In part two of our interview with UK writer, broadcaster, and poker player Vicky Coren she talks about fellow players’ reactions to her book, her adult movie experiences, and her feelings about Erik Cajelais.Drop by part one to find out the story so far .Rebecca McAdam: Did you ever think your first book would be a poker book?Victoria Coren: Ah but it isn’t! My first book was a porn book which I did about five years ago. A friend of mine and I went to Amsterdam for an adventure to direct a porn movie and we wrote a book about it.RM: Really?VC: Yes, there is still a book out there somewhere which is the story of the year I spent making a porn movie.RM: From porn to poker…VC: Yes, my poker is less unexpected to me than that. You’ve got to keep surprising yourself.RM: Will there be another book do you think?VC: I’m sure I’ll do another book one day. I mean I’ll need a long rest after this one because this one took two years to write and it was quite intense, I was quite drained after it. I don’t mean to make it sound gruelling, I mean hopefully it’s a light, funny, easy read but it took a whole lot of effort.RM: How do you now knowing that some of your opponents at the table have read all your secrets?VC: That is definitely weird. That was one of the issues writing it because I kept imagining I now have to sit down with the people who have read it, maybe that’s embarrassing. Luckily people have been incredibly nice about it, and the poker players who’ve read it, so far, touch wood, nobody has said anything bad, they were all very, very positive.I think poker players are pleased to read a book that’s very honest, because I’m also a poker player and before I wrote this book I was annoyed that all these books came out which were either dry strategy guides or ghost-written autobiographies that I didn’t believe. All the time it was dating models, driving Ferraris, and winning at poker. It’s not the truth, and I think other poker players as well as me thought, “Why can’t these people be honest?” Of course, there’s glamour and money and excitement, and that’s all great, but of course there’s also loneliness and defeat and heartbreak and disappointment. And I think the response that I’m getting from players is that they are pleased that someone is prepared to put it out there, and part of the result is that they know a lot of my secrets, but it’s a price I’m prepared to pay. That’s the other way which I think I can think of myself more as a writer than a player, because ultimately what I want is for it to be a good book and not for my life to be better because of it.RM: How did you get on in the European Poker Tour London, do you find it’s getting more difficult every year?VC: It’s got more difficult broadly over the last few years. Of course poker has got more difficult because everyone has got better at it, there are more people playing, they play more hands, they study the game harder, and it’s tougher than it used to be, but generally no, I think you try to play well all the time and in a tournament like this where 70 percent of the field knows what they’re doing, and for the high roller maybe a 100 percent of the field, some cards have to go your way. The high roller was very difficult for me because I was on the bubble of that event and I found that very tough. I had to go for a long walk after it, I was quite upset. In the main event I was out on day 1 and I was OK with that, it wasn’t my day, it wasn’t going to happen, and that’s fine.RM: How do you deal with things like going out on the bubble, do you suffer with it for long?VC: I don’t get depressed for ages. I was upset about that one for a couple of hours afterwards but then of course I went back to play the main event, and it was a little bit like hopping on a sprained ankle. I was putting pressure right back on the bruised area. Ordinarily I might take a few days off, see my friends, remember there’s a world away from poker and get over it. But it’s fine, if you can’t deal with being knocked out of tournaments, whether that’s on day 1, on the bubble, in the final, in second place, you have to not play, you have to find something less brutal to do.RM: Finally, what was it that really pushed your buttons about Erik Cajelais ?VC: I met Erik at the World Series in Vegas this year and he was very rude to me. I assumed it was a one-off thing because of his mood. I met him again in the High Roller event here [in London], he was rude to me again, twice is not an accident. I felt that he was bullying and mean, and it reminded me of being bullied at school. And if I get that from anyone whether it’s abuse from another driver on the road, bullying behaviour in a tournament, an aggressive bouncer at a nightclub, it reminds me of being a kid at school, too scared to stand up for myself. So now I stand up for myself.
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