Breaking Vegas (History Channel) (DVD) ~ The History Channel (Pr... Cover Art

Breaking Vegas (History Channel) (DVD)

Joseph Phong Dao, Bud Watson, Joe Boyd (III), Gary Lucy (II), Catherine Kresge

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Creating a foolproof plan to beat Las Vegas has been a goal for gamblers and grifters since the city was established, but only one group has come closest to making such a system pay off--a collection of math whizzes from M.I.T. The unique rise and fall of their blackjack team is the focus of this intriguing 2004 History Channel documentary. For two years in the early '90s, the team reaped millions from casinos around the world with their scheme, until conflict within the group and a diligent security company brought the group's winnings to a crashing halt. Interviews with team members and author Ben Mezrich, whose 2003 book Bringing Down the House focuses on a later M.I.T. team, provide the most interesting moments; however, the pulpy narration, hyperactive direction, and awkward dramatic re-creations cheapen the doc's efforts to effectively relay this engaging story. More straightforward and successful attempts to address the world of gambling are featured in the DVD's supplemental features, which offer two additional History Channel documentaries, High Rollers: A History of Gambling and "How To Win in Las Vegas," an episode from their Conquest series. --Paul Gaita

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