Last year saw the release of the first poker graphic novel, The Final Nine, by Anish Patel. This entertaining story features 9 people who will shape the world’s most important tournament in Las Vegas.
In this article you will learn more details about the book, our thoughts on it and you can read an interview with its author.
After reading hundreds of strategy books, biographies and poker fiction I got my first I got this comic book, And loved it from start to finish. I think there are many advantages to a digital book, but in this case it’s definitely a paper book because of the variety of colors and the large page sizes.
There are nine protagonists in the story:
- Bob Hootman 🤠: This is his fifth Main Event final table, he went from 70 Started competing in the ages. a legendary person.
- Levi Fallas: Has been a professional since the nineties. Want to win a bracelet like his brother.
- Sasha Marshall: Model and host who wants to be the first champion in history.
- Kien Jao : Professional player who lives and plays in Las Vegas.
- Andy Patchen: Amateur, living a dream with the fewest finalists.
- Morris Bishop: Turned from Wall Street job to New York’s top stacker.
- David Fox 🇨🇦: A Canadian who mainly plays games online and wants to make a leap in life.
- April Wentworth: Was a teacher and played poker for many years.
- Christoph Schulze 🇩🇪: The only European, the defending champion, wants to repeat his performance.
In each chapter we will have more Learn more about each character: how they got into poker, where they are currently, and what it means for them to be at the final table of the Las Vegas Main Event. All the characters are interesting and have something to say. My favorites are Bob Hootman (inspired by Doyle Brunson) and Morris Bishop, who has a complicated relationship with his father.
The action never faltered and the pages flew by for me until the long-awaited final table was set. This book combines two complementary elements: the fiction of the novel and the energy of the comics. I highly recommend reading it, and I think it should be read by anyone looking for good poker entertainment, especially those who like comics and poker.
Tech Sheet 📌
Related For more information on this book, please visit their website.
Interview with the author 👥
PKL: What motivated you to write this book?
Anish: There are many factors behind this book: a love of Las Vegas, comics, and Texas Hold’em. I’ve always loved reading about Las Vegas and all it has to offer: amazing hotels, amazing parties, world-class restaurants and, of course, gambling. It wasn’t until I first went there in 2008 that I realized there was so much more to this city than that. Around the same time I started playing Texas Hold’em with friends in private games and small poker rooms in London ;#917607;I enjoy every moment. During this time, I worked for a television company, hoping to one day get into the film business and possibly produce or direct my own ideas. I decided to start small and do a short film or something, so I wrote down a few ideas, one of which was about some kind of poker game. But I don’t want it to resemble the 1998 movie “The King of Gamblers”. I was watching the WSOP Main Event and its November 9th on TV when I decided to revise this idea.
WSOP programming covers the poker game as well as individual players at the table. At this point, the tournament organizers changed the format. After the final nine players were determined, there was a four-month hiatus, which ended in November and became known as the “November Nine”. It allows players to go home or continue playing poker at other tournaments and venues. This time also gives the players the opportunity to promote themselves (interviews, TV commercials, etc.) so that when they return to the finals, they will have followers and supporters.
The only problem I have is that this is a bigger idea than a short film, the other format I have in mind is a book but I don’t want to make A standard novel, I want to show the reader playing cards and the bright lights of Las Vegas. That’s when I thought, how cool would it be to do it in comic form. I checked online to see if anyone had published a manga like this, but there wasn’t. I was hoping to be the first.
PKL : How did you experience this process? Wouldn’t it be more complicated to have to draw all the edges?
Anish: At the beginning the process was not very clear, I didn’t know where to start I am very new to comics, I read a lot when I was young For comics, the basic genres are superheroes and British comics. So I started from scratch and learned how to make manga.I learned about publishers, literacy agencies, how to create manuscripts, and how to draw comics. By the way, I’m not an artist, but I’ve always been a creative person, so I found a guide to writing manga manuscripts. Once I’ve written the story, I can work with the right artist to create the book.
