The theme of my website is not just playing pokies, but doing so safely, and a big part of safety comes from trust. I’m a firm believer that trust and familiarity go hand in hand. So with that in mind, I’m going to tell you as much as I can about myself, falling just short of leaving me susceptible to identity theft, of course. Hopefully by understanding me, my personality, my quirks, (like my hatred for bananas) and, most importantly, my reason for developing this website, you can come to trust me and my advice as much as I’ve come to trust the handful of online pokie sites I recommend.
My name is Stephen Durk, but my friends like to call me “Durkel”. If you’re as old as I am (mid-30’s), you’ll probably get the reference—Steve Urkel from the old American television series, Family Matters. I’m skinny, I wear glasses and yes, I’m clumsy enough to trip over things that aren’t actually there from time to time. But unlike the renowned actor, I’m as pasty white as the cuckoo flower in spring.
I was born and raised in the coastal town of Korora, Queensland. My dad was a real battler who worked long days on a banana plantation in Coffs Harbour for more years than I’ve been alive. I’m one of 5 siblings, all born within 6 years of each other—my little sister Lilly and three older brothers, Phillip, Ariston and Ralph (pronounced Rafe – he gets mad as a cut snake when people call him Ralph!) Mum stayed home and tended us ankle biters while dad’s yakka kept us fed. We never had much growing up, but we always had enough, and my dad taught me some very important lessons over the years.
First and foremost, he taught me to get a better job. Check—I’m the project supervisor for an established carpentry business. I’m not rich, but I live well enough. Second, get away from the bananas! (To this day the smell of a banana makes him wretch.) Check. I now live in Brisbane, as does 1/10th of the entire population of Australia, located 400km north of that fretfully fruitful aroma. Third, save your money so you can afford to take time to do what you love.
This one stuck out to me the most. My dad worked his whole life and just managed to put food on the table and clothes on our backs, but he always made sure to set aside a few coins a week so he could take mum out on special occasions, like her birthday and their anniversary. Every time, they went to Jupiters in Gold Coast, the first casino in Queensland and a very swank hotel for overnight rendezvous, if you get my meaning. When I turned 18, he took me there and introduced me to the poker machines. I’ve been a lover of the pokies ever since, but I always kept those lessons in mind. I consider myself a very responsible gambler, save my money for punting and never overspend my bankroll.
Why such a focus on safety, you ask? I’ve had some unsavory experiences in my time, especially playing at local pubs. I was robbed twice in my early 20’s—my own fault for consuming too much alcohol and extolling my luck to nearby patrons. I’ve also been on the negative end of online pokie sites that I didn’t bother to learn the reputation of before depositing. Over the course of my mistakes, I’ve lost several thousand dollars (not to the pokies, but to crooks and deceitful operators). I’ve since decided to learn from my experiences, and being a proud boy of Christian upbringing, would like to help my fellow mates by sharing that knowledge.
I’ve opened accounts with well over a dozen gambling sites, but I’ve only retained a handful of them, and they are the only ones I recommend on Safe Pokies. Of the online pokie sites I’ve left behind, common reasons were pitiful customer support, slow or nonexistent payouts and lack of respectable regulation. I can tell you first hand, no one enjoys dealing with any of these problems. So if you want to ensure a fun, safe and—with any luck—prosperous run at the online pokies, take a few minutes to browse the rest of my website.
Now you know who I am, and I hope I’ve been able to establish some level of trust with my visitors. All in all, I’m just your average Aussie. I work hard, I eat good, I sleep in on my days off and I have a good time whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Stephen “Durkel” Durk