Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

An Emotional Narrative

Saturday, 3 May 2014

  Earlier this year, I won a prize for “Best Social Media User” at the British Poker Awards, which I was delighted by but didn’t really think was deserved - after all, there are poker players out there who write strategy blogs and upload videos on a committed daily or weekly basis. I don’t even tweet through all the tournaments I play! I never want to do it too much, for fear of boring non-poker followers who have come along to hear about quiz questions or opinions on the week’s news.

  But there was a bit of accidental magic at the San Remo EPT. I hadn’t played poker for a while, so I decided to tweet regularly on day one. Then it became day two… and day three… days four, five and six… and by the end, I discovered that I had accidentally tweeted the entire process of a tournament from the very first hand until the VERY LAST.

  Well, not the entire process. Obviously I can’t tweet every hand, and I don’t usually put the detail about many hands because I don’t want to reveal to opponents any cards that they haven’t seen. But, looking back, I see that it’s a pretty full record of the emotional process. I thought I would put the entire feed up here, in chronological order rather than backwards as it appears on Twitter - as a sort of record for myself, really, to look back on in unluckier times and cheer myself up!

  If you don’t feel like reading an entire six-day Twitter feed, but you would like to see a sweet little 2-minute souvenir video that PokerStars have put up online, then scroll right to the end and you’ll find a link.



Day 1 of EPT San Remo. Haven’t played a poker tournament for a few months, I’m looking forward to it enormously. #Easier ThanQuizQuestions

A horrible deal in San Remo - AK v 66 on a board with AK6 on it - but I played well not to lose all my chips, so not sure how it bodes.

The waiter tells me they have only sandwiches. Three sorts, though! Ham, parma ham or turkey ham. Quite the range! #welcomeJewishplayers

Sorry, forgive me, there is a fourth option. Salami.

I wouldn’t want to be a pig in this town.

Back to starting stack, but moved to a new table - now have Raul Mestre on my left with about 100k. This is sub-optimal.

A bit of form at last! Raise with 22, flop a set, get it all in against a straight draw and it holds! Up to 50k now (average around 35k).

Very good time for a dinner break. New table again, where three players just took it in turns to have a 15 minute think about THE SAME HAND.

I’m going to spend the break looking for a copy of War And Peace, which I can probably finish during the first hand after dinner. #hurryup

Nothing to report from the last 3 hours of this tournament - no cards, no opportunities. Just trying to survive a dry run, really.

End of Day One! After a small spate of end-of-day action, I’m through with 94k (average is 50k). Yay, a good day’s work, I’m very happy.


Looks like about 560 people played #EPTSanRemo and there are 316 left. I have 94k in chips (av. 52k). Fingers crossed for a good Day Two!

Translation for non-spielers: I’m in Italy playing cards, with hundreds of other people, and I’m having a good time so far.

Quirky couple of early levels for me. Lost a big pot with KK, won one with 10-3. Funny game. Av chips now 65k, I’ve got 100k.

[Here there seems to be a tweet missing, which was a moan about going down to 70k or something like that]

Unlucky Kevin McPhee gets it all in with QQ against my AK and I win the flip, back over 100k now. This is a tough table, no easy chips.

180 players left now of the original 556; average chips 90k, I have 130k. But no prize money til 79th, a long way off.

Grr, weird pot with a random third player in it like a loose horse. Put in 25k then had to fold. Then the table broke! I wonder I wonder.

Through to day three!!! 115 of us are still in and coming back tomorrow; average chips about 142k and I have 163k. THAT’LL DO FINE.

Also I haven’t had aces yet in this tournament. Had kings once and lost. No queens. So my gold rush must be coming tomorrow; perfect timing.


Day 3 of EPT San Remo - 115 still in (of 556) and 79 will win money. I have above average chips, and a cheese roll. LET’S HAVE A GOOD DAY!

I’ve never been one of those people who pine to live abroad, but I must say it was a nice walk to work this morning.


Not to be too chirpy - I mean, this is the view I hope to be looking at for the rest of the day:


I watch the waiter come and go with other people’s drinks but he’s forgotten mine three times. It’s only odd because…

...I’m the only woman in the whole tournament and I’m wearing a bright orange dress. I must have one seriously forgettable personality.

Field in double figures now; 99 left (20 off the money). Average chips 168k, I have 190k. No big pots, a series of small ones.

90 left. I’m having my cheese roll. #thingstheydidn’tsayinCasinoRoyale

83 now. I haven’t won a hand for a while. Zzz.

80 now. We are ‘on the bubble’ and ‘hand for hand’ and other things that will no doubt sound slightly filthy to some of you.

Bubble burst! We’re in the money! Yay, €8,434 banked. Now to shoot for a bit more.

Meanwhile not a great couple of levels, have about 120k. But that’s fine, BB 5000.

The poker world’s gone upside down! (64 left):


Won a pot - up to 180k. 57 left.

Oohh.. Won with AQ v KK, an all in pot, up to 350k now. Some form! (average chips is 297k, 56 players left).

I should confess that ‪@munchenhb and I are drinking wine. Nobody else is. So we may have a game disadvantage - but a FUN ADVANTAGE.

