2014 PokerPlayer awards: Hero and villain

It’s Pantomime season and every good show needs a hero and a villain – he’s behind you!

Hero: Victoria Coren Mitchell

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has done more for poker than Coren Mitchell – certainly in the UK. It might be a game that’s played for money but Victoria didn’t get into it for the cash. It’s fair to say that close to $2.5m in tournament winnings is more than she ever envisaged making from a game she loves to play.

When she became the first ever two-time EPT champ earlier this year she scored mainstream column inches that proved women don’t have to be scared of men at the table. And, after PokerStars announced they were introducing casino games, she quit her sponsorship deal after eight fantastic (and lucrative) years as a globetrotting star. You don’t have to agree with her to applaud what is a principled stand. Victoria, we’ll miss you!

Villain: Daniel Colman

Daniel Colman has had the most incredible year as a poker pro, after cashing for an unbelievable $22m in 2014, including $15m in the Big One for One Drop. Instead of becoming the game’s poster boy though, he refused all media requests after the event and posted about his dislike for poker on the TwoPlusTwo forums.

Then, in an EPT high roller he aired his political views with a ‘Free Palestine’ t-shirt, while contesting the trophy heads-up with Olivier Busquet, his backer. Every game needs a villain but the ironic thing about this is that Colman genuinely wants to be seen to be the good guy. Unfortunately, the way he’s gone about it – and we’re taking his age into account – leaves a lot to be desired.

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