Titanic Thompson

Titanic Thompson

Kevin Cook's take on "the man who bet on everything."

One of the most famous gamblers of the 20th century, Alvin Thomas was best known as "Titanic Thompson," because he could sink just about all his opponents.

Now former Sports Illustrated Editor Kevin Cook has written a biography about the man who bet and won on everything from poker to golf, billiards and target shooting.

This portrait of Thompson (1892-1974) who Cook describes as a "rogue wind that lifted girls' skirts and turned gamblers' pockets inside out," includes a collection of some of the best stories about the famous hustler.

These include his legendary encounters with other famous personalities from his time, which reportedly included magician Harry Houdini, gangster Al Capone and of course his competitions against some of the best pro golfers of the day including Ben Hogan and Sam Snead.

In one of the stories about Capone, Cook tells of how Capone managed to scam the gangster out of $500 on a bet over whether he could throw a lemon on top of a building across the street.

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