Like a stake Thew the heart

Who are the good guys in poker? It all depends who you ask.

Take Julian Thew, for instance. Ordinarily, you could ask just about anyone in any casino or card room in any country around the world and they wouldn't have a single bad word to say about the softly-spoken Nottingham-based player. Good guy? Look it up in the dictionary, and you'll see a picture of Julian Thew.

But that particular page might just be ripped out of Isabelle Mercier's copy. No Mercy is out of this tournament - and the man responsible is none other than Mr Thew.


Julian Thew. Good guy? There's no such thing


He makes a small pre-flop raise and Isabelle calls. The flop, which comes A-10-9, is checked by both players, before a blank on the turn. Isabelle bets now, Julian calls, and the river is a jack.

At this point, if I were a television director, I would show my audience what is in Isabelle's hand. Imagine the cut to the under-the-table camera reveals a seven and an eight. Her bet on the turn was with an up-and-down draw and now she's hit the top end. There's no surprise when she bets. She's a short stack and it all goes in.

"Call," says Julian.

Now, I'm the director of a video nasty with Isabelle about to get hers. Julian turns over K-Q. That's a straight too, of the slightly rarer gutshot variety. And, like a splintered stake, it goes straight through Isabelle's heart.

Team PokerStars is one down.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in European Poker Tour