But it took a long time to get started, especially when it didn’t occur to me that if I pitched this idea to a publisher, they would invest in the production of the book , but I was a nobody and they rejected me. That would slow things down, and then I decided to raise some money and try to make two chapters. I found an artist to help me design the characters for the pages and make the comic pages. This all happened in 2011. When I was done, I got great feedback on these sites and then raised additional funds. I wanted to make more chapters, but unfortunately the artist couldn’t submit and I had to put the project on hold.
It wasn’t until 2017 that I decided to start project kickoff again. At that point I had the funds to do the whole book, but I wanted to make sure I got the right artist to work on the whole project. I found an art team in Brazil to work with. This was the most enjoyable part of the whole project, with most of the manuscript done and the art team sending me sketches, inks and coloring pages in bulk. I have to go through it step by step and update it with the team. We work well together, they see the creativity of the pages I write and enjoy making them. It took them four years to complete this artwork, but it was worth the wait.
We understand, Sasha. This feeling will never be boring! #FinalNine #ComicBook #Poker pic.twitter.com/iY7cj9k85f
– Final 9 Comic (@final9comic) February 14, 2023
PKL: You presented the book at a festival in Malta. What kind of reaction did you get from players?
Anish: Malta was the second poker event where I presented the book, and before that I was at Comic Con in London It is shown above. That gave me the opportunity to give a presentation and how to reach out to people and explain what I’m doing here. At a festival like Malta’s it’s hard to grab players’ attention and explain poker stories in comic book form, but when they flipped through the book, they were blown away by the layout. Then when I mentioned that it took 14 years to make and that it was the first poker comic, they were definitely interested. I thought my target audience was poker players, but all sorts of people love it: dealers, casino managers, and the poker press. Many people supported the idea and bought my autographed book.
PKL: Do you play poker? Do you know Las Vegas? Which tournament do you dream of playing in one day?
Anish: I am a part-time player and I usually play home games or small buy-in tournaments with friends, but I’ve also been in games that have always wanted to play bigger and longer. The dream tournament I’ve always wanted to play in is the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas, which I’ll be playing this July. I hope the fictional story I tell you will come true.
PKL : Some of the characters are based on real players, I saw tributes to Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson, Jack Straus and Amarillo Slim in the stands> Check it out. Are these your favorite players? Which of them do you think deserves their own comic book and their life?
Anish: All of these legends deserve their own comic books because they all started in different poker eras of. While I love the strategy they’re taking at the table, it’s the real-life stories that really get me excited. For example, Amarillo Slim is a professional pool player who sometimes plays with a broom.
Stu Ungar has a bit of a disturbing history, he was addicted to heavy drugs and women and had a nervous breakdown, but eventually he came back and Become the main event champion again. I don’t know much about Jack Strauss‘s personal life, but the story of how he won the 1982 Main Event “A Chip and a Chair” is a great one. He had a chip, and just when he thought he was out, the chip was found. He sat down, started his comeback, and eventually won the match.
And godfather Doyle Brunson personally led from the beginning and stayed strong until his final days. There are many stories to tell about Brunson, from his favorite starting hand 10-2 to his personal life. It’s hard to decide which of these players should have their own book, since they revolutionized the poker industry at some point in their lives.
PKL: Do you want to write something new? A story with the same or new characters?
Anish: I’m not thinking about any more poker comics at this point, but I certainly will if the right story comes out Generate more content. However, I hope comic readers and poker players will be inspired to write their own comic stories. It’s like the first superhero “Superman”: when people saw the idea come to fruition, they started creating their own version of a superhero. Maybe one day there will be a good set of poker and gambling cartoons on the market for everyone to enjoy.
PKL: Tell us why readers should read The Final Nine and put it in your poker library.
Anish: Also, this is the first full poker comic book story, that’s another story. As with many other poker stories, there is always a player at the center, and ultimately that player wins or loses the final hand. In the top nine competition, nine contestants compete with each other, and readers don’t know who will win in the end. It’s like a crime thriller where you don’t know who the killer is until the last few pages, but the story has backstory, twists, and connects the reader to the characters and the plot. Compared to gambling, how much ups and downs are sometimes involved in a hand in poker? That’s what readers get when they read The Final Nine.