“I WON! I bloody WON!!!!!!” When Victoria Coren Mitchell tweeted this on 20 April 2014 it was a comment on a momentous occasion. The British media personality had just won the top prize of £391,932 in the European Poker Tour which this year took place in San Remo, Italy.
Not only does Coren Mitchell represent the female gender in the male dominated world of poker, but she is the first person of either sex to have two victories in the prestigious European Tour; the first of which was in 2006.
Good Publicity after the Knocks for Poker
Poker itself needs the positive publicity this victory has engendered, especially following the fallout from “Black Friday”, April 15 2011, when the US Justice Department raided online poker providers Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker, and PokerStars and froze their bank accounts. Many players did not receive funds due to them, as a result.
With several US states now having legalised online poker at state level, the game seems to be recovering from the blow. Of course live poker has continued throughout and is a highly lucrative industry with several prestigious events. Although the competitors at these events are still predominantly male, only 4.7% of those participating in last year’s World Series were women, female success can only lead to increased interest from that half of the population.
The Ladies of the Poker World
Coren Mitchell is now in the all-time top ten of poker playing women, with total winnings of £1.43 million. Having started playing the game with her brother, journalist Giles Coren, and his friends, to increase her pocket money, she celebrated her latest win with a room service meal together with her husband, comedian David Mitchell.
Joining Coren Mitchell, as a lady amongst the men in the poker world, is attractive 23-year-old Swede Sofia Lövgren. She started playing online poker as a 16-year-old and is now one of its rising female stars. Lövgren announced in March this year that she was leaving PKR who she had been with for four years; in April 888Poker announced that she was joining them. With her poker playing skills and good looks the classy Scandinavian is the perfect choice as an ambassador for women together with fellow 888Poker new girl Xuan Liu.
Liu describes herself on Twitter as “Idealistic Poker Heroine – Toronto”. With career winnings of $1.4 million she is doing well in female poker circles and has recently seen a further benefit from her playing with a visit to motherland, China, invited by Ourgame, the country’s leading social gaming site.
The Girls are Here to Stay
When 888Poker announced Lövgren and Liu had joined their team they were eager to promote the female influence, pointing out that Australian Jackie Glazier, and Jessica Dawley from the US, were already on board. 40-year-old Melbourne born Jackie arrived late to the Poker tables just three years ago but is already on the main line to a successful career. Jessica is also travelling to success having left combat with the air force seven years ago to play poker professionally. Move over boys the girls are in town.