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Big Deal: A Year as a Professional Poker Player
Anthony Holden
Publisher: Viking (1990)
Pages: 306
ISBN: 0-670-82847-5

I had a strong feeling of deja vu several times while reading Holden's Big Deal. The reason is probably because many of the anecdotes in the book have been posted to rec.gambling at one time or another. But there's still tons of good material, as Holden takes you from one year's WSOP to the next, detailing the progress of his bankroll throughout the year. He rubs elbows with many of poker's most prominent players, gathering enough interesting stories to keep the reader engaged. Holden never quite convinces you he knows what he's doing in the world of serious poker, despite the fact that he seems to come out on top of some apparently tough games. And the writing itself is nothing special, surprising given Holden's billing as one of Britain's best biographers. But Holden has great material to work with, and he manages to weave it together into a more or less coherent story. This inside look at the world of serious poker is worth its price. (Note: a second edition of this book has come out.)

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