EPT London 2011

So I’m sitting at my work desk deliberating what to eat for lunch when I receive a phone call from Pokerstars telling me I had won the guest blogger competition to attend the final day of EPT London! Before I knew what had hit me my flight was booked and the following day I was sitting in the airport waiting to travel from Newquay to Gatwick, knowing that in less than three hours I was about to be at a Pokerstars party! To say I was excited would be an under-statement and the only words that I can think of to emphasise this are expletives and thus banned from this blog!

Anyway after discovering that it is possible to feel sea sick on a plane and that your last resort of salvation once getting lost in London is a taxi driver, I finally arrived at the location! After spending the first couple hours walking around with my jaw dropped to the ground like a hippopotamus and reeling off names in my head of players I had seen on TV or followed on Pokerstars, I relaxed and started to mingle with the players. Obviously after a few drinks everyone lets their guard down and once I grew in confidence and consumed enough alcohol to drown a small fish I thought it would be a wise idea to dive in an tell Jason Mercier how much of a legend I thought he was and that he was to poker what Wayne Rooney is to english football! I’m not sure he fully understood what I meant but he took it gracefully nonetheless. The one thing that truly amazed me was how many countries were represented; (French, German, Swedish, American, etc.) And it’s only when you experience it live that you fully recognise that poker has truly turned into a global game. On a quick side note;

Never try and guess what country a player is from. I thought I would be clever and decided to ask a player if he was French Canadian. Without getting into details the answer was a stern “no” and in fact it turned out he was English and his hometown was Chorley. Oops!

Moving on swiftly to the final table of the Main Event, the hand that I will always remember from EPT London will be the hand that KO’d Martins Adeniya. Adeniya and Benny Spindler held the two biggest stacks at the final table and they ended up flipping for the monster chip lead with Spindler holding 10 10 to Adeniya’s AK. The board ran out J83 2 J and the last remaining Brit was heading to the rails in a state of shock, and it left Spindler sitting on top of a stack that looked like a model version of Mount Kilimanjaro!

It wasn’t just Adenyia who couldn’t believe what had just happened the whole room was in shock. For about an hour afterwards the atmosphere felt like it was in a state of suspended animation. One by one the players and guests alike started to realise that on one hand Spindler was almost guaranteed to be heads up for the £750,000 first prize and the trophy, and on the other Adenyia had potentially just lost a flip worth an extra £664,000! As it turned out this is the correct assumption and although Spindler still had to finish off the job, he did it in a fearless style finally dispersing the never say die Steve O’Dwyer, (Benny’s AK to KJ) to take down his first title!

However it does make you make you realise that sometimes sport can be cruel and the margins between victory and defeat are that small it can be over in a blink of an eye. (Well maybe add an extra agonising couple of minutes for the dealer to rip your heart out!)

What impressed me the most about every single player at the EPT and especially those that made the final table was how well they handled themselves in the face of defeat! Hundreds of thousands of pounds were at stake and the admiration I have developed for these players is second to none. It makes me realise how everyone including myself should act not just on the poker table but life in general. Being able to visit the final day of EPT London is one of the best experiences of my life and although I would love to come back as a blogger, I’m hoping in the future that in fact it will be me sitting down at the final table of EPT London.

I would like to thank Pokerstars for giving me a great opportunity and good luck to everyone at the tables!

April; The best month so far of 2011

Ok, So I havent made a blog entry since the end of March and the reason why is because so many things have been happening! And for once things are looking up and April is shaping up to be a great month! First thing first updates;

1) I have entered 2 golf tournaments this month. The first of my life. To say I was nervous on the first tee would be an under-statement! I was absolutely bricking it! I felt like a cat checking out human feet! Anyway I actually performed quite well. In the first tournament which is a monthly medal I finished in about 20th position of around 70 runners and mid-table in division 1!

In the second tournament it was a pairs foursomes match in which my partner was my friend Michael ” BEAR” Falconar (who so happened to win division 2 on his debut! Big congrats there!) Anyway we started off on fire! After 10 holes we were only +3 and considering our joint handicapp was +19 we was killing the field! But then we hit the 5th and it was too the win, and needless to say “youngesters tend to try and smash the ball hard then they mess up”! which is exactly what happened! We then went 5,5,5,4,4 over the next 4 holes!

However compared to Rory at the masters it wasnt too bad! however we knew we were joint level going into the last hole against the other pair(one of them just happened to be the owner!lol) and would you believe, Bear drove out of bounds and mine(with the wind) flew past the green into the unknown and was never found…. Long story short…we scored no points on the last hole when 1 point would have won it for us (little did we know 🙂 ! but hey we cant complain it just makes me want to play more!

