Positively Fifth Street

Subtitle: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker

Based on The Cover

James McManus was sent to Las Vegas by Harper’s Magazine in the spring of 2000 to cover the World Series of Poker, focusing on two main stories: the progress of women in the $23 million event and the murder of the tournament’s prodigal host, Ted Binion, allegedly committed by a stripper and her boyfriend. Upon arriving, McManus finds himself drawn to the tables, compelled to risk his entire Harper’s advance in a long-shot attempt to participate in the tournament himself. In Positively Fifth Street, he provides a deliciously suspenseful account of the tournament, detailing the players, the intense hand-to-hand combat, and his own unlikely progress. McManus also captures the delightfully seedy carnival atmosphere that surrounds the event.