Poker News

Author of Big Deal A Year as a Professional Poker Player passes away

Anthony Holden had been a part of the poker ecosystem for decades

One of the poker world’s most renowned authors was lost on October 7, as British journalist Anthony Holden passed away at age 76. The author and part-time poker player covered many topics during his career, including operas, royal family biographies, Tchaikovsky, Shakespeare and Sir Lawrence Olivier.

Holden spent time as a columnist, reporter and editor for many British newspapers, including Today, The Times and The Observer. He was also a regular at the poker tables and is most famous for his 1990 book Big Deal A Year as a Professional Poker Player.

“Sad day in the poker world, especially for folks who appreciate great poker journalism,” said Positively Fifth Street author James McManus on Twitter.

When he wasn’t writing, Holden was probably most comfortable playing poker. The author spent a lot of time at the tables, and Big Deal follows his quest to become a professional poker while playing in World Series of Poker events in 1988-89.

Holden was also part of television’s first attempts at broadcasting poker events where the player’s hole cards were visible. He played in a celebrity episode of the UK’s Late Night Poker in 2000, winning the event against fellow poker author Al Alvarez, novelist Martin Amis, poker pro Victoria Coren and comedian Ricky Gervais.

Other works by Holden were inspired by his first poker book’s popularity and the early 2000s poker boom, including his 2007 book, Bigger Deal: A Year Inside The Poker Boom, where he again attempted life as a professional grinder.

After years of other forms of gambling, Holden left years of playing other gambling games behind since discovering poker, which had a significant impact on his life when he began covering and playing at the WSOP in the 1970s and ’80s.

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