R.I.P To Two Poker Queens

Welcome to my blog. I haven’t had the inclination to write anything for a long long time, but this I just had to do, to get it out of my head and on to a page. It may be long it may be short I don’t know yet depending where my thoughts take me.

First of all it has been a very sad week for the poker community. Not just losing one Poker Queen but two. The first one was last Sunday where I found out that Raine Hilson passed away suddenly. She was well known and well respected in the poker community, but I don’t think I got to know her unfortunately. My thoughts go out to her daughter Heidi and the rest of her family and friends at this sad time. There is a go fund me page which has been set up by Rachel Hennegan if you would like to donate then here is the link to do so:

Raine Hilson


Next is the shock passing of Mel Lofthouse, who died on Wednesday. Still doesn’t seem real. Mel had been ill for quite sometime and last year had to have a triple heart bypass. I set up a go fund me to help her with the bills because at that time she wasn’t working and I wanted to do something to support her and Declan her son. This time Mel needed a new liver as her’s was failing. She was sent to Jimmy’s in Leeds eventually after spending quite a bit of time in the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield. She was going to be put on the emergency transplant list. She got taken back in to NGH as her bloods had spiked and she had got an infection. I am sure they tried to treat it with antibiotics but sadly as we have all come to know it didn’t work. My thoughts are with Mel’s son Declan who has just turned 16 and his grandma.

Mel and Dec

My first recollection of Mel is down at DTD in Nottingham about 8 years ago. Out of a room full of dealers and poker players Mel stood out. Not just because of her vibrant red hair but because she had this wonderful aura around her. She was always smiling and she looked like she could be very stern and very serious when it came to dealing but also have banter with the players she knew well. I added Mel on facebook and it went from there really. She dealt at a number of tournaments that I went to and played. Always being the consummate professional while dealing but still having that glint in her eye and that smile that would light up her face. The last time I saw Mel was at the Unibet stop at Manchester 235 in December 2018. She ended up dealing the ladies game and I ended up on the final table, with Caroline, Vickki, Angela and a few others. To be fair we were a pretty raucous bunch of ladies and Mel did well to wrangle us all.

Here is a brief except of something that went off there, where I have never seen Mel go so red (I am sure she was nearly the same colour of her hair!) or the other ladies too. I look back on this with very fond memories and laughter.

Thank you to all the ladies that came out and played, I really hope you had lots of fun and laughter, and I didn’t let Daiva down. Massive thank you to our dealer Mel Lofthouse, who many of you may know and she will have dealt to you before. If not where you been? Such a lovely lady and so much fun. So we are playing the final table and then in walks the one the only Estonian Jesus, aka Rauno.  To say that the ladies heads were turned by him walking in the poker room was an understatement. You think men are bad when they are talking about a women they like, well they haven’t got anything on women. Men can be crude, women can be 1000 times cruder, and this was the case when it came to Estonian Jesus. I cannot divulge what was said exactly as it would make your toes curl, never mind anything else. I did turn round and tell the table that I actually knew him. I really don’t think they believed me. That was until Estonian Jesus appeared at the back of me and I gave him a cuddle. As he came to see how I was getting on in the tournament. I know the lady who was sat on my right couldn’t believe it, as she said one minute we were all talking about him and the next minute he was at the side of her.

Here are some of the lovely words that have been written about Mel.

I AM SHOCKED AND DEEPLY SADDENED BY THIS DREADFUL NEWS. Shared a house in Taplow, Bucks with Mel for 3 hilarious years whilst working together 22 years ago. Rest peacefully dear friend, you were a fighter and a trooper and will be sorely missed by many folk from all walks of life. xxxxxxxxx

Mel with a glint in her eye.

Can’t believe you’ve gone but always in our memories. You are an angel, so brave and you helped people in so many ways. Remembering how you helped me when others didn’t try. I loved walking Oscar and talking to your Auntie, she adored you, your mum and Declan. We will live for you, be kind and help each other. Dec….big hugs to you and your Gran. Take care, see you soon xx

I’m shocked, saddened and stunned to hear this devastating news RIP Mel – everyone loved you !

Mel with a stack.

I am truly shocked and saddened to hear of your passing. We met at school all them yeas ago then crossed paths again a few years ago. RIP Mel Lofthouse one of life’s treasures ❤️X

Rest in peace, Mel. Saddened to hear the news of your passing today. You always brightened up the poker rooms, whether as a player, dealer or TD.

I’m absolutely heartbroken for you Mel. I’m reading so many messages, you clearly are loved. I’m so upset for your son and most of all you not being here. You were so young 💗 it was only a few days ago when I seen you post about your new hair, I sent you my love and didn’t think that would be the last time I’d speak to you online. Life truly is too short and not fair xxxx

Final Table Hype!

If you ever met Mel Lofthouse,the first thing you would get would be a huge smile , followed by warm conversation She will be sadly missed in the poker community and my condolences go to her family

So sorry to hear about the sad news of Mel Lofthouse passing.Mel loved her poker, and it didn’t matter whether she was running the event or dealing the card or playing, Mel just loved the poker environment.I didn’t see so much of Mel in the last few years, but when I did see her, she would always have a smile on her face and a hug for a friend.I know that Mel will be missed by many, but none more than her family who I would like to send my condolences too ❤️

Another tragic and very sad loss of a dear friend – what an unbelievably shocking week.A fun-loving, hardworking, wonderful person, who defiantly battled through several life changing issues in recent years.R.I.P. Mel

You only think you’re going to bluff me, I know your game!

I feel heartbroken and upset to learn of the passing of Mel Lofthouse this evening.Mel was one of a kind, a beautiful soul who was always funny, kind and a pleasure to be around. The poker world just won’t be the same without her.To her son, Declan – your mum was a blessing to many of us, a true star, an angel – she brought pure joy to many of our lives. She is loved and will be missed my many. My heart go out to you in your time of sorrow.

Well what absolutely,shocking,awful,terrible news today that Mel Lofthouse as passed away today😢 for ppl in boxing me how this Wonderful bubbly soul passed, I can only say that she has been ill for sometime😢 Her liver collapsed and kidneys were failing. Multiple organ failure and they couldn’t figure out why….. 😢😢😢I have know Mel for over 20 years from when she played poker to becoming a dealer, a supervisor and a manger in all different places in the poker world…..she was one of the nicest souls I have ever met ❤️ such a hard worker and gave her all in everything ,I have had many laughs with her over the years and we was all ways winding each other up face to face mostly…..for me she was one of the best and I will certainly miss her… Her spirit & strength was admired by most ppl in the poker/casino world….she worked at Alea casino Nottingham for the last couple of months and said she was going to constantly wind me up because she was going to see me most days…. I so so wish you could still do this Mel 😢…. R.i.p melly you was always one at the top…. I am beyond gutted…took far to soon 😢Condolences to your son Declan who you was always talking about and your mum…… Fly high one of the queens of the poker circuit….Xx

I could go on and on, but I think those that I have chosen goes to show how much she was loved and is going to be missed. Sylvia Hewitt, me and Jessica Pilkington have set up a go fund me page to help with funeral costs and also hopefully to give Declan a little bit of money to help ease his burden. Please donate if you can if not then please share. Thank you for reading it and please feel free to share.



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