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Amidst mining camps, cow towns, desolate landscapes and filthy boomtowns were a succession of women who survived dangerous gambling games against ruthless rowdy men whose pride was staked on always having the upper hand. In the first book of its kind, author Chris Enss presents an action-filled true portrait of fifteen notorious women gamblers from the Old West. Among those profiled are: “Poker” Alice Ivers, the finest player bar none from Deadwood to Tombstone; Eleanora Dumont, the West’s hottest twenty-one dealer; and Lottie Deno, the beautiful faro dealer who gambled all the way from Texas to Alaska. Enss describes the settings, and the stakes, with vintage photographs, as well as the popular games of the times: Poker, Faro, Dice, Monte, Craps, Chuck-A-Luck, and Fan Tan, among them. Their legacy had almost disappeared, but the recent surge in poker players coast to coast and the growth of gambling demanded that these real women, at long last, be remembered for the true adventurers, and winners, they made of themselves.

Chris Enss is an award-winning screenwriter and author whose books include Buffalo Gals and How the West Was Worn. She lives in Grass Valley, California.

True Stories of Notorious Women of the Old West

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