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Are you one of the many partypoker player currently competing in the UK Team Challenge? If so, you will no doubt have bumped into Ben “DoobieFish” Kett and his trio of team mates at some point, not least because they are the current runaway leaders of the competition, the only team to have surpassed 2 million chips.

Ben, the captain of the so-called The Ninja Turtles, is a 33-year old business analyst from Harlow, Essex who is a superb poker player. After playing three-card brag at his local snooker club 12 years ago, Ben saw Late Night Poker and was immediately enthralled with the game.

“It was both the game and the characters that struck me,” said Ben “Devilfish, Vicky Coren, “Jacarama,” Simon Trumper with that ponytail and also Jesse May’s inimitably enthusiastic commentary.”

From that moment on, Ben immersed himself in poker, starting with six and nine-man sit ‘n’ go tournaments before progressing to multi-table sit ‘n’ go tournaments, the latter being his bread-and-butter for a while in 2011 when he took redundancy from his job.

Ben then started to grind multi-table tournaments full time for two-years before grasping the opportunity to return to his old work place in a role that he’d wanted a few years previously, but he still makes time for poker.

“I now play $3-$55 buy-in rebuys and up to $109 freezeouts and anything bigger than that I play satellites for. With the excellent Dusk Till Dawn live satellites on partypoker, I am already getting involved in these and will be playing the upcoming Pokerfest Live and World Poker Tour events at DTD.”

After seeing the UK Team Challenge promotion on Twitter, Ben spoke to three of his poker playing friends and decided to put a team together. The thought of a two-month challenge that was going to involve an element of volume struck a chord with Ben and his online “crew” and The Ninja Turtles were born.

The Ninja Turtles are made up of:

  • Ben “DoobieFish” Kett
  • Andy “hittheshowers” Wool – An ex professional footballer and golfer who Ben says is the most competitive person he’s ever met
  • Vinnie “Van H3lzing” Mohan – He loves poker more than anyone Ben knows and although he doesn’t play huge volume, is described as a “sicko” when he does.
  • Tom “Fugilee” Simm – A professional golfer and borderline maths genius, also a satellite king

Although Ben admits that he and his team mates ran superbly well during week one and continue to be running better than average, he also puts down their success to studying the structure, prize distribution and the fact the quartet try to play each and every qualifying tournament available. One of the reasons for not missing any of the events is because they all secretly have an eye on the Star Player prize where someone will win a WPT Main Event seat!

The lure of the Star Player prize seems to be strong because Ben has found himself battling it out with his own team mates when on occasions and even busted Andy on Saturday night. There’s definitely no soft play going on between these boys.

Ben’s main advice for the challenge is not to play outside of your bankroll and to complete the booster challenges as a team of four completing them all earns 100,000 chips. He also states that you should be aware of the points bubbles once you’re into the top 40 and take advantage of anyone else you think is clued up about them

Before he signed off Ben was full of praise for the partypoker and DTD teams and has hopes for the UK Daily Majors to stay as part of the tournament schedule.

“I really hope they become huge and continue with these guarantees after the challenge is over as they really are great tournaments with perfect start/finish times for a weeknight. It’s also fun battling the same players every night and developing a few friendly rivalries here and there along the way.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank partypoker and Simon and Rob at DTD for putting this promo together. I think the work they are doing for the UK poker scene is second to none. I think it really adds a community element to the online game which is sometimes lacking compared to live which can only be a good thing. Also neither myself nor my teammates played on party before this promo and we are now playing every night we play, in comps other than the UK majors too. The scrapping of withdrawal fees was another big reason for us doing this and it’s really refreshing to play in a new room with some decent comps and field sizes that are much more ‘winnable’ which I think is one of the most overlooked things by many players.”

So there you have it, grind hard, complete the boosters and avoid Ben Kett and his band of sickos and we could be seeing you at Dusk Till Dawn for the live final in October! You can also check out the WPT Canadian Spring Championship page for a chance to compete in this World Poker Tour event!

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