Back to school, by Julian Thew

ukipt coventry_day 1a_julian thew.jpgby Julian Thew

The summer holidays are over, EPT Season 7 is well underway & we are just two weeks away from the UKIPT Grand Final, aka EPT London.

I skipped EPT Tallin & EPT Villamoura as we were either holidaying or had had family over to visit but I'm hoping to get the last four events of 2010 (London, Barcelona, Vienna & Prague) before a new edition to the family arrives in sometime in January. This means, once again, no PCA but I'm sure it'll be there for many years to come.

It would seem that I'm stuck in neutral for the 2010 season & thus far I've struggled to get much traction. Self-belief and hope are two great assets though and a lot of work has been done away from the tables; I'm confident that some form isn't too far away. I'm addicted to training videos and fortunately I know one or two very nice people who are helping me get back into the groove with some online coaching.


London was the first EPT I played way back in 2004. I remember having all the chips with nine players left, but my willingness to gamble saw me run into aces twice and I was the TV bubble boy. Lessons like that are the ones that you tend to remember and whilst it was far from the last time I bubbled a major final table I at least feel I know how to tiptoe around the potential pitfalls.

Those early EPTs were two-day events and it's amazing to see how quickly it's ballooned. EPTs offer the player a chance to change their lives forever if they play their cards right over a thirty to forty hour period.

With that in mind, these days it's not enough to just roll up at the venue and take your chances. Whether or not you liken poker to a sport, believe me it's worth preparing for it as an athlete would aim to peak for a world-class event.

That means well rested, with a clear head, capable of making the right decision after the right decision, all the while experiencing a rollercoaster of emotional swings. That's my plan anyway, buckle up and hopefully our paths might cross at the final table.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in PokerStars news