Anthony Holden is a British journalist. He has worked on a number of biographies of the British Royal family and world-famous artists. In 1990 he decided he wanted to write a book about being a professional poker player. He did, and he did, publishing Big Deal: A Year as a Professional Poker Player in 1992. Fifteen years later, Holden returned to writing about professional poker and has recently published his follow up book: Bigger Deal: A Year Inside the Poker Boom. Holden wanted to write about the changes poker has undergone since the game has become so popular: The Chris Moneymaker Effect.

Whirl reads most of the poker books in our house. And she was the one who learned about this new book and went looking for it. She tore through it in short order and encouraged me to read it as soon as I could. From the Publishers Weekly review:

Long before poker had achieved today’s stratospheric level of popularity, British writer Holden chronicled the challenges and frustrations of a year on the professional poker circuit, in 1990’s Big Deal. In this enjoyable sequel, he revisits the poker world, playing in card rooms and tournaments in Europe and America, in home games in his native London and online during 2005 and 2006. The result is a rich account of how the game and its players have changed over the 17 years since he tried (and failed) to become a professional poker player. He profiles a range of people, from poker’s living legend Doyle Brunson to the new breed of young professionals, schooled on the Internet and ruthlessly aggressive, and explores the reasons for poker’s recent, unprecedented boom. Holden is particularly good in charting the meteoric rise of online poker (and its ambiguous legal status in the United States). He’s also adept at articulating his fascination with the game: “The thrilling sense of triumph when you sense something that turns out to be right; the disproportionate despair when you’re wrong or the poker gods are against you.”