Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

The Holidays Are Never Long Enough

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year dawns - that’s the end of lazing around eating mince pies in front of Bond films. Dammit. That time from December 24th to January 1st is my favourite period of the year, when doing nothing is absolutely guilt-free. I’m a bit of a workaholic, but my general obsessive-compulsiveness is trumped by my crazed love of Christmas, which is why there are nine days every year when I can just snooze and watch TV and bake cakes without feeling jumpy and restless.

  I admit, my January isn’t as terrible as usual, since I’m going to play the PCA in the Bahamas and the EPT in Deauville. But now it won’t be guilt-free, because I’ll be worrying about my book deadline. And anyway, I’m on Team PokerStars, which means I’ll probably have to have some pictures taken or do some commentary or something. EXHAUSTING.

It’s true, I probably won’t be feeling the real grimness of the festive period being over until February. But I know exactly what it’s like, so my heart goes out to anyone who is supposed to be going back to an office tomorrow

. And I was amused to see the New Year starting with the revelation that 15,000 teachers call in sick every day, resulting in 3,000,000 working days being lost in 2008.

  I bet I’m not the only one who was reminded of the old joke,

JAMIE: “Dad, I don’t wanna go to school and I’ve got three reasons! First cos it’s so hard, second cos all the kids tease me, and third cos I’m scared.”

DAD: “Well you’re going anyway, and I’ll give you three reasons. First because it’s your duty, second because you’re 45 years old, and third because you’re the headmaster.”


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Andrew at 12:04 am on January 2nd, 2009

I prefer to enjoy Xmas before it arrives (a bit of the ‘it is better to travel than arrive’ mentality) so I finished for Xmas on 19th Dec.  Historically I always got fed up with finishing on Christmas Eve and then Xmas Day was almost already upon you. The flipside for me is that once Xmas arrives it is over and so I was back at work on 29th Dec

I did wonder whether you managed to finish your book; excuses to your publisher are?

David Bodycombe at 10:44 am on January 2nd, 2009

Hmm, but isn’t that statistic a classic case of number deception? 15,000 teachers off sick is about half a teacher per school per day, and although 3 million school days are lost, hundreds of millions go ahead OK.

sam at 12:03 pm on January 5th, 2009

I always find it irksome that the press takes it upon itself to try and make everyone feel guilty about how many precious working days are lost to the ether because of illness, a condition which unfortunately effects living beings.  I often wonder how the government intends to implement it’s various policies to cut the number of sick days taken, and if they actually have any idea of how many would be normal in a working year.

That said I’m someone who abuses sick days quite relentlessly, so I’m hardly one to talk.

AndytheDealer at 2:03 pm on January 5th, 2009

In a concerted effort to make you feel very uncomfortable Vicky, what’s the latest deadline for your book?

When will it be published and how much will it cost?

To ease your pain a little, I promise to buy a copy however long it takes you to finish it!

John at 9:15 pm on January 5th, 2009

‘My dog’s got no nose… how does it smell… terrible!’  That’s always a favourite joke of mine.  Another good one:  why is Brian Sewell allowed on television?  I can’t find the punch-line to that one.  Perhaps it’s lost in the mists of time.

shoveallin at 9:10 am on January 6th, 2009

Yeah, on the subject of the book can you tell us a little more about it’s specifics?  Will it just cover nlhe, or will you look at some of the tastier poker variants too? Is it just pure strategy, or can we expect something a bit more lighthearted and general in the style of your column?  I’ve not bought a poker book since, oooh, every hand revealed, so I’m quite looking forward to this.

Dickie D at 2:22 pm on January 6th, 2009

Ouch…...what did you have here Vickie?

Team PokerStars Pro Vickie Coren put almost half her stack into a $50k pot moments ago here in Nassau.
Faced with a $30k+ shove from her opponent on the Q 6 2 flop, Coren then had to make a decision for the other half.
She took her time about it, but had to let the hand go and is now under $30,000 in chips.

Victoria Coren at 4:17 pm on January 7th, 2009

I shouldn’t really talk much about the poker book yet - it won’t be out til September at the earliest, and I don’t want people to be bored by the idea of it before it’s even come out! I’ve got no idea how much it will cost - they don’t know how long it is yet, for a start - but I’m still working and it’s going okay. It’s not a strategy book at all, it will probably talk about how I’ve played a few hands, but it’s a book about life in poker, rather than a strategy guide.

  That Nassau hand doesn’t sound familiar, actually. The flop rings a bell (I think I had AK) but those weren’t the amounts - more like, someone made it 2000 to go, I made it 7000, he called and moved for about 28,000 on the Q high flop and I passed.

Victoria Coren

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