Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player


This poker column has been running in The Guardian for five years. For basic strategy advice, scroll to the end (September 2005) and read upwards. It gets gradually more complicated, including tournament reports and anecdotes as well as hand analysis, but is all intended mainly for the recreational player.

Victoria is sponsored by PokerStars and would recommend downloading their free software to play poker. That site will take you through the rules of the game, and there is a “play money” option which allows you to learn, practise and play for no financial risk at all. If and when you feel ready, transfer to the real money games. But whether playing online, with friends or at your local casino, remember the golden rule of poker: never play for sums you cannot comfortably afford. If you start losing, take a break. If you keep losing, stop.

Good luck!

The Guardian 2012

January

And Finally… - 11 January 2012

Five New Year’s Resolutions - 4 January 2012

The Guardian 2011

December

That’s What The Game Is All About - 14 December 2011

Thin Value Bets - 7 December 2011

November

The Best Player In The World? - 30 November 2011

The International Federation Of Poker - 23 November 2011

The 2011 WSOP champ - 16 November 2011

WSOP final 2011 - 9 November 2011

A Great Autumn For Barny Boatman - 2 November 2011

October

A *Really* Bad Beat Story - 26 October 2011

Good Call, Sir - 19 October 2011

The Youngsters Aren’t Always Bluffing - 12 October 2011

A Satisfying Coup from EPT London - 5 October 2011

September

Playing AK on Late Night Poker - 28 September 2011

Very Deep Stacks (WCOOP) - 21 September 2011

Showing Your Cards Voluntarily - 14 September 2011

First Principles - 7 September 2011

August

A Chip Stack Quiz - 31 August 2011

Now Play According To OTHERS’ Stack Sizes - 24 August 2011

Basic Chip Stack Maths - 17 August 2011

More On Chip Counts - 10 August 2011

The Importance Of Chip Counts - 3 August 2011

July

They Didn’t Know The Value Of The Chips… - 27 July 2011

Countdown to the November Nine - 19 July 2011

Lesson Of The Grumpy Geezer - 13 July 2011

The “Ladies’ Event” - 6 July 2011

June

What Was The Chip Story? - 29 June 2011

Badugi As A Split Pot Game - 22 June 2011

Bluffing At Badugi - 15 June 2011

Badugi - 8 June 2011

A New Game… - 1 June 2011

May

The Dangers Of Levelling (Part 2) - 25 May 2011

Remember To Have Fun - 18 May 2011

What Is Levelling? - 11 May 2011

More On The Pre-Flop Betting Round - 5 May 2011

April

The Betting Streets: An Exercise - 27 April 2011

Have The Games Got Softer? - 20 April 2011

Let’s Talk About Loss - 13 April 2011

A Warning PS to the last 3 Weeks - 6 April 2011

March

Last Week’s Riddle Solved - 30 March 2011

Riddle Of The Long Think - 23 March 2011

Take Your Time… But Not Too Long - 16 March 2011

My Book And Broader Strategy - 9 March 2011

Robinson’s Side (of last week’s fold) - 2 March 2011

February

A Very Unusual Fold - 23 February 2011

Kimber & Banana Play A Hand - 16 February 2011

Mistimed Bets At The UKIPT - 8 February 2011

Breaking The Deauville Duck - 2 February 2011

January

Lessons From The Ladies’ Event - 26 January 2011

The Ladies’ Tournament - 19 January 2011

Hero Calls That Should Be Raises - 12 January 2011

New Year’s Resolutions - 5 January 2011

The Guardian 2010

December

Bloom & Antonius part 2: Raising Safer - 22 December 2010

The Low-Key Lizard - 15 December 2010

Pre-flop LAG-ging part 2 - 8 December 2010

Lessons From Last Week’s Weird Hand - 1 December 2010

November

There’s Always Something New - 24 November 2010

