Victoria Elizabeth Coren Mitchell was born on August 18, 1972, into a distinguished literary family in Hammersmith, West London, and raised in Cricklewood, North London. Her father, Alan Coren, was a renowned humorist and journalist, while her brother, Giles Coren, is a prominent journalist and television presenter. Growing up in such an intellectually stimulating environment, Victoria developed an early affinity for wit and wordplay, which shaped her interest in storytelling and writing.


Educated initially at independent girls’ schools, including St Paul’s Girls’ School, and later at St John’s College, Oxford, where she studied English, Victoria often felt like an outsider—a sentiment that honed her observational skills. These skills would later prove invaluable, both at the poker table and in her writing career, allowing her to perceive nuances and details others might overlook.

A Prolific Career in Writing and Broadcasting

From an early age, Victoria displayed a talent for writing. At just 14, she published a short story under a pseudonym in Just Seventeen magazine and subsequently won a competition in The Daily Telegraph to write a column about teenage life. Her writing has been versatile and impactful, including works like Love 16, and her poker memoir For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker, which offers a deep dive into her poker life and the broader world of professional gambling.


Victoria’s career in broadcasting is equally noteworthy. Since 2008, she has been the engaging host of the BBC television quiz show Only Connect. Her clear, accessible presentation style has made her a household name in British media. Her work extends beyond television; she adapted the newspaper columns of John Diamond into the play A Lump in my Throat, which was performed at various prestigious venues and adapted into a BBC Two docudrama. Moreover, she and her brother Giles wrote an introduction for Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks, an anthology of their father’s best comic writings, further cementing her standing in the literary world.


This blend of deep literary roots and a robust presence in media and poker underpins Victoria’s unique and respected position in both the literary and gaming circles.

Groundbreaking Achievements in Poker

Victoria’s poker career is marked by several historic milestones that set her apart in the world of professional poker. As the first woman to win an event on the European Poker Tour (EPT), and the only player (that we are aware of) to claim victories in both a televised professional tournament (EPT London 2006) and a televised celebrity tournament (Celebrity Poker Club 2005), Victoria’s achievements have had a profound impact on the sport. Her unparalleled success continued as she became the first player to win two EPT Main Events—first in London in 2006 and then in San Remo in 2014. These victories not only showcased her formidable talent at the poker table but also helped shatter gender stereotypes in what has traditionally been a male-dominated field.


Victoria’s regular participation in games at the Victoria Casino in London’s Edgware Road, and her frequent commentary roles for major poker broadcasts such as the William Hill Poker Grand Prix, Late Night Poker, The Poker Nations Cup, and the World Poker Tour, have made her a familiar face and voice in the poker community. Despite never reaching a grand final in Late Night Poker, she triumphed in Celebrity Poker Club, underscoring her versatility and competitive spirit in both professional and celebrity circuits.

Advocacy and Personal Life

Beyond the poker tables, Victoria is a staunch advocate for women’s participation in poker, a passion that was recognized with her induction into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2016. Her advocacy extends to her thoughtful engagement with the ethics of the industry; notably, she ended her endorsement with Team PokerStars Pro in 2014 due to concerns about online gambling’s potential impact on vulnerable individuals. This decision highlights her commitment to responsible gaming and her integrity as a professional.


On a personal note, Victoria is married to actor and comedian David Mitchell, with whom she shares two children. Her life outside the poker world is as rich and varied as her professional endeavors. She describes herself with a touch of humor as a blend of an “old lady and teenage boy,” enjoying hobbies like cooking and gardening alongside her more nocturnal activities, including gambling. This blend of interests keeps her grounded and adds a unique dimension to her public persona.


Victoria Coren Mitchell’s career in poker is not just a tale of personal triumph, but also a beacon for aspiring players, especially women, who see in her a figure of both inspiration and relatability.


Victoria Coren Mitchell’s story is one of breaking conventions and setting new benchmarks. Whether it’s her insightful columns, her engaging television presentations, or her strategic mastery at the poker table, she continues to inspire and influence across a range of disciplines. Her journey is a compelling reminder of how diverse talents can converge to create a truly multifaceted career. 


Victoria Coren Mitchell remains a significant figure in both the literary and gaming circles, continually pushing the boundaries and redefining what it means to be a woman in the world of professional poker and beyond.