For many poker players, success comes in waves, sometimes populated by long dry spells as well. There’s certainly no dry spell for Julian Thew as his 2012 winning ways have continued into the new year. In the first stop of the Genting Poker Series at Birmingham, Thew defeated nearly 600 opponents to take down the title and first prize winnings of £40,120. While the top place was scheduled for a £55,000 payday, the final four players negotiated a deal to flatten the payout structure and leave an extra £10,000 for the eventual winner.
For Thew, the win comes as his first major score of 2013 and the Nottingham-based pro is hoping it leads to a trend similar to what he saw last year. In 2012, Thew was very active, playing tournaments in the United Kingdom and including a trip to the United States to compete in a prestigious World Series of Poker event, where he netted a $3,659 bankroll-boosting cash. However, the real story of Thew’s 2012 was his four tournament wins, which stretched from January to November. While they combined for some £85,000 in winnings, the largest single score came from a victory at a hometown tournament in Nottingham, worth £26,299.
If the win at the Genting Poker Series in Birmingham is any indicator, Thew is certainly set to surpass his 2012 results. However, it was not an easy road from the tournament start to the final head’s up duel. A number of well-known pros were present and when the final table started, Thew found himself up against Barry Neville, Daiva Barauskaite, and Ross Boatman, a legendary poker player and one of the founding members of the Hendon Mob. In the end, Thew and Neville squared off for the title and the skills of the former were more than adequate in dispatching the latter to the rail. Neville took home £32,620 for his runner-up finish and Boatman’s third place was good for another £30,620 on top of his impressive career earnings.
While it may have been considered one of the lesser poker tours in the UK, the Genting Poker Series is picking up steam in a big way as players have recognized the superior structure and are showing up in droves. The event in Birmingham saw a 60% year over year growth with its 590 entrants and have positive expectations for later in the year when the weather warms up and more players are apt to travel. The next event fun from the 21st to the 25th of March in Newcastle and more tournaments are already on the schedule. After the victory, Thew stated that he would definitely be attending the Newcastle and Sheffield tournaments, so further winnings may be just a few short weeks away.