Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player


Thursday, 26 April 2012

... I won another EPT tournament! This was the €5000 Heads Up event at the Grand Final in Monte Carlo. I won’t write much about it now because it’s 2 o’clock in the morning here and I’ve got the main event to play later on today - though God knows how my fevered brain will go back to early-level, nine-handed poker after the fast & furious battle of heads up.

  I feel pleased with myself because they were tough battles (I had to play 11 matches to get to the final, beating Basil from France, Juha from Finland, Dori from Dubai and the fearsome Annette Obrestad) and then a best-of-five final match against brilliant Melanie Weisner from New York, which I finally managed to take 3-2. And I think I played really well. I had some good luck along the way, but I also had some terrible luck, which is pretty much how it should be in a long and best-of-three or deep-stacked poker tournament.

  I also want to add that it was really fun playing the final with Melanie. We were both taking it extremely seriously without taking it too seriously, if you see what I mean. We played poker very hard, but stopped for breaks when we needed them, shared a bottle of red wine, and spent the best part of match 3 talking about boys. Readers of my book might remember how disconcerting I found it when I played the World Series of Poker ladies’ event in… oh it was ages ago, maybe 2002?... and found my opponents chatting about life and love at the same time as playing cards - it was so different from the Vic, my head spun and I couldn’t concentrate. I’m a little more comfortable with poker tournaments these days and can now do both once; this wasn’t specifically a gender thing (I chatted a lot to Dori Yacoub, my round 4 opponent, as well) but it wasn’t completely irrelevant either. Obviously we were both amused, as the whole room seemed to be, at the idea of the last two players standing in a tournament both being women, which is still very unusual (maybe even unprecedented?) in a major international mixed tournament - it made the event feel a bit special. Rather sci-fi, in fact. I’m sure (or at least hopeful) that it won’t be such an unusual sight 20 years from now. Melanie, a heads-up specialist and very crafty professional player, is extremely bright and very funny; five matches is a long time, and I really enjoyed spending them in her company.

  Mainly I’m happy because I LOVE Heads Up tournaments and I have a sick history of always finishing on the bubble (ie. winning the first two rounds, then losing 1-2 in the third match for the money) but I feel like this vindicates my determination to keep trying. AND it means I’ve won another EPT tournament, after my distant main event victory in London 2006! And the €58,900 prize money is pretty good news as well.

  I’m very very happy and am now going to try - I suspect in vain - to get some sleep.

  UPDATE, Tuesday May 1st: ... and I came second in the women’s event! God, I’d have loved to win that one as well, for a double Monte Carlo victory - and I would have done, if my AK had beaten Leo Margets’ QJ, or my QQ had beaten her KJ - but hey, can’t have everything, and she played brilliantly and deserved the win. And I have to be happy with second. What a very good week in Monte Carlo, and thanks very much for all the support on Twitter.

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Addster at 7:08 am on April 26th, 2012

Congratulations, Victoria.

mordantfox at 9:36 am on April 26th, 2012

Congratulations also!  And in a mixed tournament.  I had no idea that poker tournaments were gendered.  When you’ve got a mo’, Victoria, can you say why this is?

AndytheDealer at 10:48 am on April 26th, 2012

Jolly well done!

borndriller at 11:59 am on April 26th, 2012

Was quite disappointed at the lack of coverage on the pokerstars blog about this tournament. To be honest chipcounts of Day 1 abcd of big mtts are quite dull. Maybe I was just looking in the wrong place, but would like to see greater prominence given to the more unusual tournaments.
Very well done!

Bill Green at 2:24 pm on April 26th, 2012

When you tweeted that you were facing Melanie Weisner in the final it didn’t click in my mind who she is. Now I remember seeing her on the EPT TV coverage last year. Well done to you both.

KlooRhee at 7:42 pm on April 26th, 2012

Well done Victoria! You made my day. :)

Eric Robinson at 6:35 am on April 27th, 2012

I don’t know the first thing about poker, but you make it sound like premiership rugby sitting down, and that intrigues me.
Good luck next time too.

stockyjock at 10:08 pm on April 27th, 2012

don’t you think she throws her chips in the sexiest way ever?

Ken Singtone at 8:37 am on April 29th, 2012

Congratulations, Victoria, another EPT win.  Does this mean that you will be writing another book?  I have been reading “For Richer For Poorer” again.  It seems even more enjoyable on second reading, thus proving the quality of your writing.

Also (belatedly due to a month of limited internet access) congratulations to you and David on your engagement.  I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but I rather hope that you will continue to be “Victoria Coren” in your professional life, not least because it keeps alive the memory of your brilliant father, but also because you have your own body of writings and poker triumphs, (and there are probably enough Mitchells on TV as it is.)

Above all, however, I hope you have much future happiness together.

Pokerpops at 11:17 am on May 2nd, 2012

And thanks for being so thoroughly ‘nice’ at the Nottingham UKIPT and doing the photo thing for a starstruck middle-aged bloke.

Bob Roberts at 8:55 pm on May 2nd, 2012

Many congrats and I am sure a very well deserved victory. I commented before that I have watched thousands of hours of poker on You Tube and you seem to be very talented indeed. Recently I watched a UK version of the Big Game, series 5 and, very much to my disappointment, you were not featured, This is a Party Poker event, are you not invited because you are in the ‘wrong’ stable?

Heinrich at 5:33 am on May 15th, 2012

“Congratulations and celebrations….”

I hope you’ll come over to the IOM for a visit one day ... I’d love to congratulate in person (and I have a couple of books waiting for you to sign :-))

Victoria Coren

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