Life Lessons Of The New WSOP Champ - 17 November 2010

A New WSOP Champion - 10 November 2010

Good Work, Duthie & Hansen - 3 November 2010

October

Little Less Conversation, Little More Action - 27 October 2010

Playing Phil Ivey - 20 October 2010

Should’ve Changed The Plan - 13 October 2010

An Odd High Roller Hand - 6 October 2010

September

The Devilfish Book - 28 September 2010

British Poker Awards pt. 2 - 22 September 2010

British Poker Awards pt. 1 - 15 September 2010

Underplay, Overplay, Wombling Free… - 7 September 2010

Never Forget It’s A Mind Game - 1 September 2010

August

A Bad Time To Bluff - 25 August 2010

Standard? - 18 August 2010

The Hands That Haunt - 11 August 2010

August Tips For Poker Players - 4 August 2010

July

Not Such A Loose Cannon - 28 July 2010

The November Nine - 21 July 2010

A Surprise From Peter Eastgate - 14 July 2010

WSOP 2010: The Starting Days - 7 July 2010

June

Brits Now Breaking WSOP Records - 30 June 2010

2010 World Series of Poker (4) - 23 June 2010

2010 World Series of Poker (3) - 16 June 2010

British Victory At WSOP - 9 June 2010

First WSOP Bracelet of 2010 - 2 June 2010

May

The People You Meet - 26 May 2010

Dusk Til Dawn in Nottingham - 19 May 2010

A 26-hour Poker Tournament - 12 May 2010

When To Pass Kings - 5 May 2010

April

A Big Fold (pt. 2) - 28 April 2010

A Big Fold (pt. 1) - 21 April 2010

A Notorious Slow-roll - 14 April 2010

The Danger Of An Indecisive Bet - 7 April 2010

My First Game With An iPod - 1 April 2010

March

A Blinds Skirmish - 24 March 2010

A Tough Call In Berlin - 17 March 2010

A Bad Day’s Poker For Someone - 10 March 2010

Playing With Friends: Part 2 - 3 March 2010

February

When Is A Friend Not A Friend? - 24 February 2010

Kamikaze Or Maths? - 17 February 2010

A Quirk To The AK Scenario - 10 February 2010

A Very Surprising Fold - 3 February 2010

January

A Crazy French Hand - 27 January 2010

Agonizing Heads-Up Hand - 20 January 2010

Immortality At The PCA - 13 January 2010

Time To Sober Up - 6 January 2010

The Guardian 2009

December

Fight The Poker Tax - 30 December 2009

What Would You Do? - 23 December 2009

The Lesson Of Bad Beats Online - 17 December 2009

Social Sundays Online - 9 December 2009

Bounty Stars Of Poker - 2 December 2009

November

Launch of the UKIPT - 25 November 2009

Late Night Poker final (part 2) - 18 November 2009

A New World Champion - 11 November 2009

Never Bluffing: Late Night Poker Final - 4 November 2009

October

Heads-Up Aggression: A Last Note - 28 October 2009

More Heads Up: Trends In Poker - 21 October 2009

More Aggression, Less Patience: Heads Up - 14 October 2009

On The Bubble: Any Two Cards - 7 October 2009

September

An Example Of Overplaying? - 30 September 2009

Shoving Light: Not Black And White - 23 September 2009

No Retirement For Me - 16 September 2009

The Mysteries Of Late Night Poker - 9 September 2009

Late Night Poker returns - 4 September 2009

August

Recession? What Recession? - 21 August 2009

Mike Matusow’s autobiography - 14 August 2009

When They Call, Show Your Hand - 7 August 2009

July

Poker In The Dragons’ Den - 31 July 2009

The Best WSOP Final In Years - 24 July 2009

Day One Selection Strategy - 3 July 2009

June

Masochism & Disappointment In Vegas - 26 June 2009

British Medals In The 2009 WSOP - 19 June 2009

Find Tournaments In The UK - 12 June 2009

From Turbo MTTs To The World Series - 5 June 2009

May

Turbo MTTs pt 3 - 29 May 2009

Turbo MTTs pt 2 - 21 May 2009

MTT turbos - 14 May 2009

Sportsmen, Poker And A Sniffy Press - 7 May 2009

April

The Pros & Cons Of Charity - 30 April 2009

A Curious Case Of Etiquette - 23 April 2009

No Privacy Please, We’re British - 16 April 2009

A Super-Cheeky River Bet - 9 April 2009

Don’t Mess With The Mojo - 2 April 2009

March

The Red Herring River Card - 26 March 2009

The World’s Upside Down - 19 March 2009

The Dangers Of Slow Playing - 5 March 2009

February

The Money’s Too Big - 26 February 2009

Taking On An All-In Man With No Pair - 19 February 2009

Premier League: watch and learn - 12 February 2009

UTG raises in the PCA: last comment - 5 February 2009

January

Half-hands in late stages (conclusion) - 29 January 2009

The Joy Of Sixes (last week continued) - 22 January 2009

Team Spirit - 15 January 2009

Losing the minimum - 8 January 2009

The Guardian 2008

December

Another Little Squeeze - 18 December 2008

Hidden advantage of day 1a - 11 December 2008

The funniest P.L.P. hand - 4 December 2008

November

Girl On Girl - 27 November 2008

A Little Quiz - 20 November 2008

WSOP 2008: They Don’t Care - 13 November 2008

Budapest - 6 November 2008

October

Small but relevant hands - 30 October 2008

River value bets illustrated - 23 October 2008

Last week’s hand resolved - 13 October 2008

A controversial hand - 6 October 2008

September

A Huge Hand Or Nothing - 29 September 2008

The Danger Of Poker Awards - 22 September 2008

The Tour - 15 September 2008

New School Term - 8 September 2008

Terrible Table Manners - 1 September 2008

August

Is poker a sport? - 25 August 2008

Online cash game etiquette - 18 August 2008

The Palm Beach - 11 August 2008

You Have No Decision To Make - 4 August 2008

July

The November Nine - 28 July 2008

Most of the time it’s just fate - 21 July 2008

Not the 2008 World Champion - 15 July 2008

Pre Flop Flummery - 7 July 2008

June

Fear of exit - 30 June 2008

Betting on the WSOP - 23 June 2008

Big opening fields - 9 June 2008

Detective work - 2 June 2008

May

Local rules - 26 May 2008

Body language - 19 May 2008

WSOP final table - 12 May 2008

Long-term winning strategy - 5 May 2008

April

The domino effect - 28 April 2008

Flying blind - 21 April 2008

A world-class fold - 14 April 2008

An old fella - 7 April 2008

March

Chasing rainbows - 31 March 2008

Annette Obrestad - 24 March 2008

After a nasty loss - 17 March 2008

Dealers - 10 March 2008

Quit when you’re losing enough - 3 March 2008

February

Hellmuth’s full house - 25 February 2008

Don’t change your mind - 18 February 2008

Price your bets correctly - 11 February 2008

You do realise that’s a 50/50? - 4 February 2008

January

Double flop hold ‘em - 28 January 2008

Dealer’s choice - 21 January 2008

Late night poker - 14 January 2008

Celebrity late night poker - 7 January 2008

The Guardian 2007

December

Induce Mistakes - Part 4 - 17 December 2007

Induce Mistakes - Part 3 - 10 December 2007

Induce Mistakes - Part 2 - 2 December 2007

November

Induce Mistakes - Part 1 - 26 November 2007

Perfect river cards - 19 November 2007

Sharkscope - 12 November 2007

Three aces beat three jacks? - 5 November 2007

October

“Ghosts at the table” - 15 October 2007

Knock-on effect - 7 October 2007

It’s hard to win the same tournament twice - 1 October 2007

September

Annette Obrestad - 24 September 2007

Erick Lindgren - 17 September 2007

Super-satellites - 10 September 2007

World series comes to London - 3 September 2007

August

Premier league poker - 27 August 2007

Rule of three - 13 August 2007

A tough commentator - 6 August 2007

July

2007 WSOP - Part 5: The Winner - 23 July 2007

2007 WSOP - Part 4: Cash Game - 16 July 2007

2007 WSOP - Part 3: ‘Donkeys’ - 9 July 2007

2007 WSOP - Part 2: Roulette - 2 July 2007

June

2007 WSOP - Part 1 - 25 June 2007

Interpreting a river bet - 18 June 2007

When a bad hand is good - 11 June 2007

Mental focus - 4 June 2007

May

The old principles of craftiness - 28 May 2007

Characters in poker - 21 May 2007

‘Bigger deal’ - 14 May 2007

Could be the perfect play, could be suicidal - 7 May 2007

April

Charity tournament - Part 2 - 30 April 2007

Charity tournament - Part 1 - 23 April 2007

Desperate housewives - 16 April 2007

Poker is a slippery game - 9 April 2007

GUKPT - 2 April 2007

March

HORSE tournament - 26 March 2007

Playing like a man - 19 March 2007

Poker tells - 12 March 2007

A monkey could do better - 5 March 2007

February

Group hugs don’t win poker trophies - 26 February 2007

My new nickname - 19 February 2007

Poker nicknames - 12 February 2007

A secret about high-low games - 5 February 2007

January

Seven-card high/low split - 29 January 2007

Lowball - 22 January 2007

Seven-card stud - 15 January 2007

New Year’s resolutions - 8 January 2007

The Guardian 2006

December

Greg ‘Fossilman” Raymer - 18 December 2006

Position in Omaha - 11 December 2006

The benefit of Omaha - 4 December 2006

November

Betting on poker - 30 November 2006

The do-re-mi of poker - 27 November 2006

Another view on Casino Royale - 22 November 2006

Poker variants - 20 November 2006

How to play poker - 13 November 2006

UK poker ban - 6 November 2006

October

Poker robots - 20 October 2006

European Poker Tour - Baden, Austria - 13 October 2006

Poker ban - 6 October 2006

September

How to win £500,000 - 29 September 2006

The European poker tour - 22 September 2006

All-in….. - 15 September 2006

No limit cash games - Part 2 - 8 September 2006

No limit cash games - Part 1 - 1 September 2006

August

Don’t tap on the aquarium - 25 August 2006

2006 WSOP - Part 4: The Winner - 18 August 2006

2006 WSOP - Part 3: Celebrities - 11 August 2006

2006 WSOP - Part 2: Vegas - 4 August 2006

July

2006 WSOP - Part 1 - 28 July 2006

Online behaviour - 14 July 2006

Gambly young opponents - Part 2 - 7 July 2006

June

Gambly young opponents - Part 1 - 30 June 2006

Swimming with the devilfish - 23 June 2006

Recommended poker books - 16 June 2006

Home games - 9 June 2006

Poker is cruel - 2 June 2006

May

Half a hand - 26 May 2006

Your opponents stack size - 19 May 2006

Feeling the greed - 12 May 2006

Counting your stack - 5 May 2006

April

Adam Lee - 28 April 2006

Celebrity poker - 21 April 2006

Women and poker - 14 April 2006

A bad beat whinge - 7 April 2006

March

Tournament pace - 31 March 2006

Online tournaments - 24 March 2006

The tournament trail - 17 March 2006

Mix it up - 10 March 2006

Taking a free card - 3 March 2006

February

Position - 24 February 2006

Look beyond your hand - 17 February 2006

Semi-bluffing - 10 February 2006

Bluffing - Part 2 - 3 February 2006

January

Bluffing - Part 1 - 27 January 2006

Luck v skill - 20 January 2006

Beware the TV - Part 2 - 13 January 2006

Drawing hands - 6 January 2006

The Guardian 2005

December

Suited connectors - 30 December 2005

Christmas competition winners - 16 December 2005

Pocket pairs - 9 December 2005

Christmas competition - 2 December 2005

November

A pair of kings - 25 November 2005

The rules are there….. - 18 November 2005

Ace King - 5 November 2005

A single ace - 4 November 2005

October

Aces - 28 October 2005

Raising - 21 October 2005

How much to play for - 14 October 2005

What not to wear - 7 October 2005

September

Beware the TV - Part 1 - 30 September 2005

Introduction - 23 September 2005

Victoria Coren

Photo: Neil Stoddart 2008

News: July 2014

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