Ben “rookieITB” Turnstill wins Full Tilt Poker Sunday Brawl

Published on Sep 30th, 2008

Getting your first big win of the year out of the way is always an accomplishment. It's a moment for you to take a big sigh of relief and remember that poker, in the end, is a game of skill. This past weekend, Ben rookieITB Turnstill won the Full Tilt Poker Sunday Brawl, taking home a sizeable $73,377 payday for his first big score of 2008. The native of Luton in the United Kingdom is an accomplished poker pro who also pocketed $33,000 for a second place on PartyPoker last year. In addition, he recorded a win in the MansionPoker $100,000 Guaranteed for $27,000. sat down with Turnstill to discuss his latest milestone and his blossoming poker career.

The start of the $256 buy-in Sunday Brawl on Full Tilt Poker was anything but smooth for Turnstill. He told, "I got off to the worst start possible and I didn't think that I would be in it very long." When play was down to the final 70 people, a blind versus blind battle ensued. Turnstill held 7-9 and checked after the small blind limped. The flop came 6-8-10 with two hearts. In the industry, we call this "the nuts." Both the small blind and Turnstill checked. The turn was a blank, although both players bet after the card fell. The river was a six, leaving two hearts on the board and Turnstill holding the nut straight. The small blind shoved all in and Turnstill called. His opponent flipped over A-6, both hearts, for three sixes.

Unlike other Sunday Major tournaments, the Brawl is a bounty tournament that places $40 on the head of each person. Turnstill took third in the $120 buy-in $25,000 KO Guarantee on Full Tilt three weeks ago for $4,380, showing his knack for success in knockout tournaments. He talks about how others mix up their strategies in bounty tournaments: "I don't really play them any differently, but some people call a lot of the time because they think that a $40 bounty warrants it. I play the knockouts the same way as I do in other tournaments, but others think about the bounties rather than the competition itself."

The story of how he got started in poker is rather unique. At the age of 16, he served as the dealer for his father's home games. He commented, "I used to have 'dealer's privileges' and would peek at people's cards when they mucked their hands and saw all of their bluffs. I then moved onto joining in every other week and gradually got better and better. I started playing online and the first site that I had success on was Ladbrokes. I would often receive coaching from my good friend, Allan Shields." Turnstill and Shields bet cases of ice cream for each $1,000 that they won, adding extra motivation into the mix.

His father was supportive of his poker career, as were his friends. The only skeptic was his mother. He explained, "My mom wasn't too keen on the idea, but when she saw that I enjoyed what I was doing, she came around." He left school at age 17 to work full-time and after a year, began playing poker professionally. He's high on his street smarts, as he describes: "I think the thing that helps me the most is that I trust my instincts. If I think I am being bluffed, I will not think twice about re-bluffing."

Because poker is his career, making money, in part, takes center stage over other more lofty goals when it comes to poker: "I would just like to be respected in the poker world and make enough money to live on." He was ranked in the 20s on the Online Poker Rankings in the United Kingdom, but has since slipped back to 90. He stated, "I would love to be near the top, but I don't put in the volume of some of the players up there. I would settle with top 10 or 20." Currently, the UK leader board is led by number two ranked player worldwide, Chris Moorman1 Moorman. Turnstill's big cash in the Sunday Brawl propelled his earnings in September to over $83,000 in tournaments that are tracked for the Rankings.

Away from the poker felts, Turnstill raises two greyhound dogs, which he will soon race competitively. He described this unique hobby: "I looked after them until they were old enough for training and then took them to a trainer near me." The greyhounds are 14 months old.

Congratulations to Ben rookieITB Turnstill for his $70,000 cash in the Full Tilt Poker Sunday Brawl.


  1. <p>aww poor doggies :(</p>

  2. <p>Well done Rookie, was a long time overdue. That Allan Shields fella sounds like a stand up guy, you should sponsor him imo :-)</p>

  3. <p>Fantastic result and no doubt more to come. Those greyhounds are gorgeous - and you're not bad yourself!!!! ;-)</p>

  4. <p>Actually, forget the sponsorship, I'll just sell all the ice creams you owe me and bankroll myself.</p>

  5. <p>Nice result Ben, another one this Sunday</p>

  6. <p>Cheers Dewi, gonna go for the double, LOL!</p>

    <p>And Shieldsy, your gna make ME rich!</p>

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