Book Review: Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich
Though the book is classified as non-fiction, the Boston Globe alleges that the book contains significant fictional elements, that many of the key events propelling the drama did not occur in real life, and that others were exaggerated greatly. Lewis was recruited by two of the team's top players, Jason Fisher and Andre Martinez.
The team was financed by a colorful character named Micky Rosa, who had organized at least one other team to play the Vegas strip. This new team was the most profitable yet. Personality conflicts and card counting deterrent efforts at the casinos eventually ended this incarnation of the MIT Blackjack Team.
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Ma has since gone on to found a fantasy sports company called Citizen Sports a stock market simulation game. Mezrich acknowledges that Lewis is the sole major character based on a single, real-life individual; other characters are composites. Nonetheless, Lewis does things in the book that Ma himself says did not occur.
One of the leaders of the team, Jason Fisher, is modeled in part after Mike Aponte. After his professional card counting career, Aponte went on to win the World Series of Blackjack , and started a company called the Blackjack Institute.
Mike also has his own blog. An article in The Tech, January 16, , suggests that Roger Demaree and JP Massar were already running the team and teaching a hundred MIT students to play blackjack by the third week of the s, implying that the team had been founded in the late s, before Kaplan joined, although Demaree and Massar have mostly avoided publicity.
In its March edition, Boston magazine ran an article investigating long-lingering claims that the book was substantially fictional. Though published as a factual account and originally categorized under "Current Events" in the hardcover Free Press edition, Bringing Down the House "is not a work of 'nonfiction' in any meaningful sense of the word," according to Globe reporter Drake Bennett.
Mezrich not only exaggerated freely, according to sources for both articles, but invented whole parts of the story, including some pivotal events in the book that never happened to anyone.
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The names of many of the characters and locations in this book have been changed, as have certain physical characteristics and other descriptive details. Some of the events and characters are also composites of several individual events or persons. This disclaimer allows broad leeway to take real events and real people and alter them in any way the author sees fit. But Mezrich went further, both articles say.
Despite again being listed as non-fiction Busting Vegas showed similar inaccuracies in recounting the facts with the main character Semyon Dukach contesting several of the events depicted in the book. A film adaptation of the book, titled 21 so as not to cause confusion with the unrelated Queen Latifah vehicle Bringing Down the House , was released in theaters on March 28, Kevin Spacey produced the film, and also portrays the character of Micky Rosa.
Says Mezrich, " Kevin Spacey came to me about making a movie. He read the Wired adaptation  of the book and became interested The funny thing is filming may take place in casinos such as The Mirage and Caesar's Palace, where the real thing happened.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: 21 film. Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved Citizen Sports Network.
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Archived from the original on CS1 maint: archived copy as title link MickeyRosa. Boston magazine. Metrocorp, Inc.
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