Make a million from Online Poker
Nigel Goldman

Make a million from online poker? Not with the help of this one you won't. My eldest daughter gave me this as a birthday prezzie back in 2009, when I first started to dabble with playing poker online. At the time I thought she was taking the piss (probably was). I recently found it amongst the grot during a clear out, and thought I'd give it a second outing whilst away on hols and throw a few words together for posterity within the book review section of the site. To be frank it's just as lightweight now as it was when I first read it. The author's opening intro sets the alarm bells ringing:

"I have peaked with 14 million pounds in my bank and have turned over in excess of 1,000 million pounds playing cards. With such vast experience I know I can help you make a million from online poker."

Hmmm . . . as Robert Duvall said in True Grit, " . . . mighty bold words (for a one-eyed fat man) . . .". He fails to mention that the majority of his £14m didn't come from playing poker (more on that later) and the second statement is pure bullshit me thinks. Think about it and do the sums; to turnover a billion you'd need to be pushing over two million across the felt every month without a break for forty years?

"Some of the secrets revealed in this book have been published for the first time. Many of the world's leading players have attempted to stop publication of them . . ."  Yeah, right, . . . you get the picture.

Basically you can split the book's 161 pages into two distinct parts; the useful stuff and the irrelevent wordage that offers little apart from to pad out the covers. The useful stuff consists of an examination of the value of opening hole cards, lots of pages of numbers around drawing odds/probabilities, advice around playing, or not playing, hands in certain circumstances and Mr G's top 15 online poker tips - most of which I suspect would be common sense to even the most inexperienced of players. Not so sure about number one though; "Only risk ten per cent of your bankroll in any one game". Anyone who's capitalised to only ten buy-ins is odds-on to tap out at some stage - just ask the variance fairy.

The irrelevent material consists of the profile of three online poker players, who all live in the same region of Spain where Mr G was based when he wrote this book. No coincidence there I suspect and I've no doubt he's personally acquainted with all three - possibly from having a common interest in standing in the queue on the Costa awaiting his turn to fleece wealthy visitors to the area who fancied their chances in a game. The rest includes taking advantage of signup bonuses, legal matters (and discusses the flotation of an online poker operation on the London stock exchange - who cares?), tells in live poker (the relevence is?) and a glossary of poker terms that runs to almost 30 pages of the 161 total.

Overall, the useful stuff between the covers of this book keeps it just out of the "dismal" category. It might satisfy a new player as a first stage read on the subject of playing the game (ignoring the bullshit of course), but after that it isn't going to add much to anyone's knowledge. I'm sure everything offered here was already available free of charge online back in 2006 when it was published, so as to the value-for-money aspect even then it's questionable whether it was worth the £7.99 cover price. If anything it's really more of an exercise in turning a tree or two into some royalties for the author, as opposed to being a serious attempt to write something solid that'll stand the test of time. By the time you read this, my copy will have found it's way to one of the local charity shops.

Nigel Goldman is a colourful character with a checkered past. A quick consult with Mr Google paints a picture of more than the odd instance of people being left out of pocket as a result of doing business with him, and a big question mark over his personal integrity. He's also the author of Great Gambling Scams (2007) and High Stakes: How I Blew £14 Million (2004), where he writes about how he made a habit of committing fraud on a staggering scale and served two gaol terms for related offences in the UK in the eighties.

Up until fairly recently he lived in Spain, where he was a face amongst the Marbella gliterati, although he left suddenly and returned to the UK (November 2013) just as the Spanish police were starting an investigation into his business affairs, his (unregulated) Tangiers based investment company and the small matter of €650K of his former clients' money that had disappeared into the ether and remains unaccounted for. A Spanish lawyer representing a group of his former investors estimates the total missing money to be in excess of €2.5m, and has been pushing for the investigation to be made a criminal one so that an arrest warrant can be issued and Mr G's extradition applied for. Alas, after two years it's looking less and less likely to happen.

At last sighting Mr G was living in Berkshire, under a new name, and was trading in high value coins, medals and ingots etc via Ebay. Since being outted by the Olive Press, an ex-pat newspaper published in Spain, his Ebay shop has ceased trading.

September 2015.

Here's some follow up since I wrote the review above. Looks like he now has plenty of time on his hands to write some more books?

Convicted Nigel Goldman is finished and will never commit another fraud

Arrest warrant issued for Costa-del-Sol conman Nigel Goldman by Fuengirola judge