I also feel im at the stage now where I would rather play golf than pool! i love been outside and dropping it on the green or chipping in for an impossible birdie. I honestly need to evaluate whether or not I want to continue playing county pool! its a long day and contains long journeys for 4 games!

Moving on…. I cant believe how exciting the US Masters was and I have applied for tickets for 2012. The draw is in July and if i get chosen im not turning it down. there $75 and a flight would be around £350-£400 but I would save save and go with whoever wanted a trip!

2) Poker! well what a great last 2 weeks! I’ve turned $20 into $210 in 9 days following perfect bankroll management! always giving myself 20 buyings at each level with 60% to sit down at! currently at 0.05c/0.10c games and $6 sit down! but the big news is that all my profit has come from Omaha hi lo! The games on http://www.pokerstars.com/ are so soft and people rarely try to think about scooping the pot!

Im happy at the min grinding at this level but once I hit $300-$350 im gonna step upto 0.10c/0.25c! I will update you if I get there but I just got to keep focus and not gamble in margin spots. SMALL BALL is the motto!

3)Travels; Im off to venice next friday and up until today Emma didnt know where she was going. Im taking her away for her 25th and I cant wait! Should such a good 3 days. Anyway if I get some good photo’s I will put them up! Have a good weekend everyone! And last but not least,…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA!

In Nubila leopardo

You maybe be wondering what “In Nubila leopardo” means?

Plain and simply its latin for Joey ” The snow Leopard” Tonkin 🙂
For over the course of the next week I will be tearing it up in the french alpes at the Ski resort Les deux Alpes! If im being honest we all know the only thing I’m going to be “tearing up” is my knee and shoulder joints when they rip out of their sockets!
I 100% fully believe I will at least dislocate my left shoulder, because how would it not be possible to not dislocate it skiing but yet it easily pops out playing golf? (I can see how many double negatives are in that sentence but can not logically disect it correctly to be able to rewrite it as I have another issue hindering me right now).

I have really sore nipples!

This isn’t a joke, I literally have nipples that are so sore I have started to wonder if somehow I unwittingly consumed some kind of female hormone injection. Nobody has any idea as to what I’ve started doing differently over the last few weeks to be in this aching situation. However I’m a man “grrr” and I’m dealing with it quite well at the moment. For a few days I resorted to plasters over the painful area, however they got worse when I ripped them off, sigh! So logically my next step was to consult technology and so I brought up google and typed in the magic words, “Why do my” and before I could finish the sentence up pops the two most popular questions in the whole world.

Number one; “Why do my feet smell?” Honestly who the hell in their right mind is sitting at their work desk or chilling at home on the laptop and starts thinking…’mmm I know what I can ask google’! This literally left me speechless and thinking, WTF!

But then it dawned on me that question number two was what I wanted to know and people were probably thinking the same thing about that; Why do my nipples hurt?

At first I was like “wow” I cant believe how many other people have the same problem, so it actually made me feel better then I hit the search button and up popped hundreds of pages of women asking that question, none from men!

Needless to say, I turned the laptop off and then spent the next few hours checking every now and then to see if my “pecks” had grown. However so far so good, things are still normal just sore 🙂

Anyway back to skiing. This will be the first time that I have ever been skiing. Infact its going to be the first time that I have ever been on holiday to a place where sub zero temperatures are ‘normal’. This is obviously a worry for me because I am allergic to the cold. Everytime I get cold I come out in a pimpely rash. But I have all the gear (thank you TK Maxx) to keep me warm and snug. Not sure how its going to help me though when I drop in on the half pipe as there isnt much padding, just shit loads of pockets that make me feel like a squirrel and that I could probably store food items in the pouches that could last me a week! Which come to think of it isn’t such a bad idea.

Finally the poker challenge I set myself lasted all of 2 days. I just don’t seem to have the commitment to grind anymore. Maybe playing almost everyday for the last 5 years and not really getting anywhere is starting to take is toll on me. Apart from 2 moments, the first turning $200 into $2500 in one night then losing most of it back the next day, which happened about 4 years ago is the moment that stands out the most and the other ‘standout’ moment was last september when I won a $17 tournament for $1200.

I’ve realised that both these moments were inspirational in making me carry on playing and it made me believe that this could happen all the time. Obviously this isn’t the case as every month players are improving so dramtically that what worked last month doesnt wash this month. However I still love playing the game but for the rest of the year I am just going to treat it as a hobbie, and not dream of it as something that I could make a living from.

Have a good end to February everyone and hopefully my next blog post won’t be written from a french hospital ward 🙂

Great Expectations!

