Victoria Coren Mitchell has won the PokerStars EPT Sanremo main event for a huge ‚¬476k prize and in the process becomes the first ever two-time winner on the European Poker Tour. Arguably the most famous UK poker player, Coren Mitchell stormed to victory on Easter Sunday with one of the largest viewing audiences in the history of EPT Live watching the action unfold in real time on the Italian coast. Coming into the final table as the short stack, Coren Mitchell’s victory looked unlikely but, after making it to heads-up versus Giacomo Fundaro with a big chip lead, suddenly that phenomenal feat was not only possible but expected. The tournament ended in a fitting way, Queen Victoria making two pair with her Q-J to bust the pocket Aces of Fundaro. Coren Mitchell immediately lifted her hands to her face in disbelief – she had overcome all the odds to become the most decorated player in European Poker Tour history.
Visibly shocked, Coren Mitchell told EPT Live interviewer Joe Stapleton that, ‘People in poker know it’s about showing a profit. The minute I won ‚¬8,000 it was a good trip. But tens of thousands of people (on Twitter) got behind me. I thought I’d be happy with sixth, but also thought they’d be disappointed. I kept calling my husband during the breaks asking, ‘Is sixth place all right? Fifth place?”
Coren Mitchell must be getting used to creating history on the EPT. Back in 2006, when she won EPT London at her home casino, the Vic, Coren Mitchell was the first ever female champion. The £500,000 she won at that event was a huge story for poker in the UK but, with this second victory, Coren Mitchell has even surpassed that triumph. As a TV personality on shows like Only Connect, Have I Got News For You and Newsnight, along with regular columns in broadsheet newspapers The Guardian and The Observer, Coren Mitchell’s mainstream profile in the UK has never been higher. Her Sanremo win should only help to propel poker into the UK mainstream – at least for a short while – and there could not be a better ambassador for the game.
The EPT has been close to crowning a double champion over the years, most notably when Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald finished as runner-up in the 2014 PCA main event, but that accolade will forever be associated with Victoria Coren Mitchell going forward. Jake Cody, 2010 EPT Deauville champion, tweeted his simultaneous congratulations and regret at the news: ‘Honestly very disappointed not to be the first 2-time winner, but very happy for @VictoriaCoren if someone had to do it I’m glad it was her’
A huge number of famous poker players and personalities all congratulated Coren Mitchell on her win, including Neil Channing, Liv Boeree and EPT founder John Duthie. Husband David Mitchell also tweeted, ‘My wife just won her second EPT Main Event. Nobody’s ever been able to say that before. She’s amazing. #resistingexclamationmarks #EPTLive’ and fellow TV funnyman and long-time collaborator Robert Webb succintly added, ‘YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! xxx’
Congratulations to Victoria Coren Mitchell from everyone at PokerPlayer.co.uk – a fantastic achievement by a fantastic representative for UK, and world, poker.
To read our 2009 cover story with Coren Mitchell CLICK HERE. It seems that a sequel will be commissioned very soon…
Photo courtesy of PokerStarsBlog.com.
EPT Sanremo main event
|1st||Victoria Coren Mitchell||‚¬476,100|
PokerPlayer has exclusive interviews with the biggest and best players every month. Subscribe here for just over £1 an issue!