49 tables now. Average chips 340k, I have 500k. Our table’s next to break; shame, it’s fun here. Some strong players but likable & chatty.

And yes I have won a few pots and built a good stack here, of course that’s a factor in not wanting to move.

Ach!! New table. Immediately a guy’s all in for 126k with AQ against my AK. Then Q on the flop. A big, nasty loss. I want my old table back.

Won a decent pot off my old friend Raul Mestre to claw back up to 475k. Raul’s not well so I gave him some cold remedy as a consolation.


It’s not. It’s just cold remedy.

Break time now, and then just one more level for tonight….........

Newsflash: I have finally had aces!!!! I raised and won the blinds. Marvellous. 46 left, av. chips 362k, I have 550k.

THROUGH TO DAY FOUR!!!! Just 39 of us left now, of 556; prize money currently at €11,600. Average chips 427k, I have 455k. PLENTY.

Thanks for all the nice supportive tweets, see you tomorrow. Re-start is at midday (11am UK time). I will try my best to be up in time.

DAY FOUR (Good Friday)

RT @RevRichardColes Sorry to those few who clicked on Stations of the Cross and got sent to a porn site. I dont know how that happened. It works fine here.

RT @johnnyduthie My fav photo… this is what tournament poker should be about!:



EPT Day FOUR! 39 of us left in contention for the title. Here’s hoping for a good Friday.

I’m on the TV table today so I can’t tweet unless it’s a break. If you don’t hear from me, it means I’m still in! Think lucky thoughts…

Oh - and I’m sure there’ll be updates on and - see you at the break (and not, I hope, before.)

Break time. We’re down to 27 already! Money is currently around €13,000 I think.

I’ve been in quite a lot of pots - won some, lost some - and have 650k. Average is 625k. All good here.

To be honest, my main worry of the day is whether I look shiny on the internet coverage. #thingsmaleplayersdontthinkabout

Down to 24 now and redrawing for 3 tables only. Prize money at €15,000. Average chips 650k, I have 700k.

23 left. Average chips 725k, I now have A MILLION! Very much enjoying the game.

If you’re watching on, I’m sorry the table’s gone a bit quiet. Raul and I will do our best to liven them up…

20 left now. Average chips 836k, I have 1.2m.

Also I just got a text from @joebeevers saying I should be drinking tea, which some of you will know is a *very lucky text for me to get*.

Veeery slow going here; we’re down to 19 but it took over an hour to lose that player.

Meanwhile I lost a nasty pot, down to 750k again, but that’s fine. Perfectly good stack.

Down to 18. But ugh am stone cold card dead, couldn’t hit a barn door; should probly just fold everything til the temperature changes.

17. One more to go and we’re down to two tables and done for the night. I hope it’s not me.

It wasn’t me. It was the unlucky fellow on my left. So, wheee, through to the last two tables and DAY FIVE!!!!!!!!!!

Prize money currently at €22,575! I wish I had more chips (550k, average 1m) but what the hell, I’ll have fun WINNING THOSE TOMORROW.

Thanks so much for the support today, and sorry not to reply to them all but all lovely and much appreciated. I’m very happy.

Now tucked up eating pasta and watching in-room movies with @realdmitchell - perfect last-2-table prep. Night all and happy Easter.


EPT Day Five, let’s go!

day five

Down to 15. Money up to €25,000.

Couple of sudden exits - down to 13. I’ve won a couple of small pots but need a double up!

Down to 12.

Down to 11. Money up to €34,000. I’m due some luck but meanwhile fighting to stay in it.

I just knocked a player out, so we’re down to 10 and I’m up to 950k in chips (average 1.6m). Eight players will make the final.

Raul Mestre is out. He played a great, exciting game - as he always does- and was very unlucky.

That means we’re down to nine players, prize money up to €42,000 and on the bubble for the FINAL. #thinkluckythoughts

We’re redrawing to play 9-handed on one table, but it’s not the final til there are 8 players - then they’ll (we’ll?) stop for the day.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be the lowest stack of the nine so I’ll be hoping for a bit of form….........

A big pot was lost early, leaving a short stack who shoved my big blind (stop sniggering) which I had to call with any two cards…

...and I won! We’re down to eight and IN THE FINAL!!!!!!!!

Prize money now €53,000. But that’s not the thing. I’m in the final!! Yay!Thanks for lovely tweets, can’t reply to them all but VERY happy.

Final is tomorrow. So, a long finger-tapping day ahead and back at noon (11am UK time.) Good luck UK!! ‪#EPTSanRemo


Starting soon! I can’t tweet til much later of course so I may be quiet for a while, but ..

…from 1pm (midday UK time) it will be broadcast on and there’ll be updates on

You will certainly hear from me at some point later, but meanwhile I’ve made a final, 9th place money is great, I’d love to win but…

Whatever happens, I’m happy! #EPTSanRemo

We’re down to seven! Money up to €75,000!!! (Am assuming those watching on already know this and it’s not a spoiler).

Down to six! And money in six figures to match: €102,700!!!

