Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player


Saturday, 27 March 2010

I made the final of the London GUKPT!

2010 is going well so far - played seven live poker tournaments (PCA main event, PCA heads up, EPT Deauville, EPT Berlin, UKIPT Manchester, GUKPT £300 side event and GUKPT London main event), cashed in three and made one final. Not a bad GUKPT record either - as far as I remember, I’ve played five of them since it started (Cardiff, Brighton, two in London and I think I once played one in Manchester or Newcastle - I may be wrong - jeez how it all rolls into one long night at the table) - I came 11th in Cardiff, and it’ll be at least 10th in London. Oh yes, poker players love their stats…

  Update: I finished 9th for £9,100. Not as good as winning it, of course - always depressing in the moment you get knocked out, so close - but I’m pretty happy with the result. The way the cards fell, I was never ‘destined’ to win it, and I’m really pleased to make the final and have a nice cash. Or I will be tomorrow ;-)

  Meanwhile, in the day job I’ve been rambling about Nicolas Sarkozy’s randy father.

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Roger at 11:33 am on March 28th, 2010

Good Luck…... oh, and good post this morning on THM forum.

KlooRhee at 5:18 pm on March 28th, 2010

Hope you’re not too disappointed. 4/1 is (kind of) not lucky…probability is not to be trusted :)

The column, while not your best, has some great stuff in it. The virginity stuff, of course. Reminded me of Mr. Hrabals I Served the King of England a touch. Nice contrasting view of the…ehm…issue (being fantasies you grow to believe in because you love them vs. preferred reality one would want to be true). The Pet Sematary cat is an entirely different thing. People love their pets more than other people.

But don’t take me seriously. I’m a virgin.

Phil at 1:02 am on March 29th, 2010

To be fair to Sarkozy Snr, I think all men have a proclivity to overstate their prowess…and have yet to meet a woman who is impressed by such claims.
Your ideas regarding the relationship between class and sexuality reminded me of Orwell’s 1984, and I’m not entirely sure why.

Congratulations on the tournament finish.

Perry at 1:31 am on March 29th, 2010

Jolley is worrying. Everybody knows who he is, it’s been proved he does it, and yet continues to lie. Can a person actually convince himself that what he is doing is logical? Surely he must be on the verge of insanity if that is to be true.

As for ‘Shagging’ Sarkozy Sr, the man/boy fooling around with the nanny is second in creepiness only to having your nanny reading you “Hermpty Dermpty” at age 11.

A “back in the day” story I wish he’d kept back there.

P.S. Congratulations on the consistent cashing in some pretty tough fields.

Francis Chu at 8:11 am on March 29th, 2010

Well done on your GUKPT performance.
You’re having a great year on the felt!

Kevin at 11:41 am on March 29th, 2010

Nah, Perry, nah, cannot agree. What Terence Jolley does is not worrying. Distasteful, perhaps, but not worrying. A freeloader, for sure. Somewhat portly, yes, but not worrying.

The Jolley Gang’s activities are only mildly covert and, I would imagine, the funeral service of a well known individual is rarely a private affair these days. Ultimately, what harm is done? It’s not the end of the world fare, is it.

A few drinks, a bite to eat, is about the strength of it. I expect the unknown stranger aspect is what some find a little disconcerting and unpleasant.

Rob King at 11:56 am on March 29th, 2010

Congratulations on the GUKPT finish.
I just need to get my Bankroll up there, and I hope to be taking your chips next year… :oP

Victoria Coren at 1:05 pm on March 29th, 2010

Kevin - I’m not sure if you meant “world fare” (in which case no, even Terence Jolley couldn’t eat every last scrap of food in the world) but these activities aren’t “mildly covert”. He and/or his cohorts are prepared to write to grieving families, pretending to know the person who died - inventing stories of where and how they knew them. I don’t know if the lies continue face to face at the service (I had no acceptable way of testing that) but I assume they would have to, if called upon. At a time when grieving people are thirsty for anecdotes about their lost loved one, comforted only by shared memories from friends and colleagues, this is an absolutely inexcusable thing to lie about. It’s messing with someone’s head in a cruel and dangerous way. Widows and bereaved families are soft targets because they aren’t imagining that anyone would lie to them; that gentle faith deserves respect, not to be exploited.
  It’s tacky and unforgivable enough when undiscovered - but if the family of a dead person should start to suspect that they have been infiltrated by liars, and start questioning whether ANY of the stories they’re hearing about their loved one are true, then I absolutely disagree with you that no harm is done. Something very precious is ruined.

Nigella at 2:45 pm on March 29th, 2010

Jolley’s latest hobby is getting young male boxers he contacts on facebook to post pictures of themselves making cakes while wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and boxing gloves. He gives them precise instructions of the best cake mix to use.


RomanticRecluse at 8:19 pm on March 29th, 2010

Vicky, I take your points but I think Kevin and I are trying to offer perspective.

The Jolley Gang are not war criminals, terrorists, murderers, child abusers, rapists, torturers, arsonists, thugs, robbers, burglars, vandals or pickpockets.  I’ve met some from that list (including some from the first half) and lived with one (from the first half) and they left me with more than questions about the truth of stories I’ve heard.  I’ve come face to face with people who were far more cruel and dangerous than Terence Jolley, they didn’t just mess with someone’s head and I was younger than you were when you first played poker.