If someone had asked me how did I want our engagement party to go then the answer would have been to perfection! And boy did it not disappoint. The turnout was tremendous the DJ and the band “Flipside” superb and the food delicious!

It was strange being the host and as much as I enjoyed it, I wouldn’t like to do it too often as you do tend to worry about the smallest of things. I suppose all you can do is let the night run its course and just enjoy yourself. From the reactions I have had everyone had a great time and I doubt it will be a party that will be forgotten in a longtime. Mainly due to the fact Emma tore her skirt up to her bum and I made myself sound even camper by serenading her 🙂

I felt so privileged that both families could come together to celebrate this moment and I do believe it was the first time that the Moyle’s had met the Tonkin’s and both family’s seeing the Handley family! That’s a sentence that could easily get muddled up, back to front and turned upside down! 🙂 However the best news overall has to be the fact that there was no fighting! lol.

Anyway before I move on I just want to say “Thank you very much” to Emma’s parents who organised the venue, food and DJ. Without their help I doubt Me and Emma would have put on a party half as good!

It was a defining moment and has given me a platform to now move ahead and plan for the future. My next goal is to save enough money to buy a house and then to have a wedding. I have been working hard over the last few months to make sure I put myself in the best position possible to be able to achieve this.

I have definitely becoming more financially aware of my own situation (Isa’s, savings, interest rates, etc) and the current economic and political climate. I am also trying to calm down my anger on both the poker/pool felt and golf greens almost to the extent that I have to be careful not to lose my determination to win and the desire to succeed! However I feel like it’s important to find the right balance of winning and being a good loser. The fact that I hate losing at anything makes this extremely hard but I have started to put perspectives in life against each game and accept that everyone loses, but I still long to improve and hopefully “chilling out” a little bit will help me do this and I will always be “Bi-winning”! Thank you Mr Charlie Sheen.

OK Just to finish off here are some details of my poker situation on www.pokerstars.com

June 7th deposit: $50……..Goal by Christmas $1000

27/06/11 @ $367
29/06/11 @ $380
30/06/11 @ $383
01/07/11 @ $410
02/07/11 @ $465
04/07/11 @ $476
06/07/11 @ $504
11/07/11 @ $768
12/07/11 @ $813

I have had one 2nd place finish in a 600 runner tourney for $168 and a 5th place finish for $432 in a 5087 runner tournament. The 5th place finish still haunts me a little though as first place took $1500 and I feel I should have made at least top 3, sigh! But all in all I’m moving in the right direction. Obviously I’m way ahead of my prediction and considering I’m playing only about 10 hours a week absolutely flying towards the finish line. If I hit $1k soon then I may push my target to $2k. Deep down I’m looking at trying to make $10k over 18 months but at the min all I want to do is take baby steps!

As far as traveling is concerned me and Emma are planning to go away to the canaries on the 16th of August however we are going to wait until the end of July to book the holiday and hopefully secure a cheap deal! 🙂

My golf is improving however still not at the rate I would like but I know what I need to work on and I’m sure it will all click together soon. And as for pool, one word sums me up; average! Which is nothing more than I would expect at the minute as I’m hardly practicing due to other commitments and hobbies. It’s something that is annoying me and I plan to put the effort in over the next couple of months to get me back to standard that helped me play for England Universities.

Except not today as it’s sunny outside, so get out there and enjoy it!

I want to be the EPT guest blogger because Poker is the dream that never dies!

When we were kids growing up we all had dreams, crazy dreams but nonetheless dreams that we believed were possible. Once you turn 18 you kind of know whether or not you’re on the right path to making these dreams a reality and by the time you hit 26 you know that it will most likely forever stay exactly that…….just a dream!
You may have been unlucky or maybe it was out of your control. Maybe your dream was to become a footballer or a rugby player but you didn’t make it because you was too short or you was not quite fast enough no matter how hard you trained! At the end of the day your fate was simply decided by one thing, genetics. Or if your dream was to be a doctor or a pilot it may have been derailed by a lack of financial wealth to fund you through university or even something simple such as a lack of twenty/twenty vision. The fact remains, when your dream dies a part of your soul dies with it………however not if your dream is poker!

What makes poker special is that there are no boundaries! There’s no one else stopping you from making your dream a reality apart from yourself. It does not matter if your 18 or 80, there are people of all ages from all walks of life in EPT London all with the same goal, too become the champion!

