Small Banner EnAnyone in doubt that poker can be fun without money need only have glanced through the polished windows of The Club at the Ivy in London’s West End last Friday night, where press and members of the poker community joined the top brass of IFP to celebrate the launch of The Rules of Poker, the first publication from IFP Books.

Occasionally those in the poker press relish the opportunity to take on a pro at the poker table. It usually ends with a decision to stick to the day job. But throw in a cocktail or three, plus some canapés, and everyone leaves happy, even after falling short of a first prize in the stylish shape of a wristwatch provided by the IFP’s Official Sponsor, Perrelet Watches.

The Perrelet Turbine Poker timepiece, which retails at a cool £4,500, was eventually won by 33-year-old London accountant Patrick Binding, best friend since childhood of Bobby Nayyar, publisher of Limehouse Books, who have collaborated with IFP on the launch of IFP Books.

Binding and his heads-up opponent Jon Young, editor of WPT Poker magazine, had bested a field of 50 including such top pros as John Duthie, Neil Channing and Team UK captain Barny Boatman. Third place went to the party’s organiser, UKPF board member Natalie Galustian, proprietress of a rare books shop in nearby Cecil Court, and editor-in-chief of IFP Books.

The real business of the night was of course the launch of The Rules of Poker.

It’s difficult to imagine why something of its kind has not been written before, but no definitive guide to the game exists. Until now that is.

Produced in hardback and with a sleek cover designed by Katrina Clark, The Rules of Poker, edited by novelist and poker player David Flusfeder, and with a forward by IFP President Anthony Holden, will complement the bookshelf of any home game player or card room manager.

In it is covered the type of eventualities you may never even have anticipated, with answers to complications never before imagined.

The book also features the definitive guide to Match Poker (formerly “Duplicate Poker”), first used in competition during the Nations Cup last November. You’ll also find a selection of conundrums from “You Are the Tournament Director”, supplied by the good people at The Hendon Mob.

It is the first publication of what is hoped will be many from IFP Books, and well worth the cover price. Alas, it may not tell you how to beat the pros but it will tell you how not to flop too soon or foul the deck.