The Jolley Gang should respect grieving families but in some families people who are lost were not loved and the memories of them aren’t comforting or for sharing.

Victoria Coren at 9:42 pm on March 29th, 2010

Does it really feel like I’m equating them with war criminals and child abusers? I said I’d considered inviting them to a fake memorial service and lacing the sandwiches with laxatives. But then I couldn’t be bothered so I just wrote a slightly silly article about them, saying it was a curious Christmas tale.
  I promise you, that isn’t the approach I’d take with Hitler or Fred West. It really isn’t.

Bill Green at 9:51 pm on March 29th, 2010

UKIP are now running poker tournaments? What a novel way to fund a political party.

Perry at 10:46 pm on March 29th, 2010

I heard if you win you get a seat at the European Parliament.

RomanticRecluse at 1:40 am on March 30th, 2010

Vicky, I didn’t say it felt like you were equating the Jolley Gang with war criminals and child abusers.  I was saying that no-one should because they aren’t.  They are gatecrashers: elaborate and insensitive but also clumsy because you were warned about them, you could have thwarted them or taken painful revenge on them and you have written funny articles about them (although Terence may quite like the attention).

There are far worse people than the Jolley Gang and their victims sometimes don’t have the chance to avoid them because they find themselves in or are trapped in the same area, school or home as their attackers.  If the Jolley Gang are unforgivable and deserve public shaming and laxative-based punishment you could be a very popular Home Secretary or Prime Minister.

H at 11:59 am on March 30th, 2010

ObsessiveRecluse:  Give it a rest. OK, we get it, you don’t think Jolley is a paedophile war criminal, good for you. Now stop banging on about it. The article was written nearly two weeks ago yet still you moan.

Philip at 1:05 pm on March 30th, 2010

In defence of Terence Jolley, I think it’s ok, if a little unusual, to use the word ‘infers’ in that context. Although he clearly is a pillock.

Kevin at 2:16 pm on March 30th, 2010

I would imagine that the fact that it was known by the family that opportunist outsiders were present, at Victoria’s father’s memorial service while the service was taking place, that caused the most unnecessary distress to Victoria’s family.

Under these circumstances, I fully accept what VC says in respect of Terence Jolley’s activities, and in this respect, I was wrong and Victoria is right.
Of course, such ’ undesirables ’ should not intrude on her or any other families’ grief.

My original post was leaning more towards a scenario involving a wine tasting event, or a nation’s national day, and where a family was unaware of such an intrusion, whereby they would not cast a shadow over the proceedings.

Phil at 3:16 pm on March 30th, 2010

What a surreal topic this is turning into. Feels like Jolley himself is crashing the thread

RomanticRecluse at 5:55 pm on March 30th, 2010

H, it’s about perspective, being thankful for what you’ve got and looking around and realising that some people may not have what you have.  Some people may not have a loving father who is sadly missed when they die but leaves with happy memories.  Some people may not get to go through a grieving process.  Some people may not have something precious that may be ruined.

Parents are like hole cards in Texas Hold ‘Em.  You don’t get to choose them.  They are given to you before you get the chance to act.

shaw taylow at 7:37 pm on March 30th, 2010

RomanticRecluse you are Terence Jolley and I claim my £5.

RomanticRecluse at 10:44 pm on March 30th, 2010

Shaw, I’m not Terence Jolley but if I had £5000 or £5000000 you could have it.  I haven’t spent 30 of my 38 years having nightmares or flashbacks about money.  I’ve spent them having nightmares or flashbacks about my father.

Kevin at 11:25 pm on March 30th, 2010

Well, in an odd sort of way I concur with both Victoria & RomanticRecluse, in respect of their somewhat differing takes on the activities of the Jolley Gang. I did provide an explanation, in an earlier post this evening, which was ruled out by 2 characters on the character limit. I’m not writing all that out again. However, think ’ could’ve been better, could’ve been worse ‘

Nigella? is that really you?

Boxers & Cake, with boxing gloves on?
As if boxing is not in a real bad way already.
Scheduled to sink further, at the London Olympics, in 2012.

Shaw Taylor? Shaw Taylor of 1970’s ’ Police 5 ’ TV show fame? Has someone called in a favour?

Victoria Coren at 12:23 am on March 31st, 2010

Okay, this thread has gone a bit too strange and dark. No more!

colin mctaggart at 9:11 pm on March 31st, 2010

wp vicky nice result, no need to thank me for gifting you those chips, does J2 off ring any bells, lol

ul for the win anyhow, it was a pleasure playing with you.

RomanticRecluse at 12:10 pm on April 1st, 2010

The point I’ve been searching for through the fug of nervous exhaustion is that you can take two people from similar backgrounds, the same family or a particular situation and find that they have very different personalities or take two people with similar personalities and find that they come from very different backgrounds, families or situations.  How you turn out is a product of the chances you get (some of which are determined before you are born) and the choices you make.  There is no single thing called human nature.

What would games like poker be like if every player had the same style and every play was automatic?

Victoria Coren

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