First in Paris, then in Las Vegas, the game of poker binds together a cast of diverse and picturesque characters. From an office on the Champs Elys'es to a street of horsemeat butchers, the quirkiness of poker in Paris is revealed over three decades. As the game develops from draw to Texas Hold 'Em the action shifts from the banks of the Seine to the Mojave Desert, where poker becomes the hoped-for instrument of future wealth to a new breed of aspiring professionals.
In recounting what occurs at Paris poker tables, A Hard Way to Make Easy Money sheds light on the price-fixing and counterfeiting practiced by world-renowned art dealers. Top art nouveau and art deco merchants compete at poker against disillusioned dentists, successful restaurateurs and a handful of semi-professionals. In the more structured games of Las Vegas, recreational players are pitted against retirees, casino habitu's and a steady stream of young people drawn to the game by television and their hopes of becoming the next generation of poker superstars.