Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player


Welcome To London

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Yesterday I did an interview with Inside Poker about London, to celebrate the upcoming WSOP Europe and London EPT, both of which come to town around the end of September.
They asked me about the mood of a typical London poker game. I tried to describe the particular mix of wit, sarcasm, respect, scorn, matiness, pleasure, misery and resentment. Then I tried to explain how rudeness actually denotes fellowship; how we are reserved among strangers and newcomers, but relish insulting old friends across the table. That’s the London way of expressing affection.
  They asked for an example and my mind went blank. Couldn’t think of a single one. I’ve sat in poker games in the Vic, in my house, in friends’ houses, in other casinos, all over town, and watched players being openly rude to each other as soon as they feel truly comfortable (in my own Tuesday game, hardly a kind word has been spoken in ten years) but couldn’t remember anything specific at all.
  A couple of hours later I went to the Palm Beach for their monthly £1000 tournament.
  “A parakeet was found on the Edgware Road this morning,” remarked the player next to me, out of nowhere. “Green in colour, chirping ‘You’re an ugly bastard! You’re an ugly bastard!’ ”
  Then he swivelled round to his old mate in the next chair.
  “You ain’t lost a parrot, have you?”

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Comments

Martin at 2:56 pm on August 7th, 2008

In Manchester being rude and insulting will generally get you into trouble, major trouble depending on who and what is said. Friendly banter is one thing, but calling someone an ugly bastard under the veil of a parrot joke wouldn’t be a good idea even amongst the best of friends up north. Your cockney chums ought to be careful if they ever decide to show affection to a Manc as they might not get what they bargained for.


Dave at 9:31 pm on August 7th, 2008

That parrot insult is fantastic. I might use it at work tomorrow, a few insults always help us pass the time on a dull Friday afternoon.


IM at 12:59 pm on August 8th, 2008

I think it depends on the person as any of my friends can call me anything and likewise me back to them and I’m from Salford originally.

Now live in the hills north of Bury and the people I hang around with here are the same.

Guessing from Vicky’s story that it is two people who have a lot of history together.


Tony at 3:35 am on August 15th, 2008

OMG it truly is grim up North


Victoria Coren

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