How to Become the Best Poker Player: Big Deal (1990)

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Whereas poker books have changed, with some overtaken by the modern game, Big Deal remains a vital piece of poker’s literature. Without doubt there must be something inspiring about this book. The book, published in 1990 and written by Royal biographer Anthony Holden has remained influential for anyone dreaming of ‘making it’ by playing the game of poker.

Holden indulged his love of poker with the critical question of whether he could transform his life from treating poker as a casual distraction from his literary pursuits.

The novel is infinitely more personal. Holden is attempting to convince his publishers that rather than studying a new biographical subject, he is a worthy topic. In his efforts to do so, he comes across with an earnest charm and winning conviction in the possibility of poker success.

Holden’s travels around the vagaries of life and variances of tournament poker are chaotic and thrilling in equal measure, but with time, his confidence peaks. Holden gets around, dashing from Morocco to Louisiana, running from his weekly Tuesday night game in London to Las Vegas, and his game has no limit.

Holden’s book sets out to captivate you with the quest of the game that he embarks upon, and, much like Around the World in 80 Days, it’s not so much about the destination as the journey. Holden deals with each situation gently and persuasively, and this is a technique that every poker player should grab.


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