Thursday, December 29, 2005


I’ve encountered some top notch players over the last 4 years, but I’d have to say that my toughest opponent is Julian ‘Yoyo’ Thew. Although I’ve known him for quite a while now, we’ve been offered few opportunities to cross swords. However, if we met at the table more regularly, I’m sure he’d cause me all sorts of headaches.

Over the last 2 or 3 years, Julian has developed into a mighty fine poker player. Calm, disciplined, and focused, he is perhaps one of Europe’s finest players. In fact, I’d go as far to say that he is capable of world class status and I truly believe that he could soon be challenging some of the game’s greatest names at the highest levels.

Personally, I never embrace the prospect of playing Julian. True, he’s one of the game’s politest players and it is always an honour to compete against him, but, if he were at my starting table, I’d consider his presence to be an early obstacle. I prefer a table full of tight predicable players, and Julian is anything but.

I’ve always considered him to be a sheep in wolf’s clothing. He looks so innocent, as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, but given half the chance, he’d snap those chips away from you in a millisecond. The problem is that he’s so difficult to read. I find it really hard to put him on a bluff as he disguises his plays so well. With many players it is obvious when they’re on the steal, but, with Julian, it’s so much more frustratingly tricky. You know he bluffs frequently, you know he loves to pinch a pot, but you just don’t know when he’s doing it. This is a skill that few possess.

Last time I played Julian was at the Walsall Midlands Masters in the £200 event. I’d managed to avoid him all tournament, but, as we sat down for the final table, I realised that if I was going to win the comp, I’d probably have to outplay Julian at some point or another. Unfortunately, I never received the opportunity to even play one hand with him as I exited early in 8th. However, I decided to stop around and watch him destroy the rest of the table, eliminating the majority of the remaining competitors. Eventually, he kept his cool and patience to conquer Micky Wernick in a very intriguing heads up battle. His 18k payday for 1st was fully deserved and he never looked in danger of any other placing. More importantly, I don't believe there was anyone in the casino who wasn't delighted to see him rake the chips in victory.

Not once did Julian look as though he was going to exit that comp. He was stacked up right from the start, and this is something I witness from him on many an occasion. If Yoyo accumulates chips during a comp, he’s a real danger man, and you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll be sitting on that final table when the smoke clears. I can’t even comment on how he plays a short stack, as I’ve never seen him with one. But if he did go down to the felt, I’m sure he wouldn’t hang around for too long, which might explain his current nickname.

Overall, what impresses me most is his table etiquette. He never moans, complains, or whinges and is always polite and courteous to the other players. This is a policy which I wish more would employ, but few do.

So, I really don't relish my future encounters with Julian. I hope we do meet again, in a way, as it means I could be on a final table. However, if we do bang heads, then I might adopt some of this lottery poker that I witness at lower stakes, as that way I may have a chance.


At 2:36 AM, Blogger Greg_'Junior'_Hill said...

alot of people starting out in the game could learn a great deal by watching how JT conducts himself.

nice post!.. is he paying good money for this sort of stuff :-)

At 4:15 AM, Blogger snoopy1239 said...

No, but for a small fee 'Julian' could easily be replaced with 'Junior'. :-)


Post a Comment

<< Home