It’s hard to underplay how much the aesthetic of casinos plays into its allure. It’s no wonder then that some of the most iconic movies over the decades have included casino scenes or have had that world as a backdrop or central theme. The popular James Bond film, Casino Royale is a good example of this. The spy movie, starring Daniel Craig grossed $600 million had a central plot featuring a high stakes Texas hold ’em tournament at the Casino Royale in Montenegro.
London-born broadcaster, writer and poker player Victoria Coren Mitchell is probably best known as the host of the BBC Television quiz show ‘Only Connect’, which she has presented for over a decade. Nevertheless, she is a highly accomplished poker player, with $2.47 million in live earnings alone. She had the distinction of becoming the first player to win two Main Event titles on the European Poker Tour (EPT), collecting £500,000, or $941,513 – her best live cash to date – in EPT London in 2006 and a further €476,100, or $660, 947, in EPT Sanremo in 2014.
Coren Mitchell started playing poker with her elder brother, Giles Coren, before eventually branching out on her own. She has regularly played Texas hold’em at the Victoria Casino in London and is apparently close friends with the professional poker players Joe Beevers, Barney and Ross Beevers and Ram Vaswami, collectively known as the ‘Hendon Mob’. Coren Mitchell has also appeared on several televised poker shows, including ‘Celebrity Poker Club’, ‘Late Night Poker’ and ‘The Poker Nations Cup’, written an autobiography entitled ‘For Richer, For Poorer: My Love Affair with Poker’ and, in 2016, was inducted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame.
Coren Mitchell joined Team PokerStars Pro in 2007, but terminated her contract in 2014 after the new owners, Amaya Gaming, introduced casino gaming on the PokerStars platform. Her decision was purely down to personal principles, rather than any criticism of PokerStars or casinos in general. At the time, she said ‘Poker is the game I love; poker is what I signed up to promote.’
The rol-a-top slot machine was first made in 1935 and until 1938 and was produced by Watling Manufacturing Co. It featured in a 1960 episode of Twilight Zone called Fever. Reproductions of this iconic machine are still made today!