This tournament poker lark is easy isn't it? All you have to do is turn up, outplay 300 people and pose for the cameras with your latest trophy. Of course the above isn't quite true for us mere mortals, but when your name is Julian Thew it's starting to become a mere formality. Last night the man they call 'YoYo' captured his second GUKPT title and his third major title in less than 6 months. He is now the GUKPT Plymouth, EPT Baden and GUKPT Brighton champion – taking down £86,800 in this latest outing.
This isn't even his first major cash of 2008, as last week he cashed in the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure. This result takes his career earnings well past the $2 million mark, with over $1.6 million coming inside the last 12 months. Last year he narrowly missed out on the European Player of the Year award and he has put himself in an early pole position to take it down this year.
The innovative Grosvenor UK Poker Tour showed no signs of losing any momentum when it restarted last week in Brighton, with a much busier side event schedule and 280 players making it for the £1000 main event. The tour has thousands of pounds of added value this year, and as the first champion of 2008, Thew has also won his seat into the £3000 grand final and entry into the Champion of Champions freeroll.
Julian faced Londoner Karim Louis in a tense, two hour heads up battle, in which Louis held a 2:1 chip lead. Twice as many chips as your opponents is never a certainty, especially when you are up against a player with the pedigree of Thew. YoYo grinded away and eventually won the perennial coinflip when his pocket fives held against the Ace-Queen of Louis. Karim was a gentleman in defeat as he shook the hand of the ever modest Thew.
Not only is this a great and well deserved win for Thew, for whom many believed had been held in the shadows for too long before this run of results, but this is another victory for poker in general. Julian Thew is one of the true gents in the game, with tremendous success but not even a hint of ego – never a crossed word at the table and always ready with a smile and a handshake whatever the result. Not only that but he has a very entertaining, loose aggressive style of poker which is a breath of fresh air to watch.
The final table paid out as follows:
1st Julian Thew£86,800
2nd Karim Louis£46,200
3rd Jim Reid£30,800
4th Michael Bolger£22,400
5th Joe Grech£16,800
6th Nik Persaud£14,000
7th Marcus Bebb-Jones£11,200
8th Fabio Esposito£8,400
9th Robert Cowen £5,600
The next event on the GUKPT tour is in Walsall starting on the 11th of February and we are already considering writing out our 'Julian Thew wins GUKPT Walsall' article in advance!