Punching above his weight

If you have ever had the fortune to look at a recent picture of "Team PokerStars", you will notice some very familiar faces. The last three world champions for instance - Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer and Chris Moneymaker, for those who have spent the past five years in the jungle - as well as the likes of Isabelle Mercier and Luca Pagano.

Since the London EPT event, however, there has also been what at first glance looks to be a definite imposter. There he is - a proud grin atop a PokerStars shirt - but who on earth is he? More to the point, what's he doing in such exalted company? Can he even play poker?

Step forward Simon "Suffolk Punch" Young. For it is he. Simon is another one of those characters that inhabit the hive of scum and villany that used to be known as Fleet Street. It's nearer Wapping these days, in East London, but much else remains the same.


Simon "Suffolk Punch" Young: making a splash


By day, Simon is the deputy news editor of The Sun, Britain's top-selling daily newspaper. By night, for the last eight months at least, he has been a poker player. And now, Simon is one of the chip leaders at the EPT.

It had a lot to do with aces. Last hand before the dinner break, Simon looks down on the bullets. He puts in a small raise on the button and, joy of joys, gets a small re-raise from Peter Holst, our media tournament winner.

Now, the man known as the Suffolk Punch shows some of the guile renowned of those who write beneath the Red Tops.

"How much have you got?" he asks.
"About 6,000."
"Make it 3,000," Simon says.
"All in."
"Call."
"Did you say call?"

Simon shows the aces, Peter shows kings. In this instance, the aces are good. And that's a sucker punch.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in European Poker Tour