Big Deal: A Year as a Professional Poker Player

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 15, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 384 pages
4 Reviews
In 1988, best-selling biographer Anthony Holden spent one year living the life of a professional poker player. His mesmerizing account of that year went on to become a classic of the genre, an inspiration to innumerable poker players and poker memoirists who followed. Big Deal is his story of days and nights in Las Vegas, Malta, and Morocco, mingling with the greats, sharpening his game, perfecting his repartee, and learning a great deal about himself in the process. Poker, Holden would insist, is a paradigm of life at its most intense, a gladiatorial contest that brings out the best as well as the worst in people. The heroes and eccentrics of the poker world stalk the pages of this remarkable book, along with all the hairraising, nail-biting excitement of the game itself.

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It might be impossible to enjoy poker writing as much as poker playing. This guy is sort of an egomaniac


Living Right
The Big One
Shut Up and Deal
Read Em and Weep
On Tilt
The Hall of Fame
Enter the Shrink
Amarillo Slims Super Bowl
An Ear Full of Cider
Run Out of Town
Cruising for a Bruising
The End of the Road
The Ranking of Hands
Glossary of Poker Terms

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Page viii - I am only sorry that I am not able to bank-roll you to a very large start, but not having any potatoes to give you, I am now going to stake you to some very valuable advice, which I personally collect in my years of experience around and about, and I hope and trust you will always bear this advice in mind. Son...
Page viii - The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown' (1946): 'Son, no matter how far you travel, or how smart you get, always remember this: Some day, somewhere, a guy is going to come to you and show you a nice brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is never broken, and this guy is going to offer to bet you that the jack of spades will jump out of this deck and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not bet him, for as sure as you do you are going to get an ear full of cider.

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About the author (2010)

Anthony Holden is an award-winning journalist who has published more than thirty books, including He Played For His Wife…And Other Stories and biographies of Laurence Olivier, Tchaikovsky, and Shakespeare. He has published translations of opera, ancient Greek plays, and poetry. He was director of European Film and Television at Exclusive Media, where he helped relaunch Britain’s most famous film production label, Hammer. Anthony Holden lives in London.

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