Anthony Holden

This article is from 2007.

Anthony Holden

Old school poker shark

As a biographer of the Royals, Shakespeare and Tchaikovsky, as well being the classical music critic of the Observer, Anthony Holden has always been a respected writer but it is the less respectable subject of poker that has given him his biggest sales. Long an amateur fan of green baize action, his 1990 book Big Deal followed Holden to Vegas as he tried to survive a year on the pro poker circuit. As vividly written as the maverick characters it described, the book has been in print ever since.

Capitalising on the current internet-fuelled boom in poker, Holden recently returned to the circuit to see what’s changed in the last 17 years. The short answer is ‘everything’ and one which he expounds upon in this year’s follow-up book A Bigger Deal. The old-time rambling gambling legends are a dying breed, pushed off the pot by laptop-toting whizzkids who know to X decimal places the odds of making a flush with two cards to come but whose souls are as colourless as the mineral water they sip. Holden’s poker insights should guarantee a full house. (Jonathan Trew)

Recommended Reading: The Man Who Wrote Mozart chronicles the life of Lorenzo Da Ponte, Amadeus’ librettist.

14 Aug, 1.30pm, £7 (£5).

Anthony Holden

Magnus Linklater chairs this discussion of the growing world of poker.

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