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Winning the Pot

Today in the surgery, I met an Englishman from Bromley. He was clearly very successful in the States. I reflected that I rarely met a Brit in America who was not successful. In every corner of the States that I have been to I have met Brits who are flourishing – working as the head of a hospital department or as the chief of a critical division of a high tech company or as an entrepreneur.

So I was not surprised to read recently in the SUNDAY TIMES that a British couple, Crispin and Jules Leyser, are the leading teachers and practitioners of No Limit Texas Hold 'em. The husband and wife team is claiming half of the record pot ($12 million) won last month by the appositely named Mr Gold. They assert, for reasons too tedious to explain here, that they had an agreement that Gold would split the pot with them if he won, and the judge has agreed they have a case.

What I found interesting, however, was that Mrs. Leyser had been a UK Regional Chess Champion; had read English at Trinity College, Oxford; had a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Festival, was nominated for best actress, and won the best newcomer award. How this CV led her to Texas Hold 'em is not entirely clear, but obviously the game can attract significant talent. It requires quick wits, good judgement, and dramatic flair. This little tale throws into relief my observations that America is attracting many of the best and brightest Brits; in all sorts of fields.