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For Richer, For Poorer : A Love Affair with Poker by Victoria Coren

For Richer, For Poorer : A Love Affair with Poker

Biography / Autobiography   Books of the Month   
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March 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.

As one would expect from the daughter of the famous and respected writer Alan Coren, it is no surprise Victoria Coren can herself write.

What makes her book interesting is the life path she has chosen which, in every aspect, seems to be neither one thing nor another. A well-educated, 'nice young girl' compromises social respectability with the seedy world of poker (and the even seedier world of porn films). The daughter of a celebrity father mixes with celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Ricky Gervais and Nigella Lawson (whose surname, curiously, she avoids identifying) but, at the same time, keeps company with the low life world of illegal poker hucksters in seedy, smoky vice dens. As a woman in the man's world of professional poker where, as Coren herself writes 'if this really were an upside-down world where all the gamblers were women, poker would be a much friendlier game. But I'm not sure I want it to be'. And even as a woman in an American-dominated 'sport', she remarks on her own 'crooked English teeth'.

First published in 2009, there are numerous reviews of this book (and views on its author) available online including this by her acquaintance and fellow poker player Martin Amis: "For Richer, For Poorer seizes the reader with its first sentence and never lets go. Victoria Coren writes, on several levels, with wit, honesty, and perfect freshness."

If this is an honestly objective review, then who are we to disagree? What we would say is that many reviews of this book state that you don't have to understand poker to enjoy it but, it does have to be said, you will probably enjoy it more if you do and you never know it might also teach you how to win a million…


For Richer, For Poorer : A Love Affair with Poker by Victoria Coren

Miserable at an elegant day school for girls, Victoria Coren finds an escape in the mysterious world of poker. Twenty years later, she has won a million dollars and forgotten to have children. What price adventure? For Richer, For Poorer is a memoir of friendship and belonging, love and loss. It is the true story of happiness and heartbreak, smoke and mirrors, bright lights and shady characters.


“If you’re interested in poker, you will adore Victoria Coren’s memoir… If you’re not interested in poker, you will adore it anyway.” The Spectator

“With a beguiling blend of humour and honesty, shrewdness and candour, she wins the reader’s heart. An absorbing and unusual slice of autobiography.” Daily Telegraph

“For Richer, For Poorer seizes the reader with its first sentence and never lets go. Victoria Coren writes, on several levels, with wit, honesty and perfect freshness.” Martin Amis

“Coren tells the story of her unorthodox rise to poker fame with wit, panache and considerable candour . . . It makes for a nail-biting read.” Mail on Sunday

“This miseducation of a poker player is terrifically funny and terribly moving. Vicky Coren plays cards like a demon and writes like an angel.” Patrick Marber

About the Author

Victoria Coren

Victoria Coren is a writer, broadcaster and poker player from London. She currently writes a topical column in The Observer, and this is her third book. She has presented Late Night Poker and The Poker Nations Cup on Channel 4. Away from poker, Victoria is the presenter of Only Connect, the highest rated show on BBC Four, and the host of Heresy on BBC Radio 4. Coren is a member of Team PokerStars Pro, with lifetime winnings of $1.5 million.

Author photo © Neil Stoddart

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd March 2011


Victoria Coren

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Canongate Books Ltd


352 pages


Biography / Autobiography
Books of the Month




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