Friday, August 24, 2007

Anthony Holden

Anthony Holden’s book Big Deal: One Year as a Professional Poker Player has become a cult classic, enjoying no fewer than six editions since its first publication in 1990, with worldwide sales now well into six figures.

Holden recently published Big Deal's long-awaited sequel, Bigger Deal: A Year on the New Poker Circuit.

Stephen Bartley interviewed Holden about the new book for Gutshot.

Part of the interview:

Stephen Bartley: The first book Big Deal seemed so much fun, is that what prompted the second?

Anthony Holden: The first book was terrific fun; I look back on it probably as the happiest year of my life 15 years ago.

SB: It reads like that.

TH: Well that’s nice that you say, I think the fun I had living it comes across in the writing of it. There were big difficulties with the structure as a writer. One was to keep the reader on your side, because a lot of people to this day say to me, ‘you bastard, you’ve done what I always wanted to do - give up everything and go play poker for a year. I was really jealous and I wanted you to fail! But, by the time I’d finished it I was rooting for you’. Which I tried to pull off, and which was quite difficult with this famously self-deprecating humour. But it’s not difficult if you’re as bad a poker player as I am!

The other thing of course, and it’s the same problem with Bigger Deal, is making it work for people who know poker inside out, and at the same time making it work for people who haven’t got a clue. The nicest compliment I got after Big Deal, and this was 15 years ago when very few people played poker, was a lot of wives bought it for their poker playing husbands for Christmas and then after Christmas their husbands tossed it to their wives and said ‘you might enjoy this’. That’s what I’ve got to try for. But Bigger Deal will be more interest to poker players than non-poker players.
Read the entire interview.

Check out some of Holden's favorite poker books.

The Page 99 Test: Bigger Deal.

--Marshal Zeringue