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In 1919 Nick Dandolos arrived in Chicago from Greece, pursuing the American dream. Instead, tempted into a high-stakes game of cards, he is driven to humiliation and defeat. From these depths he begins his painstaking mastery of the skills of gambling under the tutelage of the crafty old gambler, Nestor, who says, "If God wished to learn to gamble, he would come to me."Wreaking vengeance on the powerful gangsters who had beaten him, Nick begins a meteoric ascent that carries him through no-limit games with kings and tycoons, and, finally, gains for himself legendary status as "Nick the Greek.