Fifteen years on from Anthony Holden's undisputed classic BIG DEAL, the poker world has changed beyond recognition. When Holden played in the 1988 World Series of Poker there were 167 entrants competing for a prize of $270,000. At the 2006 WSOP, where this book climaxes, there were 8773 players and a first prize of some $12 million - the richest in any sport. What happened in the years between BIG DEAL and BIGGER DEAL is simple: thanks to the Internet and television there has been a worldwide explosion in the popularity of poker. The game even has a new respectable image, much to the disgust of die-hard players. Gone are the seedy, smoky rooms of the Horseshoe, and celebrities now crowd the tables at huge Las Vegas tournaments: Martin Sheen, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are all dedicated players. In the UK, LATE NIGHT POKER draws some 2 million viewers (Holden was banned from the last series for doing too well). In BIGGER DEAL, Holden is your guide - and the only guide you'll need - to the world of new poker as he prepares to enter the WSOP once again. Will he win the title? Place your bets ...
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(240mm x 163mm x 32mm)
Little, Brown & Company
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
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US Kirkus Review »
Wandering writer and poker aficionado Holden (William Shakespeare, 2000, etc.) tries to revisit the scene of earlier glories.Big Deal, his 1990 account of life on the pro poker circuit, is considered by authorities as varied as Salman Rushdie and the New York Times to be one of the great books on the game. So Holden spied in the recent explosion (and subsequent semi-implosion) of poker-mania an opportunity to go back and see how things had changed, if at all. He sets up his story as a ramshackle sort of gambling odyssey: barnstorming from Vegas to London to Monte Carlo and back again, playing cards and bumping into old buddies, trading war stories of life as an itinerant journalist. (Besides writing about gambling for various publications, he's also a classical-music critic.) The whole journey turns on his desire to win - or at least not embarrass himself in - the World Series of Poker. Apart from its exceedingly detailed accounts of Holden's various matches, the narrative bends to accommodate any of the author's passing interests. It's difficult to begrudge Holden the chance to make his hobby into a working holiday, and he certainly does have an interesting passel of friends, ranging from seasoned old card sharps to political gadfly Christopher Hitchens. But this book is ultimately only for those interested in pages of entries like the following: "1:10p.m.: Up to $3750. Thanks to 8-8 on my big blind (now $200), with a flop of 7-8-9, including two hearts."Tiresome. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Anthony Holden
Biographer Anthony Holden was an award-winning newspaper columnist and editor before becoming a full-time writer and broadcaster. He is also an admired translator of works from the classics to opera for Jonathan Miller at the English National Opera.