Hoax!

In the world of poker, there are very few professional female poker players.

And in the UK,  Victoria Coren Mitchell is one of those players.

Victoria was the first woman to win an event on the European Poker Tour.

And, the first player to win a televised professional tournament (EPT London 2006), a televised celebrity tournament (Celebrity Poker Club 2005).

She was also the first player to win two European Poker Tour Main Events.

Of her lifestyle, Victoria says that she regularly stays up until 6 am,

“Smoking and drinking and gambling. But I like cooking and gardening too, which makes me sound like a very strange mix of an old lady and teenage boy.”

In 2007, after the death of her father, she put a notice in The Times,  inviting those who knew him to attend a memorial service.

She was warned by a friend about a “gang of serial funeral crashers”.

They were based in the south of England.

The group would check obituaries to find funerals and memorial services.

They then crashed the events for their own enjoyment.

After receiving some suspicious email replies to her notice, she instigated a hoax to trap the group.

She created “Sir William Ormerod”, along with an online encyclopaedia entry and placed an obituary.

A week later, she placed another notice in The Times for his memorial service which was to be “followed by a drinks reception”.

Victoria reported that the group duly claimed to have known Ormerod and applied for invitations.

Her first idea was to hold the memorial service and put laxatives in the canapés.

However she changed her mind and got a friend to contact the ringleader (a serial fraudster and ex-magistrate) and tell him he was not welcome.

However she let the others in the gang come to her father’s service, “gave them a drink and sent them on their way”.