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 [This] book was relentlessly entertaining. Heart pounding. Sometimes when I didn’t want it to be. Is everybody making money from sports gambling but me? David Bluder knows a lot about sports and gambling but he knows even more about character development. It’s about ice cold international financial crimes but it’s also human people sharing human feelings and it’s so well written you can feel the weather change. The surprises are stellar. You’ll go back and reread a few chapters to see why you didn’t see everything coming. Only thing that was a little unsettling was apparently I have to figure out what all these guys do next. That’s a great book.

Tom Arnold, Actor, Comedian, Television Host.


[This] novel allows us to see where gambling on sports could lead if we allow it to be unregulated. The Great Gamble shows how the game can be destroyed by greed, leaving our children with examples of crime as opposed to appreciation and selflessness.

Senator Bill Bradley, Three time All-American, Princeton University.
1965 Associated Press Player of the Year. Final Four, Princeton. 10
years with New York Knicks. 1970 and 1973 NBA Champions. NBA
Hall of Fame. Olympic Gold Medalist. Rhodes Scholar, Oxford
University. Served in U.S. Senate 1979-1997. Former Presidential
Candidate. Author of seven books.

“Remember this a fictional that I wouldn’t want to be actual reality! With this said it is an entertaining and educational piece that brings notice to further good answers and solutions now and in the future.”

Dan Gable, two-time NCAA national Champion.

Gold Medalist-Olympics, World Championships,

Coached the University of Iowa to 15 NCAA titles. United World Wrestling Hall of Fame Legend. 


[This novel] takes the reader on an exhilarating, violent journey through the underbelly of sports gambling, made all the more frightening by his page-turning storytelling and the fact that his fictional account may not be so far from the truth.

Melissa Isaacson, Award-winning sportswriter, ESPN, Chicago
Tribune and award-winning author of State: A Team, a Triumph, a


The Great Gamble is a book I couldn’t seem to put down. The characters draw you in and the attention to detail makes you feel as through you’re in the story right along with them. With plot twists around every corner, this book gives a close up look of when the high stakes of the sports world clashes with the dangers of gambling, fixing, and drug cartels alike. Overall a fantastic read, and I love the tribute to scenes written about Iowa City. Go Hawks!!

Megan Gustafson, 2019 Naismith Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year,
ESPNW National Player of the Year, First Team All American, Lisa
Leslie Award.


 Bluder lays out the road map for how this could happen anywhere! A riveting work of fiction that should open the eyes of all fans to the traps that student athletes could fall into.

Bobby Hansen, World Champion Chicago Bulls. 9 year NBA career.


Riveting, what a read! You not only are engulfed in the fictional storyline but also start to think that this is reality. Is this happening more than we suspect? Bluder writes so that as a reader, you become part of each page as if you are experiencing being in the character’s life. You can’t help but empathize with that person and his situation. You don’t have to be a sports’ fan to enjoy this book.

 Tim McClelland, Retired as MLB’s second most senior umpire.

Four-time World Series and three-time All-Star game umpire. Plate
umpire during George Brett’s “Pine Tar” game, as well as Sammy
Sosa’s corked bat game. Also, umpired two perfect games.


 The corruption that can accompany sports gambling should have no place in organized sports. In The Great Gamble, David Bluder exposes how devastating and far reaching this attack on the integrity and character of those involved can go. I am hopeful his effort to highlight this dark reality of sports will keep others participating.

Aaron Kampman, former NFL All Pro Green Bay Packers

 A novel that could be reality. The research invested into this work is amazing. Throughout my twenty years of officiating football in the Big XIII and XII, I never experienced nor knew anyone who had dealt with this situation—not that someone would readily discuss. After reading this novel I certainly understand and appreciate how entrapment could occur.

Tom Ahlers, previous chief official of Big Twelve Conference football

David Bluder is a gifted storyteller, and the story he tells in The Great Gamble is at once insightful and thrilling. What he discovers at the intersection of college basketball and criminality will make your head spin. ‘We can’t go under hypnosis anymore?’ an FBI agent asks. They’re afraid we would reveal too many secrets.’ This is precisely what makes The Great Gamble such a satisfying read. Whether he is posting up or shooting from the perimeter, David Bluder never

Christopher Merrill, Director of International Writing ProgramUniversity of Iowa.

Prize winning American Poet, essayist, journalist and translator.

Appointed by President Obama to National Council of Humanities.

