EPT8 Campione: Yunis eyeing another big finish

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Nick Yunis has been throwing his chips about a bit. As I approached his table to watch I was stopped by a member of the media who stepped in front of me, as if to warn me of some kind of danger ahead. "Nick Yunis is playing every hand," he said. "Every hand."

I knew this man to be an emotional type, prone to exaggeration, so I brushed him off and walked up to Yunis's table to see for myself. As I suspected, I was right. Yunis, in a plaid shirt open at the neck and a brimmed hat that looks a size too small, wasn't playing every hand, he was playing every hand but one. He'd just folded his small blind.

"I'm maybe playing a little bit more than optimal," said Yunis at the break. "But I think I am a good balance between a math player and an instinct player, and I'm running good."

The working environment seemed conducive, with both tables he's featured at today posing little threat to Yunis.

"I'm not getting three-bet much at all so when I get three-bet I just fold, so not a big deal," said Yunis. "They're just allowing me to run the table over a little bit."


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Nick Yunis


This approach is hardly new to the Chilean. In the past year Yunis has quietly, but doggedly, worked his way onto poker's main stage. He has put together a string of results that, although not big enough to rattle the windows, are sizeable enough to convince a new player they are doing something right.

In 12 months he's reached 12 finals, earning $219,000 in 2011 and so far $122,000 in 2012. Not bad for a player who played his first major event a little less than a year ago in San Remo, finishing in 16th place. Rather than mere fluke, it proved the start of something for Yunis.

"It's been really good," he said, before adding with a smile: "Especially in Europe! I started playing major live tournaments last year. And my results have been really consistent, cashing all the time, I'm still looking for that big score.

"My friends laugh because every trip I show a small profit! Which is good of course, I'm not complaining, But I'm still hungry."

Hungry, yes. At the last break of the day Yunis was pushing the 100,000 mark, spending to accumulate as hand by hand went by with Yunis sure to have his say each time. Yunis may be looking for that first major title but he's also has his sights on something else.

"I'm third in Player of the Year standings so that's my big goal right now," said Yunis. "That' would be the biggest accomplishment of my career so far if I could win that.

Like the main event, the PoY contest also has some stiff competition; Roberto Romanello, in second place, will have something to say about it for a start. But while Romanello could talk his way to that award, Yunis may do it by letting his chips talk for him. It's working today.

Tournament snapshot
Level 7: blinds 250-500, ante 50
Players: 140 of 178

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in Campione