As is, it is a well written, frank, and engaging biography of one of poker's legends. This reader, at least, was left with the impression that Ungar was a heinous rat bastard that one wouldn't want to know.
It's not the drugs. Everyone has their weaknesses. It's the way he doesn't seem to ever take responsibility for anything.
To be sure, he didn't have the greatest upringing. His father was a bookie but the book mentions how proud Ungar's father was that he could provide for a family. The younger Ungar seems not to have learned that lesson. Ungar's father died when Ungar was still young, and his mother seemed incapable of coping and quickly fell into a drug addled stupor that lasted for years.
By the time Ungar's mother had to be put in a nursing home, however, Ungar was old enough to take a little responsibility. The book stells a story of how he was notified that he had ot have his mother's apartment cleared out or the landlord was going to sell the contents at auction to pay for back rent. Ungar spent the night playing cards and all of the furniture, rugs, pictures, and family heirlooms were carted off and either sold or destroyed.
There's another story about a time when Ungar felt the need to lay some blackjack at some second rate casino. He got comped a room for himself and his girlfriend and was down in the pit gambling more on one hand than the entire rest of the casino. After two days he told the manager to comp him another room that wasn't near the first and there he went to bang away at some hookers while his girlfriend slept.
They estimate that Ungar won about thirty million dollars in hist lifetime but they had to pass a hat to pay for his funeral.
He was a degenerate gambler in the worst possible sense of the word. That makes for a really bad man, but a fascinating read.