Obviously unless your Jason Mercier or Daniel Negreanu success doesn’t come gift wrapped under a Christmas tree 🙂 but if you are determined enough to make it then what’s stopping you? It might not happen in the next five years, and it may even take you ten but who’s holding a stop watch to your head? The great thing about poker is that there is no time limit (unless the clock’s been called on you) and you are only ever one step away from your dreams. Each and every day Pokerstars provides that opportunity to qualify and play live in the gladiatorial arena of EPT events! Nowhere else on the planet could you one day be sitting in your Batman P.J’s (not that I have any, cough!) and the next day be sitting at a table asking ELKY what hair products does he use?

EPT London is one of my dream events to attend. The atmosphere must be amazing and to be surronded by people who you admire and aspire to be isnt something that happens everyday. Also at the same time to have the opportunity to write about the competition is like giving a dog his own BBQ at the beach with a stick thrower chucked in for good measure, pretty awesome stuff.

I unfortunately won’t be participating in any events but it is a dream of mine that in time I’m sure will come true. As for now I would love to do the next best thing, live, breath, and write about the adventure that is Pokerstars EPT London!

Don’t just dream it………. Live it!


I have decided to commence my 1 week WEETABIX CHALLENGE on TUESDAY the 3rd of APRIL for exactly 7 days! I will be posting daily progress updates of how successful I have been and whether or not I have become mentally and physically unstable during this period.

The reason behind this challenge is that I need to ‘trim up’ and I believe the best starting place is to eat healthy aka non fatty food. According to my foster brother Richard Moyle, ‘You cannot put weight on by eating weetabix’. Well quite simply that answer was good enough for me so I’m gonna jump in and pick up a spoon. And if I do fall physically ill then at least we know who to blame, Dr Moyle 🙂

Here are the details of the challenge;
I will only be allowed to eat Weetabix for breakfast, dinner and Tea every single day for a week. No other food intake of any kind will be allowed! Not even sweets or chocolate!

Exception:I have provided myself with 1 evening of luxury and that will be to eat ONLY 2 chicken pieces on the Wednesday night at my local pub, the Trefusis Arms.

The main reason for this is, is that the cooking here is simply too good to miss and secondly chicken is very healthy so I can see no objective reason not too touch this. Even this will be a challenge in itself as there will be chips and garlic bread available but I will NOT even look at that let alone eat it!

If anybody feels that I should not eat these 2 pieces of Chicken then feel free to post saying ‘YES I CAN’ or ‘NO I CANT’. I will then go with answer that most people reply with!

Feel free to wish me luck!

How to find cheap flights!

Below is a snippet about where to find the cheapest flights on the Internet from the Ebook that I am writing although its already taken me 4 months and so far I have only wrote 3,000 words! I keep trying to stay motivated but I have to admit I have the attention span of a goldfish! 🙂
Firstly if you can; try and plan your trip to arrive and depart during midweek as prices always go up at the weekend. However if you can’t which is the case for most of us just avoid booking or even searching on Mondays or Fridays! Yes it sounds a bit random but everyone feels the Monday blues and what better way to get over it than by booking a holiday! The same goes for Fridays when everyone starts relaxing for the weekend and their minds distract to other things such as thinking about holidays. Flight companies know this and inevitably increase their prices!
There are numerous websites out there to search for flights however the best ones that I use have to be kayak.com and skyscanner.net. And here are the reasons why;

To begin with there are very few websites out there that allow you to search for multi-stop flights, however Kayak.com is one of them. Not only that KAYAK.com offers trip management tools to store trip plans in one place, set alerts for price changes on specific flight routes or hotels over a certain time frame. Kayak specialises on searching for flights in the United States and as such will provide you with the best prices! * Use KAYAK if you ever plan on visiting the United States!

* However if your looking at flying in the opposite direction either long haul or within Europe then the best website by a long shot is skyscanner.
Why? Because this website provides features that no other flight search engine does. Firstly you can search for any dates. Normally on a flight search engine you have to put certain dates in with +/- 3 days either side. How are you going to know if its cheaper to go 7 days before or after or even wait until the following month for cheaper prices? Skyscanner answers this question by giving you two great options.

1) If you don’t mind when you plan to go but want cheap dates then you can search the whole year. This is what I did when I travelled to the United States. Skyscanner told me that mid September was the best time to fly out and the end of October was the best time to fly back. (I then used Kayak to book the flights on certain dates with multiple stops to Boston, New York, San Francisco, Vegas and Miami.)

2) If you know what month you want to go then you can search for the whole month! The other great thing is that you can search from anywhere in the UK. Unless you only ever want to fly from Exeter or Bristol once you’ve past Bristol there isn’t much difference in distance or time between flying from London or Manchester so by searching the whole of the UK you can compare where the cheapest places are to fly from!
*If your given the free option make sure you reserve seats nearer the front of the plane if you are scared of flying or plan on having a snooze. I learnt this the hard way by thinking I was clever and booking seats at the back of the plane, all for the sake of not having to walk past people if I needed the toilet. The problem with being at the back of the plane is that you feel every single bit of turbulence. Common sense should have told me there is a reason why first class and business class is located at the front of the plane but alas I’m not that clever!

