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  • 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. His long-awaited sequel, Bigger Deal: A Year on the New Poker Circuit, published in May 2007, also launched this website. In November 2008 he also published a strategy manual, entitled Holden on Hold'em.

    A veteran of the legendary Tuesday Night game, Holden was introduced to poker by his lifelong friend Al Alvarez, whom he first met while a student in 1968. A Vegas regular since the late 1970s, Holden won the first Celebrity Late Night Poker in 2000 – and last year won his WSOP ‘main event’ entry by beating three world champions (Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker) in a London tournament organized by He has since been a PokerStars-sponsored player on the European Poker Tour while writing his next book, Holden on Hold'em, published in November 2008.

    A prolific writer with a wide range of interests and enthusiasms, Holden is also well-known for his biographies of such disparate figures as Shakespeare and Tchaikovsky, Laurence Olivier and the Prince of Wales. He has written a a history of Hollywood’s Oscars, and the true-crime book The Saint Albans Poisoner, filmed as The Young Poisoner's Handbook. His most recent books are biographies of the Romantic poet-critic Leigh Hunt, The Wit in the Dungeon, and Mozart’s librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, The Man Who Wrote Mozart. Holden has also translated operas for English National Opera and Greek pastoral poetry for Penguin Classics.

    Born in Lancashire and educated at Oxford, Holden enjoyed an award-winning career in journalism before becoming a freelance writer and broadcaster after a public row with Rupert Murdoch while assistant editor of The Times in 1982. Columnist of the Year at the Sunday Times, also honoured in the British Press Awards for his reporting from Northern Ireland, Holden has also been US editor of The Observer, based in Washington DC, and was founder-editor of Eddy Shah’s Today newspaper in 1985-6. He is now (in between poker games) classical music critic of The Observer.

    Holden’s three sons – Sam, Joe and Ben – are all classy poker players whom you might well run into in tourneys. Like their father, they are all passionate supporters of Arsenal FC.

    Holden’s poker slogan ? "Always expect the worst…"

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