Down to FIVE!! Money €130,750. Still can’t get a big stack but doing my best and trying to pace it right. In last five!!!

Apparently the live stream at is ahead of me so I can tell you we’re FOUR HANDED now, money a crazy €166,000.

I also hear that lots of poker newcomers are tweeting #EPTlive to ask questions and I LOVE that, I love you all, it makes me very happy.

I’m very much the short stack and it will be tough for me to go further than this, but thanks so so much for all the support.

RT @Matt_Tonge27 This is what happens when you watch #EPTSanRemo while chopping carrots for Sunday lunch:



Down to three!!! 556 players down to 3. Prize money over €200,000 now. And I’m still here.

Heads up!! I knocked out lovely Jordan Westmorland, now it’s just me and Giacomo Fundaro for the title HOW IS THIS HAPPENING??

I WON! I bloody WON!!!!!!

Sorry for that language on Easter Sunday. But I WON!!!!!! That is at least partly thanks to the amazing support, God bless everyone xxxxxxx

Okay, I’m going to try and go to sleep. (No idea how.) I can’t thank you enough for such kindness and support. Happy Easter to all xxx

For 2-minute souvenir video, click here.




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Pedro S Marques at 9:41 pm on May 4th, 2014

Love to read this. I saw your victory through #EPTLive TV and followed your tweets. And was an amazing thing what you did. Being the shortest stack in the final table and simply playing hands with an incredible inteligence winning on the right spot was awesome. I am an amateur player on PokerStars but never won a great tournament online. But hope one day to have success online and also on live tournaments. I would love to play on live EPT tournaments one day. But just to finish want to tell you that you are an amazing person. I’m Pedro Marques from Lisbon, Portugal.

The Tim at 9:51 pm on May 4th, 2014

Love the way you cradled the trophy.

Jan at 1:17 pm on May 6th, 2014

Thanks for posting this.  It’s good to see again the mounting excitement we shared as the possibility of you winning became greater, especially watching the live stream alongside the tweets.  Laptop in the kitchen and whole family got hooked.  We all understand much more about poker now – even the grandchildren!  Great video – all the emotion of the win then your heartfelt appreciation of your husband’s support - your face lights up when talking about him. 

Charlie Brown at 4:22 pm on May 16th, 2014

I needed to come back to this blog post to rezap my energy and relive the joy again as I thought I might lose the will to live - death by choking on chips?! - after reading some of the comments about an article over at asking how to get more women into poker.

It’s a great article but as some of the comments show, we still have a long way to go before everyone can share the joy. Or 21st century values for that matter….

I just hope that any women who want to get into the game will look to VCM for their inspiration and not be put off by the more neanderthal element amongst the poker community…

Sarah Edgerton at 11:19 am on May 19th, 2014

Wondering what to call our calves we decided on names connected with poker (been playing since father taught us using our pocket money). Victoria Coren is a beautiful three year old Blonde d’Aquitaine who had her first calf this morning, he’s to be called The Magician. Thought you ought to know! By the way they live on our little farm in the French Pyrenees.
All the best, Sarah

jim car at 10:52 am on May 22nd, 2014

Victoria, i do hope that the lady in France is not suggesting that you are a cow?

Rob Forth at 6:44 am on May 24th, 2014

Bit late to the party, many congratulations on the win. Watching the linked video I didn’t get why your opponent wasn’t gutted to have been sucked out on, then I found a longer one and realised the money only went in on the flop. You held your nerve brilliantly, I’d have been so unhappy with that turn card.

I used to see you skipping to your table at the Vic in the early 90s as I sat with Pedro and the small stakes folk wondering what I had to do to get up there. Still not made it, but at least I saw a fledgling champion. Very well done again, as was said in the longer video I found; you’re a great ambassador for the game.

Jods at 9:33 pm on May 24th, 2014

Buddy can you spare a Euro?

The Tim at 5:19 pm on May 26th, 2014

Completely off topic but has anyone noticed that the two latest game walls on the Only Connect website are both the same.

The Tim at 1:09 pm on May 29th, 2014

Great - someone noticed - they’ve now got both walls from the show.

Anna James at 9:15 pm on May 29th, 2014

Just catching up with your columns and my fiancé Simon Numphud knows your in-laws really well as they were his lecturers at Oxford Poly, and also used to dine regularly at the restaurant he managed “The Marsh Goose”. I was reading David’s book which had Kathy and Ian’s picture and Simon was suprised to discover they were the famous David Mitchell’s parents. Anyway, Simon is now the Head of the AA inspection service, and only has the nicest things to say about them, so if you could pass on his regards he would be delighted. I think their family attitude and warmth towards their students has really stayed with him. Many thanks. Anna

Victoria Coren M at 8:41 am on May 30th, 2014

Hi Anna, what a nice message, thank you - I have passed it on. My in-laws say that Simon is a great restaurateur! We had a lovely lunch a couple of Christmases ago at the Beetle & Wedge which I think was one of his. Best wishes, VCM

Brian Cairns at 3:32 pm on June 7th, 2014

Just found out about your EPT win, thoroughly delighted for you well done and well deserved. you’ve made my day

Victoria Coren

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