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Julian Thew: The Interview
Julian Thew made himself a promise that he would pay off his mortgage by his 40th birthday and with that date just two weeks away, and $20,000 outstanding, he had his work cut out for him here at the PokerStars EPT Baden main event.
Skyrocketing past the twenty-dime mark and taking down the entire tournament, Thew will have enough for a lot more than the mortgage when he returns home to England. After the final hand had been dealt and the winner photos taken, PL.com sat down with the champion to get his side of the story.
Congratulations Julian. I heard you use the world emotional to describe how you're feeling and just from listening to you speak I can tell it's a lot more than the money that you've got on your mind at the moment. As clichéd as it may be, what's going through your head right now?
Are you a very aggressive player in tournaments?
I have a reputation as being a very aggressive player but honestly I think I played a pretty solid tournament. Sure I like to play big pots but I think to win it you really have to be prepared to put that last raise in.
Tell us about the final table. You came in almost tied for the chip lead with Vladimir Poleshchuk so give us your thoughts on your opponents and your approach to the table.
Coming into the day I really thought Anton Allemann was going to be a threat, even though he only had $250,000. He turned out to be the first one out but I had heard he wasn't afraid to move his chips around and that he was a strong player.
I also thought that if Thomas Fuller got a double-up he would be a threat. I felt the Russian guy wasn't the strongest player at the table so I wasn't too worried about him, even though he had position on me. But I really just played a solid game. I was able to move up smoothly which was nice and with that one exception I didn't get in too many bad situations.
Once it got to heads-up it seemed like you were really able to control the action. With the exception of a few small setbacks you chipped up well and got your money in good on the last hand.
Well you know, I don't play a lot online and I'm by no means a heads-up specialist. We had done a bit of a deal where I'd take €550,000 and he'd take €450,000, so we were only playing for about €50K which took some of the pressure off. I think I played a bit more aggressively which, over the course of an hour, gave me the advantage going into the last hand.
One last question: We heard you had promised yourself to pay off the mortgage by your 40th birthday which leads us to believe there are things in your life which are important besides poker. Tell us about them.
Well, I'm really fortunate that I'm a sponsored player. William Hill buys me into these events so I pretty much get to freeroll in them. Day to day, my wife is on maternity leave; I've got two small boys. It's a pretty straightforward family life. Although I'm a professional poker player and I go away a lot I do have a lot of time to spend with my family which is fantastic. And I make more money playing poker than I ever had at anything else. We'd all dreamed of a win like this though.
Congratulations again Julian.
This being Julian's seventh cash on the EPT, and third final table, it wasn't much of a surprise that he was finally able to take down a title. A fan-favorite for those hailing from the UK and a fast friend to everyone who has the pleasure of an introduction, Julian Thew proved today why he merits the William Hill sponsorship that got him into this event.