Seeing Green: Toby Joyce Could Become First Irish WPT Champion

Dec 21, 2019

Toby Joyce

By Sean Chaffin

Roundstone, Ireland, is a perfect country getaway – complete with a beautiful seaside, green mountains, lakes, and boglands. The town is located in the area known as Connemara on the west coast and has about 220 residents It’s known for its picturesque scenery and attracts quite a few visitors.

For poker player Toby Joyce (pictured), it’s a place he can get away from the grind of poker. He enjoys some of the simple things in life – activities where he doesn’t have to think about missed draws and three-bets. He likes to read, cook, get outdoors in nature, and even does some gardening. His family has a home in Roundstone and he’s been spending more and more time there.

“There you really have to find the things that you like to do or else you’re going to be pretty bored,” he says. “It’s a nice contrast to constantly traveling and being in casinos with a high-stimulus environment to the countryside.”

“There are even some sweet beaches. They’re small, but on a sunny day, it looks like you’re in the Caribbean. The sand is pretty white and the ocean is blue. The only tell-tale sign that you’re in Ireland is that there’s a graveyard and it’s got a bunch of Catholic icons. Then you kind of get the impression that you’re in the west of Ireland.”

But today at the PokerGO Studio, it will be all business for Joyce, who returns to the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic final table sitting fifth in chips. That gives Joyce the chance to become the first Irish WPT champion.

For the last few years, Joyce has been traveling to events in the U.S. and Europe after spending 10 years playing professionally online.

“For the first few years I played kind of by myself in an isolated way and didn’t really know anybody else in poker,” he says. “I then came a bit fed up with poker. I was kind of over it. I’d won a bunch of money and didn’t feel great. I didn’t get what I expected from it. I then started traveling more to play live and met a lot of friends in poker and traveled with them to different places. It would be great to get a big score live after putting in so much work.”

Joyce admits that traveling has become a bit tougher in recent months and he’s trying to dial some of it back.

“It takes its toll on you – the constant waking up in different places, not knowing where you are,” he says. “It’s cool to some degree but after a while, you want some kind of routine or steadiness in your life. I’m aiming more toward four or five months of a traveling routine as opposed to nine months.”

A big finish here in the Five Diamond would add significantly to his $480,000 in lifetime tournament winnings. Throughout the last couple of days, Joyce was steady in moving up the chip counts. What would the title mean to him?

“I haven’t been thinking about it too much because I’ve been consumed by the actual playing of the poker,” he says. “I suppose in reality, I’m mainly here for the money, competition, and to play well. If I won I’d probably buy a house back home, and that’s I’ve kind of been aiming for.”

A nice trip back to the country cottage might be in the works too.

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.

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