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[caption width="650"] Without his Skype group, 'BenFaz' wouldn't be where he is today[/caption] The age-old phrase "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" has applications in poker. A highly potent "group think" can help players soak up knowledge at a much quicker pace than they could on their own. Then there's Ben Farrell, who is known on PocketFives as 'BenFaz' and on PokerStars as 'fabaz'. He's part of a very active Skype group that has helped him rise into the top 100 in the PocketFives Rankings and amass $1.3 million in career winnings. "I have a great group of friends I talk with daily about specific spots and I'm in a few different Skype groups with a lot of good players," Farrell said. "Adjustments have been made given the evolution of the game. I'm constantly aware of not only the image of other players, but also my own image with the tools I have at my disposal." Farrell described his Skype group in a way that only 'BenFaz' is capable of. "My group is a congregation of degenerates amplified by love not only for the game, but also for the eternal hunt of glory," he said. "With this comes endless support. I don't think I would be where I am today without the people whom I have met throughout the years, as poker can be a lonely game. The majority of groups I am in are very supportive when people are deep." Farrell brought up a very important, perhaps underrated benefit of having a solid group of poker-savvy friends in your corner: that group can rally behind you when you're deep. Think of it as your own personal cheering section. All you need to do is let your friends know you're at a major final table or just need some support and they'll release the hounds. So what happens in a Skype group? Are hands being pasted left and right? Are new trends being dissected like a worm in a seventh grade science class? Are a million prop bets being made? "The majority of things that go on in them would not be suitable for this article, other than saying there is in-depth poker-related discussion in some of them," Farrell said. "In other groups, you'd be surprised that a lot of the time there is a level of morale which is sometimes more beneficial to me than poker discussion. Although, for most people, being on Skype while playing should be avoided in order to concentrate fully." Farrell found his group and made it to where he is today thanks to an initial $50 deposit. Then, multiple other $50 deposits occurred until he realized that poker was a game of skill and "not an actual punt." The bleeding and bad beat stories eventually stopped. "I was quick to win a healthy bankroll, but was hit by the unmerciful fist of variance, combined with uneducated play, so I soon learned the complexities of the game," said Farrell. "I drew inspiration from the top players and how they were shaping the game at the time and the rewards they were reaping. I enjoy the exploitation that exists in poker and have always sought to improve that and adapt accordingly." 2016 could be a year of change for him. As playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, "Progress is impossible without change." And Farrell's Skype group could become a little less active as a result. "This year, I am going to take a step back from poker and focus on the more important things in life," the $1.3 million man said. "That being said, you will still see me on the tables, just not as much. In the last few years, I've found myself consumed with the game itself and have felt like my computer is actually another limb. The one thing I've learned in the past year is that you can't deny the importance of balance." He's probably earned a little siesta, especially after winning the PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker Sunday Supersonic last month for $84,000, his second largest score to date. "It felt pretty surreal to be able to win that much money in such a short amount of time," Farrell recalled of the turbo tournament, which finished in a few hours. "I didn't have time to think about the actual amount of money given the structure. It all happened so fast."
PocketFiver Ben 'BenFaz' Farrell scored first place in the Zynga Poker WPT500 Las Vegas event on Thursday at ARIA Resort & Casino, topping a field of 1,932 entries to win $155,000. Hailing from England, Farrell earned his career-best live tournament score with the victory. He topped India's Nikita Luther in heads-up play. "There were a lot of people to get through," Farrell told WPT reporters after the win. "It feels really good." WPT500 Las Vegas Final Table Results 1st: Ben Farrell - $155,000 2nd: Nikita Luther - $109,300 3rd: Sung Joo Hyun - $75,000 4th: Min Ji - $55,000 5th: Trey Morris - $40,000 6th: Eduards Kudrjavcevs - $30,000 7th: Jakub Wojtas - $22,000 8th: Ritesh Shah - $17,000 9th: Jim Pennella - $14,000 Farrell joined the multi-flight field on the final starting day, the turbo flight. Although he slipped to as low as 12 big blinds, he said, he turned things around, finished the flight as chip leader, and charged on to the final table. At the final table, Farrell busted Ritesh Shah in eighth place, Eduards Kudrjavcevs in sixth place, and Trey Morris in fifth place en route to his heads-up battle with Luther. Entering the heads-up match, Luther had the chip lead following her elimination of Sung Too Hyun in third place. Her lead wasn’t a big one, though, as Luther as up 21.1 million to 17.525 million to start. Luther struck first, extending her chip lead to a gap of more than 9 million, and then she stretched it to more than 10 million shortly thereafter. Farrell closed the gap when both players flopped a pair of eights but Farrell’s kicker was better, and then the most important hand of the tournament played out. On that important hand, Luther held ace-king to Farrell's ace-queen. All the money went in preflop and Farrell saw the bad news as he was dominated. The nine-high flop missed both players, but a queen on the turn vaulted Farrell into the lead. He held from there and doubled up to take a commanding chip lead of 33.25 million to 5.375 million. About 10 minutes later, it was all over when Farrell’s ace-five finished off Luther and her king-queen. Luther, who had made a deep run in the 2017 WPT500 Las Vegas worth a fifth-place finish and $65,000, cashed this year for $109,300. "It feels really good," Farrell told WPT reporters. "I've been working on my game mainly by talking with friends. I’m mainly an online player, so I haven’t had many results live. But I’ve had a lot of close runs, so I always knew that I’d eventually win a tournament. I just had to put in the volume and keep studying." Others to run deep in the event include Zynga Poker VIP player Hugh Grant (11th - $11,500), former WPT Player of the Year Mukul Pahuja (12th - $11,500), Quentin Jones (35th - $3,500), T.K. Miles (49th - $2,700), and Mo Nuwwarah (66th - $2,100). Grant's run came one year after he took eighth in the WPT500 Las Vegas for $26,310. Jones and Nuwwarah also put together back-to-back cashes in WPT500 Las Vegas. Jones, a WPTDeepStacks champion, finished 13th last year for $13,220. Nuwwarah took 22nd for $7,320 one year ago.
