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on 9 June 2014
I've always liked her as a screen presence and had read her husband's autobiography as a holiday read and enjoyed it, so I expected to enjoy this too and on the whole I did, although I didn't feel the same level of empathy as for much of David Mitchell's narrative. Did not give me an interest in poker for which I remain unenthusiastic. Thought it tailed off a bit towards the end and wasn't convinced by the elevation of poker into some sort of quasi-religion - as a lifestyle choice it still seems baffling to me and it's difficult not to be a bit bored by detail of long-dead games; like many committed players of games (golf and bridge other prime offenders here), competitors can fail to grasp exactly how boring these autopsies are. However, I'm being a bit unfair as it was billed as a poker player's narrative and I shouldn't complain that the game dominated. I suppose that personally, I was hoping for a bit more Victoria and a bit less poker.
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on 11 September 2014
What a wonderfully written book!

I had it in ebook format, but it was so good that I could not resist and bought a hard copy of it also to have it in my library. Great writing from Victoria, a perfect blend of Poker storytelling and Autobiography stuff, resulting in a great book that will keep you on until you finish it and then leave you with a sweet taste of a world that can be so human (even in games played for money)

Victoria now stands as the first (and only, as of September 2014) player ever to win 2 main event EPT's. What a great achievement for a great lady!

Thanks Vicky for sharing this story with us all...

PS: Victoria does not classify herself as a professional poker player. She is rather describing herself as a writer, journalist and poker enthousiast! She has many activities in life, and that is what makes both her achievements in poker and her writing so succesfull. Go ahead and give this book a chance to enlighten your world!
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on 30 December 2014
All in - bought this as I have a soft spot for Victoria Coren - not solely due to her poker abilities.
However.
Great Book.
It's an autobiography where poker is allowed to creep in, and then raise it's head, and then bellow 'godzilla-like' across the pages/tournaments/years.
I've walked away as smitten as I was when I picked the book up - but with a great pile of respect in addition (that'll teach me).
Moreover it's quite a lovely, sweet book - a candid and brutally honest account of a life of gambling. No judgements - just the frustrations, the lows & the highs.
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on 2 February 2015
A nice enough book that is taking a while to get through, it's interesting without being gripping, nicely written but it's it isn't screaming at me to come and read a bit more, autobiographical as you would expect so if you have interest in the world of poker it might be for you. I'm half way through it and have moved on. Parts of it are genuinely interesting but overall it's a bit safe compared to Vicky on tv. I've read better books but I've also read much, much worse.
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on 1 May 2014
I purchased this book at a bargain price just after Victoria Coren-Mitchell won her record-setting second EPT championship; and it has brought me up-to-date with the period in her life just before she won the first one.

I read this book very quickly within around six hours over three days. Her writing style is very fluent and accessible (as it should be, considering she's a writer) and she raises a chuckle throughout the book. Sometimes there are more poignant moments, and the way she wrote about them put me in her shoes.

This is a great book because there are so many poker memoirs out there, but this is the first that I have read from a female perspective in a male-dominated world. It also gets down to the way poker was before it was all mouse-clicks and screennames; her fond tales of her home game are great.

Get the book if you have any interest in poker whatsoever.
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on 18 August 2014
I came to this book as someone with little (if any) knowledge of poker but I don't think that stops you from enjoying the book. The autobiographical chapters are interspersed with memorable and interesting poker moments, and the hands are shown with the moves played. That part went completely over my head, but I suspect that any poker fan would find that these mini-chapters really add to the book. Victoria Coren is intelligent and writes well, and has led an interesting life with many an anecdote to slip in to this book! Very interesting and highly readable, even to a non-poker player.
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on 24 September 2012
Victoria Coren's love affair with poker... Throughout her life it has provided an escape from her real life troubles, from learning to play with her older brother when she felt unable to fit in at school to religiously visiting her favourite poker club following a difficult breakup. She writes very well, keeping the reader engaged throughout and she describes her emotions with brutal honesty even the most difficult of times.

The book brings the old school characters of the poker world to life and creates a romanticism around the poker underworld. She seems torn about the changing face of the game, on the one side booming popularity with the internet era and celebrity status it has brought the top players but on the other side moving away from shady underground clubs and characters that drew her initially to the game.

As a time to time poker player myself, I really enjoyed the commentary of the EPT final. She writes very well about the thought behind each raise, call or fold. She is honest on her assessment of her play regardless of the outcome. You feel you are there with her on this emotional roller coaster.

If you love poker you have to read this book. Even for those not interested in the game I think it would still make a great read.
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on 31 May 2014
In this book Victoria Coren gives an honest and extremely well-written (I wouldn't have expected anything less from her) account of her journey into the sometimes slightly sinister world of tournament poker. The characters who inhabit this world are undoubtedly shady but portrayed with fondness. Her journey also incorporates her relationship with her father and gives an incredibly moving insight into the way she eventually comes to terms with his illness and eventual death. You don't have to be a player or even fan of poker to be absorbed by the book and I thoroughly recommend it.
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on 24 July 2015
Top poker tips and stories from the card playing circuit from the rather fabulous Mrs Coren Mitchell.

Whilst knowing precisely zero about poker, I still enjoyed the atmosphere and the inside jokes and advice. I felt as though I'd been smuggled into a game so I could look over the author's shoulder and discuss ploys out loud. Engrossing!
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on 18 June 2014
What a great book. I can't recommend it enough. Please don't think that this book is purely about Poker, it is not. Although knowledge of the game is an advantage the real pleasure is in the characters, stories and autobiographical details contained within its pages. I was drawn to this book having been amused by her appearances on Have I Got News For You and through enjoying a game of Poker myself. Victoria Coren does not disappoint and demonstrates she can really write. I now intend to read more of her work. Excellent book.
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