Victoria Coren Mitchell makes poker history with double win

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Coren Mitchell, pictured at a tournament in March, has lifetime winnings of £1.5m

Journalist and broadcaster Victoria Coren Mitchell made poker history on Sunday by becoming the first two-time winner of the European Poker Tour.

She beat 556 competitors to win a cash prize of £391,932 and a watch worth more than £4,000 in Sanremo, Italy.

Her victory came after a finale, in which she fought back from eighth place in the Tour, a week-long international tournament.

Coren Mitchell, who presents BBC Four's quiz show Only Connect, won in 2006.

In doing so, she became the tournament's first female winner. Her second victory brings her lifetime winnings to £1.5m, putting her in the all-time top 10 female earners at the poker table.

"I WON! I bloody WON!!!!!!" she wrote on Twitter after defeating Italian player Giacomo Fundaro.

"Sorry for that language on Easter Sunday. But I WON!!!!!! That is at least partly thanks to the amazing support, God bless everyone."

Phone calls

"People in poker know it's about showing a profit," Coren Mitchell said as she accepted her trophy.

"The minute I won 8,000 euros (£6,576) 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."

She added: "I kept calling my husband during the breaks asking, 'Is sixth place all right? Fifth place?'"

Her husband, comedian David Mitchell, added from the side of the stage: "I thought perhaps I should have been saying, 'You must be first!' Not, 'Eighth seems great.'"

Image caption,
Coren Mitchell presides over high-brow quiz show Only Connect on BBC Four

A member of the elite Team PokerStars Pro, Coren Mitchell is the daughter of broadcaster Alan Coren.

She writes weekly columns for the Guardian and Observer newspapers, and is a regular panellist on shows like Have I Got News For You and Question Time.

Following her victory, a post on the Poker Stars website quoted Coren Mitchell as saying: "I've long since lost the sense of what my day job is.

"Am I a professional writer who plays poker as a hobby? Or a professional poker player who writes as a hobby?"

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