Finally “RED EYE” flight times are the cheapest. Yes your flying at times which are either really late at night or stupidly early in the morning but the great thing about it, is first of all the airport you’re in will be lovely and quiet so if you feel like you need a coffee or a bacon bap you don’t have to worry about queueing up for 20mins and secondly because it is “red eye” time more than likely you are going to feel a bit sleepy and we all know falling asleep on a long haul flight speeds up the journey! Again there is a small downside in that most of the shops in the airport will most likely be shut but if you have a little shopping addiction like my fiancee then this will be a blessing in disguise 🙂
P.S Even if your planning on booking a package holiday check the flight prices first. By knowing the cheapest days to fly will mean your package holiday should also be cheaper!
Anyway I hope this helps if your ever planning a trip away. I will post my standard blog post later on in the month!

Holiday from hell?

OK So I apologise for not writing much in the last two months but to be honest I have spent most of the time watching all kinds of sport on TV.

Firstly we had the Euros, then there was the Tour DE France and as everyone knows we currently have the Olympics! I have been inspired and bought myself a secondhand bike (actually make that at least a thirdhand bike) made in the 1980’s by Peugeot. Who knew they made anything but cars!

Anyway I am cycling around 15 miles at a time now which takes just under 90 mins. My future goal is to be able to ride 25 miles in under 2 hours which is pretty reasonable but still child’s play compared to the 100 miles a day that they cycle on the Tour DE France! Below is the type of bike I have bought, but mine is alot more rusty! lol
The other reason I have decided to get into cycling is because I want to get fit and look ‘trim’ for my holiday, which just so happens to be starting next Friday on the 16th! I am looking forward to it but I have some major doubts. As it was an August holiday most prices were extremely expensive so after me and Emma agreed to go on holiday with my friend and his partner we decided to book with a company called Icelolly.com.

Firstly the flight is with Ryanair! The ultimate no frills airline. In fact the company is that tight they have proposed in the past to take out 2 toilets for more seats and even allow standing passengers as if you’re on the bus. Oh and if you need the toilet I’m pretty sure it’s going to cost you at least £1! Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining as I’m more than happy having a cheap flight however I am just giving an insight in to how badly wrong this holiday could turn into starting with the flights! 🙂

Secondly our hotel is at seaside studios Kavos! The picture on the right is our “air con” (fan on a stick). If you haven’t googled their hotel reviews yet here are some that I have taken from the holidays-uncovered website;

1)”One of the weirdest experiences of my life, I arrived with 3 other friends to find cockroaches and ants everywhere.. The toilet didn’t work unless you lifted the up the main frame and pulled a wire and the shower dripped out like a small african well. On the third day a greek man named Billy stormed into our apartment complaining about something that we have ‘ takey no asky ‘ and then a woman walked in and removed one of our beds.. I could continue on in this fashion but I have decided that it was one of the most incredible weeks of my life… GO TO THIS PLACE BEFORE YOU DIE.”
2) “We stayed in the rooms behind bargain booze; no air conditioning (the only way to sleep was to pass out drunk on the bed), everything in the room fell apart, there were bugs the size of birds, a man kept walking around the pool making seal noises…….by far one of the best holidays and memories I’ll ever have!!!”

3) “The worst accommodation ever. I have travelled many places and stayed in rooms, and basic accommodation in far out Indian and Bangladesh villages that were far superior in everyway It states 25yards from the beach in fact it is 25 yards from the sea – no beach, no loungers, no parasol in fact no nothing there. The sheets and towels were never changed, the bin in the kitchen area emptied once and the toilet bin never emptied. The room was so small that we had to move a bed to be able to open or close the door

4) The only time you were sure to see the ‘cleaner’ pronto was when someone had left, You were more likely to see the resident rat who did a fab tightrope walk on the power cables.

Well as you can tell some people are not very happy. It does make me a bit sceptcial about the location but after travelling to the states I realised that most people only ever write on these websites when their not happy. 90% of people who enjoyed their holiday can never be bothered to write it anywhere so fingers crossed that is the case here. If not I guess I will be spending most of my nights sleeping on a sunbed next to the pool! 🙂

* I guess this could become a holiday from hell or a bargain of a lifetime! Wish us luck!

P.S I don’t think Emma knows about these reviews so keep it ‘hush hush’!