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In 1988, best-selling biographer Anthony Holden spent one year living the life of a professional poker player. His mesmerizing account of that year went on to become a classic of the genre, an inspiration to innumerable poker players and poker memoirists who followed. Big Deal is his story of days and nights in Las Vegas, Malta, and Morocco, mingling with the greats, sharpening his game, perfecting his repartee, and learning a great deal about himself in the process. Poker, Holden would insist, is a paradigm of life at its most intense, a gladiatorial contest that brings out the best as well as the worst in people. The heroes and eccentrics of the poker world stalk the pages of this remarkable book, along with all the hairraising, nail-biting excitement of the game itself.
In the years since Anthony Holden wrote his classic memoir Big Deal, the poker world has changed beyond recognition. When Holden played in the 1988 World Series of Poker there were 167 starters competing for a prize of $270,000. Since then, poker has become the world's largest single-competitor sport -- at the 2006 World Series there were almost 9,000 players and a first prize of $12 million, the richest in any sport. What happened in the years between Big Deal and Bigger Deal could never have been predicted: the Internet and television sparked a worldwide explosion in the popularity of poker, one that shows no sign of abating. Poker even has a respectable image these days, much to the disgust of die-hard players. Gone are the seedy rooms of the Horseshoe -- you can't even smoke at the table! -- and you're more likely to find yourself head to head with a film star than an ex-con in Las Vegas. With the future of online poker now legally endangered in the United States, Holden's vision of the poker boom comes at a critical moment in the game's history. In Bigger Deal, Holden is your guide to the world of the "new" poker -- to the players who dominate the modern game and the personalities behind the multibillion-dollar business it has become -- as he tries once again to win the world title. After all, as Telly Savalas once reminded Holden, a million dollars is never irrelevant. Not to mention twelve. . .
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