an awesome read that I could not put down. -R. Schrader

5.0 out of 5 stars: This is about a lot more than cards. GREAT read! I entered a world I’d never seen when I opened this book. A trip I’m glad I took. Fun to read. -BookLover

“Cards” by Jonathan Maxwell – Not a well known player, but I think many of us who play for a living can really relate to his story. Even those who don’t play for a living would benefit from getting a deeper understanding of what goes on in a poker player’s mind. A light and quick read too. Check out the reviews. –anonymous

This review is pretty spot on: “If you’re looking for a safe, politically correct poker novel, stay far away from this, because it’s raw, real, no apologies. It seems the author didn’t try to please his readers, instead, he wrote what he wanted, and out came easily the best poker novel to date, probably ever. Strong and defiant.” By the end I was racing to see the end results. I was actually re-reading it last night so i think it has some second time around appeal too. -anonymous

I hated Positively Fifth Street. One worth checking out is “Cards” by Jonathan Maxwell. Good read. -Foal

For fiction, Jonathan Maxwell’s Cards is very good (certainly the pokerest poker book ever written–very hardcore) -anonymous