Independent Pursuits: Poker
Thursday 08 April 1999
The poker scenes are intercut with the progress of a professional horse- race gambler. Together, they provide a dramatic and illuminating picture of the gambling life. The players all stress the same point: the hard work involved. The horse-race player gets up at 5am every day and works through the racing form, barely stopping his travels and other activities until late at night. The poker players keep at it, by their concentration, physical training and long hours.
True, they have their "freedom" to live as they please. There is no 9- to-5 about their jobs. In fact, it's far harder than that! With no assurance at the end of the day or the end of the month, that they are going to come out ahead. They may make between pounds 100,000 and pounds 300,000 in a good year or they may go broke. The programme, originally shown on Central, will be sreened on Carlton World on digital at 7.30 pm and 10.30 pm on 20 April. Your poker columnist also appears, to provide a running commentary.
The sheer exhilaration of poker, which is what sustains all these players, is well described in the novel Shut up and Deal, now published in a British edition by No Exit Press. This is a feisty, funny, unrelentingly poker- focused confession of a young guy (not a million miles from the author, Jesse May) gambling his head off round the American circuit. Does he win? What kind of question is that, for heaven's sake! The point is he is in action and hangs in there, no matter what.
Anyone who has wondered what the poker life is all about should read this book. It brings the players to life in a series of brilliant set pieces. Whether the author will ever sit down and write a "proper" novel with characters, a plot and a love intererest is another question. The main thing is, at the end of it all, he's still - just, but only just - in the money. "Because that's all that's important. It's the only thing."
`Shut Up and Deal' is available from Gamblers Book Shop, 21 Great Ormond Street, London WC1 3JB at pounds 6.99
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Isis burns thousands of books and rare manuscripts from Mosul's libraries
- 2 Scarlett Johansson new band 'already hit with legal complaint' from another The Singles
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Michael Keaton putting his acceptance speech away was the saddest Oscars 2015 moment
Madonna falls off stage at Brit Awards – then nails her performance
Alien 5: Sigourney Weaver will reprise Ripley role in new movie, says director Neill Blomkamp
Wolf Hall finale, review: Simply brilliant TV
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
Oscars 2015: Birdman beats Boyhood as Eddie Redmayne and Patricia Arquette win big - as it happened
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit