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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Where Are They Now: Vicky Coren

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Where are They Now is a series of an in depth look at all poker players - not just the pros - as they travel through one long game. Some of the players profiled are deceased but not forgotten.

Do all Victoria’s have a secret? I know I do, and so does Victoria (Vicky) Coren—but she is not going to tell you how she made all that money playing poker, because if she did it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.

Coren’s interest in poker started when her brother taught her to play the game at the tender age of fifteen, but by then she was already a published writer—at fourteen, the first short story she ever submitted was published by ‘Just 17’ magazine.

Victoria (born in London on August 18, 1973, to a Jewish middle-class family) is the daughter of the late humorist and journalist Alan Coren and has a sister Giles, who has worked with Vicky on several literary projects. Their father was a critic for the British newspaper “The Times,” he was named “Food and Drink Writer of the Year” in 2005.

After her first publication, Vicky won a nationwide contest to write a weekly column about teenage life for the “Daily Telegraph,” but abandoned the project a few years later to attend St. John’s College at Oxford.

After college, Vicky started playing more and more poker, but she still kept up with her writing and frequently hosted shows like Balderdash and Piffle on BBC TV. She has several books to her credit, including Love 16, King Lear: Fathers and Daughters, and Once More, With Feeling, which was about her attempt with Charlie Skelton to make the best hard-core porn movie ever released. The two authors had been hired to review porn films for the Erotic Review and it seemed that what they were watching was so bad, they were sure they could make a better film themselves—there’s no final word, but we think the final script was never finished.

Coren also created a play called A Lump in My Throat, which was a collection of the newspaper columns of John Diamond—she later adapted it as a TV play on BBC2, starring Neil Pearson. Her latest book For Richer, For Poorer: A love Affair with Poker, which was published in September of 2009, is a memoir and autobiography of her life as a poker player.

Vicky writes a poker column that is featured weekly in the UK’s Guardian and a topical column in The Observer, she also hosts programs for the BBC newspaper and radio shows and is a regular commentator/presenter for various poker events, including Late Night Poker, the Poker Nations Cup, the World Poker Tour and the Monte Carlo EPT.

Coren was the first woman to win a European Poker Tour (EPT) event, and the first player to win both a televised celebrity tournament (Celebrity Poker Club in 2005) and a televised professional tournament (EPT London 2006).
She became one of London’s most recognized and popular players after making frequent appearances on Late Night Poker (LNP) TV, the first program to show players’ hole cards. Coren never made it to the grand finals, but she did defeat Willie Thorne in the LNP spin-off, Celebrity Poker Club series II, before joining Jesse May as commentator of the Club’s series III.

Predominantly a cash game player, Vicky frequently plays at the Victoria Casino in London—contrary to popular belief, the casino is not named after Miss Coren—and she is good friends with The Hendon Mob. Barny and Ross Boatman, Joe Beevers and Ram Vaswani, all London based players, make up the mob and Vicky is a regular player at many of their home games.
In 2004 Coren took second place at the European Poker Championships and rocketed to poker fame in September of 2006 when she took 1st place in the Main Event at EPT London taking home $941,513. After four days of vigorous play, defeating nearly four hundred players, Victoria found herself heads-up against Australian pro, Emad Tahtouh. Amazingly, in one of the shortest heads-up matches in poker history, Coren was crowned champion after just two hands, having flopped a seven high straight that held through the river.

Vicky is no stranger to the highs and lows that come with the game of poker and in recent years her tournament wins have been less impressive, with her most notable cash being a 30th place finish at the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure; still worth a nice sum of $50,000.

Coren represents PokerStars as a Team Pro member, playing under her own name ‘Vicky Coren.’ She is a significant presence both in the poker media and at the table and is one of the most respected British ambassadors of the game.

When she is not writing or playing poker, she likes to spend her time reading a good book or whipping up some delicacy in her kitchen. Vicky is as competitive at bridge, scrabble, and cribbage as she is at the poker table and she has an entertaining presence on sites like Twitter and Face Book where her opinions on poker and politics are laced with large doses of humor.

When asked what she does for a living, Coren always says that she is a writer, even though she makes a lot more money playing poker than she does writing. Although Victoria spends numerous hours a week playing online at PokerStars, visiting the casino at least twice a week, and traveling to various tournaments each year, she still defines her poker play as a hobby. She says it’s healthier that way—she can think of it as a hobby that she loves instead of a job—it just makes for better happiness. Job or hobby, it works for her, she loves it and she is very good at it.

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