A Winning Hand
Over twenty years ago, I started a regular weekly poker game with a group of friends who had all recently gravitated to London. We had been inspired to do this by Anthony Holden’s beguiling description of the ‘Tuesday Night Game’ in his excellent book Big Deal. Holden – then probably better known for his biographies of Laurence Olivier, the Prince of Wales and the Queen Mother – describes the year he spent trying to make his way as an amateur in the world of professional poker, taking in a range of exotic locations from Morocco to Las Vegas and culminating in a creditable but ultimately failed attempt at the 1988 World Series of Poker. To men in their early twenties, with the responsibilities of family and the joys of a mortgage still ahead of them, it appeared an impossibly romantic lifestyle, and in our small way we were determined to capture some of it.