Honored knighthood in arts and letters by French government.

 The Great Gamble comes out at a time when the growth of sports betting is about to expand greatly. When placing a bet is as easy as making a phone call (and is also legal), who knows what can happen. An interesting read and a very relevant topic!

Tom Davis, former Head Coach, Boston College, Stanford, Iowa,
Drake. AP Coach of the Year, 1987

An intriguing and fascinating look at today’s big business of sports gambling. Fact or fiction, the lines become blurred in this gripping tale by newcomer David Bluder.

Dave Dierks, Chairman, Herbert Hoover Presidential Foundation

Instantly captivated by the emotions and depth of the characters and how their lives collide in a modern-day twist in the dark, underground of sports. 

Debbie Antonelli, ESPN Analyst


 David Bluder weaves a fascinating web of deception, self-interest and manipulation around college basketball and the recruitment processes that take place. The Great Gamble meticulously follows Jason Carson along a plausible and exciting pathway while exposing the reader to interesting and despicable characters in pursuit of power, influence and money. This book is a genuine page turner. 

Bob Bowlsby, Commissioner of the Big Twelve

 Wow! I was overwhelmed with what appeared to be the blurring of fiction and non-fiction on our current American Culture. News headlines and story lines that appear as if I’m watching Sports Center or reading USA Today. The descriptive nature of David’s writing took me on a journey that stirred up images of Pulp Fiction meets Sicario.
Loved it!

Marv Cook, Consensus All American University of Iowa 1988, 2 Time
All Pro TE ‘91&’92

 If you enjoy an intense thriller, an international footprint, the truth about sports gambling and a fast paced story then The Great Gamble is the perfect book!

Terry Reynolds, President Florida State League, Former Special
Assistant to General Manager for the Cincinnati Reds. Director of
domestic and international scouting for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Minor League Executive of the Year Award winner.

 David Bluder takes readers on a fast-paced journey through a sinister side of the sports world that will leave them questioning the integrity of even the most seemingly wholesome local high school basketball games. A sobering vision of a future in which corrupt forces gain a stranglehold on the sports industry through the gambling portal.

Dan Matheson, Assoc. Professor of Instruction for Sports
Law, College of Law Chair, Presidential Committee on Athletics,
University of Iowa

[This} was hard to put down!!! Absolutely LOVED it! As it resonates so much on what is happening and what is coming!

Ann Meyers-Drysdale, only female to sign a contract with NBA team, USA
Gold Medalist, Basketball Hall of Fame, Current President and GM
of Phoenix Mercury. WNBA analyst

[This] is a must read! Growing up on the east coast and hearing stories about the legendary CCNY point shaving scandal of the 1950s, I have always understood how young men could be easily influenced to do something out of necessity and greed. Bluder’s character development, his unique storytelling ability and understanding of the recruiting game gives him a deft knowledge of today’s athlete. I found it spell binding how he developed a realistic and dynamic adventure into the dark side of sports. I finished this novel in one night, I promise you won’t put it down either!

Anthony DeSanti, Producer: CBS Sports/NBC Sports/ABC Sports/
ESPN. Producer of 2 Olympics for NBC, both receiving Emmys.

“Suspense and intrigue with a twist. The Great Gamble is an adventure through the dark underbelly of sport betting. In the end readers will win.”

 Andrea Wilson, Executive Director of Iowa Writers’ House and author.

“Dave Bluder writes of the dangers and temptations of big time intercollegiate athletics with sympathy and intelligence. With the legalization of sports gambling by many states and the NCAA’s refusal to evolve, its only a matter of time before the cautionary tale of Jason Carr becomes reality.”

Jim McCoy, Director of University of Iowa Press

“As a former University of Iowa athlete, and former professional athlete, I can appreciate how one little decision can open up so many other layers of corruption and life altering moments. Truly an in depth view of how sports have now turned into a largely complex business that everyone wants their hands in.”
Robert J. Gallery, former American football offensive guard who played for

eight seasons in the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Iowa,

and received unanimous All-American recognition

"The tension and temptations were almost palpable...a great job of keeping various series moving. Showed what a slippery slope gambling can be."

Mitchell Burgess, Creator, Exec. Producer, Sopranos, Blue Bloods.

"The Great Gamble, about basketball and more. Goes in surprising directions. It even made me uncomfortable and that is A Compliment."

Bob Ryan, ESPN, Boston Globe.

National Sportswriter of the Year.

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