The Poker Player – A Novel

By | October 10, 2015

Congratulations to our good friend Andrew Laurie on the publication of his new novel ‘The Poker Player’, now available in paperback. Andrew is himself a keen Omaha 8 enthusiast, so we do hope you show him your support and help make this a poker best seller.  See below for an exclusive extract and here for a special e-book offer for our readers.

The Poker Player

‘I was running up deeper and deeper debts, with most of the money going on gambling, drugs and women. The rest I squandered.’

Meet Tom Dunlop-West: wit, raconteur and wannabe poker champion.

‘A loveable loser takes on Las Vegas. Can he beat the odds?’



Matusow himself had been knocked out unluckily when his quad deuces had run into quad nines. ‘Nines. What the hell was he even doing playing nines? They are the cards of death in Omaha High Low. Can’t make a low, can’t make a high either, except when they make quads.’

Despite his frustration, Matusow spent a further hour with me that evening going through more theory. He saved the most valuable tip of all for the end of the evening. As the waitress served us each a double whisky, he leaned across the table and muttered quietly to me under his breath, ‘Listen to this carefully. People say that Omaha High Low is a game of low cards, and they are right. But if everyone else at the table wants to play the hand, then it means all the low cards are taken up, and the player with the high cards is going to win.’

At the time, this was revolutionary advice—it was one of Matusow’s great insights to the game—and for me, the thing that separated him out as a world-class player, ahead of his time. Unbelievably, on the first hand the following day, I had a chance to put the advice into practice. My hand—an ace, a king, a queen, and a ten, with two diamonds and two hearts—would be a beautiful one in a game played purely for the high cards. In Omaha High Low, after a raise and a re-raise in front of me, it was a standard fold. But I remembered Matusow’s advice, and instead of folding, I capped the betting. The board came out with high cards and I won a huge pot. I was ridiculed for my play at the time—Bluff Magazine referred to me as ‘the lucky little Englander, with more balls than card sense’—but at the break, Matusow congratulated me warmly.

‘Keep it going, kid. I’m looking forward to my 20 per cent.’

To order your copy of The Poker Player for Kindle, please click here (US customers) or here (UK customers).

The paperback version will be available shortly.

For more about Andrew Laurie please click here.

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