The inspiration of Vicky Coren-Mitchell
During the summer months, some poker players will play quite a few hands on PokerStars, while others head to Las Vegas for some live tournament action. While doing either one of those things, it's important to take inspiration with you to the tables.
Writing about poker also requires a certain level of inspiration. There are many players in the game that constantly bring the fun, respect, and passion that make reporting more interesting, but only one player has inspired me where those two careers - writing and poker - intersect.
That person is Vicky Coren-Mitchell.
I've admired her for quite some time, but it was in her humble victory at the EPT San Remo, where she made tournament history, that my respect for her grew even more.
"I hope people can see that I'm enjoying myself; I'm playing poker for fun."
Vicky is the epitome of a gracious winner. Add in her brilliant British humor and her genuine love for the game, and she becomes a role model for poker players. Women can identify with her on many levels, and men should be able to relate to her attitudes toward poker.
It doesn't hurt that she is somewhat of a celebrity in the UK, and her life partner, David Mitchell, is often in the limelight as well. The coverage of her EPT win by the British mainstream media rivaled that of her wedding, and it was comforting to know that people in the UK were celebrating Vicky at the same time that many of us in poker were doing the same.
The PokerStars blog covered Vicky's history-making win in great depth. Joanne Bartley pondered the possibilities of it changing the poker world, and Lee Jones pointed out the importance of her grace.
As for me, I agree with all of those sentiments and top them off with an acknowledgement of her wit, her dedication, and her tenacity as a writer and poker player. This is exemplified in this bonus cut video:
"The place of poker in my weird life sort of changes all the time," Vicky said, as if she was reading my mind. "It's something that people ask you quite a lot. You're either in poker or out of it. What are you hoping to achieve next? What do you want to win? What do you want to do? I never really think like that. I don't have a sort of game plan."
If you need inspiration for poker - or writing, or following your dreams - take a few minutes to watch Vicky. Or read her book, For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker. Her honesty is more than just refreshing; it's something that is all-too-rare in poker, where ego and fame often get in the way of showing true emotion and candor.
Personally, I hope to see more of Vicky in poker, as she is perhaps one of the very best people to attract others to the game, especially female players.
No matter what your relationship to poker, let Vicky Coren-Mitchell inspire you as well.
Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.