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British Poker Author Al Alvarez Passes Away At 90

Author Of "The Biggest Game In Town" Died Of Viral Pneumonia


British poet and author Al Alvarez passed away Monday in his London home. Alvarez, 90, died of viral pneumonia.

Alvarez penned one of the most influential poker books ever written. “The Biggest Game In Town” was published in 1983 and documented the behind-the-scenes activity of the 1981 World Series of Poker. It was originally an article in The New Yorker before it was expanded into a book.

“I felt like I had walked into a Sam Peckinpah movie,” Alvarez said in his 1999 memoir about his first experience with professional poker players. “Cowboys in alligator boots, wildcatters wearing Stetsons and Dior ties, gnarled good old boys with eyes like ferrets who farmed in West Texas.”

It was one of the first books that introduced the general public into the world of professional poker and some have referred to it as the best book ever written on the subject.

Alvarez wrote a couple of dozen books in his career, but only wrote one other book on poker. In 2001, Alvarez published “Poker: Bets, Bluffs, and Bad Beats”. His other books were centered around his other passions in life, such as his love of rock climbing.

Many of poker’s prominent figures took to Twitter to express their grief of Alvarez’s passing.

According to his obituary in The Guardian, Alvarez was an avid poker player himself, having played the game for about 50 years. He is survived by his wife Anne Adams, as well as his children Luke and Kate.