May 21, 2024 3 min read


Montenegro Poker Game Costs Former Farage Advisor £16M

George Cottrell, an experienced banker and former advisor for Nigel Farage, reportedly lost the hefty sum during a private high-stakes poker game

Reading your opponents, adapting to changing conditions, bluffing, maintaining focus, managing your finances and being overall disciplined are among the most important skills required for poker players. While most people may think that those skills can be learned while playing, this is certainly the hard way to learn them, and it usually comes at a hefty price.

But poker isn’t only about winning, sometimes, it’s about losing. In that line of thought, George Cottrell, the former top advisor of Nigel Farage, surely enjoys poker, even when losing millions. The aristocrat and banker who has worked for Credit Suisse and JP Morgan, recently participated in a high-stakes poker game and lost a whopping £16 million ($20 million), as announced by Daily Mail.

The global blockbuster action movie, Casino Royale, depicted the main character, James Bond, at a high-stakes poker game taking place at Casino Royale in Montenegro. Just like Bond, Cottrell reportedly participated in a high-stakes poker game that took place at the five-star Maestral Casino in Budva. Unlike 007, the banker and aristocrat didn’t win the game that took place on Thursday but rather sustained significant losses.

Regardless of the mind-blowing $20 million loss, Cottrell reportedly didn’t lose temper and continued playing until about 7 AM. It is believed that the aristocrat faced billionaires from China during the recent high-stakes poker game. At some point, Cottrell posted on social media that the game was “too big” for him, revealing that to see the first three community cards, or the so-called flop, he had to pay nearly £160,000 ($203,400).

The popular high-stakes poker tournament, the Triton Poker Series, is currently being held at Maestral Casino. Still, per the recent media report, Cottrell participated in a private game rather than the tournament.

The 30-year-old former top adviser to Farage moved to politics after a successful career in the financial sector. He previously held the role of chief of staff for Farage. Cottrell played an important role during Brexit.

However, he also had trouble with the law in the United States. The banker and important political figure was caught offering federal agents money laundering services. Those actions ultimately resulted in his arrest and the filing of 21 charges against him. At the time, he faced up to 20 years of prison time.

In the end, Cottrell’s long list of charges was reduced to one count of wire fraud. The man pleaded guilty to the charge and spent eight months in jail.


William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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