Book Review: “For Richer For Poorer – Confessions of a Player” by Victoria Coren

Wow, 2 blog posts in one day. 😉


I just finished reading Victoria Coren’s book “For Richer For Poorer – Confessions of a Player” here on my comfy couch in my nice apartment in the Isle of Man. It is strange how many parallels there are from what is in this book and how my life looks like. But at the same time it is so very different!

As I look out of my window at the Irish Sea and read Vicky’s lines about the time she visited the Isle of Man during the first and only “Poker Million” here, I can’t help myself but see the same:

“It is a cold, wet, fog-bound day in a place where the sheep have four horns, the cats have no tails and the people believe in fairies.”

Vicky paints a very accurate picture of the life inside the poker bubble. And although I have different views as I am more or less on the slippery edge of the bubble, sometimes slipping in but mostly staying out, I understand all of what she is writing about.

This book is the smartest and most honest description of the poker world that I have read so far. Through her book I really enjoyed living along Vicky’s life and all those fascinating experiences. So much in fact that I can’t wait to read more about it. I will have to follow her columns now as much as I can. 🙂

As I work for PokerStars as well (just not as a Team Pro, as Vicky) I will have more chances to meet her, I hope and get my book signed. At the European Poker Tour London Women’s Event in 2011 I actually had the pleasure of sitting at the same table and talking to her a bit…mainly business though unfortunately. This event took place in the Vic – the Grosvenor Victoria Casino in London – the place where most of this book is set.

Vicky not just describes the English, specifically London, poker scene, she also dibs over to Vegas a couple of times and tells us about crazy gambling escapades more than poker stories. After all this book is about players, that is poker players, but also includes all kinds of other forms of gambling against casinos.

I would say Vicky helped me change my view towards poker – as it is today and as it was in the past that I never knew – and might help me understand the future of my business “poker” a little better.

This section I would like to quote makes you see the fine line between the game of poker and the game of life. She obviously describes the game, but it could be a description of life itself at the same time:

“Sometimes you cannot think about the whole game. It is too difficult. So you have to play it hand by hand. You make the decisions you are capable of making. You play as well as you are capable of playing. You are as good as you are capable of being. You make the mistakes you cannot avoid making. That’s fine. The game has its own momentum. Sometimes, it is enough just to hang on. Sometimes, hanging on is the toughest challenge and the greatest triumph.

It is all about survival. All you need is a chip and a chair.”

Thanks, Vicky, for this book! I am hoping to see you again some day and talk about the poker world as it was before I got to know it.