Fading Hearts on the River

By the spring of 2014, in his most recent year of playing against the biggest sharks in tournament poker, Isaac Haxton had won four million dollars. Not only that, for eight years running he had won more than a quarter of a million dollars every year. But in 2006 when he told his parents, after three years in computer science at Brown University, that he wanted to play poker full time, the outcome was far from certain.

I was knocked out by the narrative power, the tenderness, and the brilliance—a home run. Unputdownable. A hit.
— Mary Karr
[Brooks Haxton] delivers a thoughtful and gripping memoir of life with his son…his gift for the poetic and lyrical shines.
— Publishers Weekly

Watch a rare early interview with Isaac Haxton.

Out through Counterpoint Press. Fading Hearts on the River is available from IndieBound, Powell's, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Following his son on the plunge into this career, Brooks Haxton, a recreational gambler and longtime poet and teacher, takes readers on a rollicking tour of game theory, financial strategy, and the mysteries of parenthood. Fading Hearts on the River is one family’s story of playing the odds—the odds for a career in poetry or in poker, the odds for the survival of a newborn son in intensive care, the luck of the draw in Texas hold ‘em, and the gamble of placing your heart in the care of another.

Author and son at home in 1989.

Author and son at home in 1989.

While Isaac climbs the ranks of international poker, winning more in one hand than his father has earned from all his books combined, he visits ports of call in the Bahamas, Las Vegas, and Malta. Millions of dollars come and go. Fading Hearts on the River celebrates the staggering luck of a gifted mind at play and the ultimate luck of love.