Nominations for the second annual Global Poker Awards were announced on Friday with popular poker personality Joey Ingram leading the way with four nominations. The Global Poker Awards, slated to take place at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on March 6, celebrates the poker industry by recognizing the game of poker's top talent both on the felt and behind the scenes. This year, awards will be handed out in 19 different categories including two that are voted on by the fans. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="GG Poker"][ptable zone="BetMGM NJ"] Multiple Nods Sixteen former award winners are back in contention this year with a number of them recognized in multiple categories. Poker personality and podcast/video producer Joey Ingram picked up nominations in the People’s Choice for Poker Personality of the Year, Podcast of the Year (Poker Life Podcast), Journalist of the Year and Media Content of the Year for his extensive work investigating the Mike Postle cheating allegation story. PocketFives’ own three-time GPI award winner Lance Bradley earned another three nominations for Journalist of the Year, Media Content of the Year, and Podcast of the Year for The FIVES Poker Podcast, alongside PocketFives own Managing Editor Donnie Peters. Daniel Negreanu, Jamie Kerstetter, Lex Veldhuis, Hayley Hochstätter and tournament director Matt Savage each earned two nominations. Alex Foxen, Andrew Neeme, Barny Boatman, Brad Owen, Bryn Kenney, Cary Katz, Joe Giron, Joe Stapleton, Kevin Mathers, Nick Schulman, and Paul Campbell join Bradley, Ingram, Negreanu, Savage, and Veldhuis as previous award winners who find themselves back in the running for even more hardware at the upcoming ceremonies. In addition to the 18 awards that will be voted on and the Global Poker Index Player of the Year awards, the PocketFives Legacy Award will once again be handed out to a PocketFives player who has shown success in both the online and live poker arenas. Previous award winners include Ari Engel, Cliff Josephy and Chris Moorman. 2019 Global Poker Award Nominees GPI BREAKOUT PLAYER OF THE YEAR Robert Campbell (AUS) Ramon Colillas (ESP) Ben Farrell (UK) George Wolff (USA) FINAL TABLE PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Hossein Ensan (GER), WSOP Main Event William Alex Foxen (USA), WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Phillip Hui (USA), WSOP Poker Players Championship Bryn Kenney (USA), Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro TWITTER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Barny Boatman (UK) Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Kitty Kuo (TAI) Kevin Mathers (USA) PLAYERS CHOICE FOR TOUGHEST OPPONENT Michael Addamo (AUS) Kahle Burns (AUS) Stephen Chidwick (UK) Ali Imsirovic (BIH) STREAMER OF THE YEAR Hristivoje Pavlovic (AUS) Benjamin Spragg (UK) Matthew Staples (CAN) Lex Veldhuis (NED) VLOGGER OF THE YEAR Jaman Burton (USA) Andrew Neeme (USA) Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Brad Owen (USA) PODCAST OF THE YEAR DAT Poker Podcast: Terrence Chan, Ross Henry, Adam Schwartz, Daniel Negreanu (CAN) Poker Life Podcast: Joey Ingram (USA) The Fives, a PocketFives Podcast: Lance Bradley (CAN), Donnie Peters (USA) The Grid: Jennifer Shahade (USA) INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR Phil Galfond (USA), Run it Once Poker Cary Katz (USA), Poker Central/PokerGO Paul Phua (MAS), Triton Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Tony Burns (USA), Seminole Hard Rock Paul Campbell (USA), Aria Jack Effel (USA), World Series of Poker Matt Savage (USA), WPT/TDA EVENT OF THE YEAR PokerStars Players Championship Bahamas Triton London Million for Charity World Series of Poker Main Event World Series of Poker BIG 50 MID-MAJOR TOUR/CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR Road to PSPC RUNGOOD Poker Series WPTDeepStacks WSOP Circuit JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR Lance Bradley (CAN) Haley Hintze (USA) Joey Ingram (USA) Nick Jones (UK) BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR Jamie Kerstetter (USA) Jeff Platt (USA) Nick Schulman (USA) Joseph Stapleton (USA) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: WRITTEN A Fight for Fatherhood: The Biggest Win of Jason Young’s Life, Lance Bradley (CAN) for PoketFives Kevin Roster Spread Sarcoma Awareness at WSOP, Wants to End Life on His Terms, Aleeyah Jadavji (CAN), Hayley Hochstetler (USA) for PokerNews Poker and Pop Culture, Martin Harris (USA) for D+B Publishing The Unabridged Story of The Hendon Mob, Paul Seaton (UK) for PokerNews MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: PHOTO Antonio Abrego (USA): Ryan Laplante in deep thought at the WSOP (PokerNews) Drew Amato (USA): Dario Sammartino folds at the WSOP (Poker Central) Joe Giron (USA): WPT Champion Frank Stepuchin is lifted in victory (WPT) Hayley Hochstetler (USA): Doyle Brunson and Jack Binion at WSOP celebration (WSOP) MEDIA CONTENT OF THE YEAR: VIDEO Investigating Mike Postle Hand Histories from Stones Live, Joey Ingram (USA) Legends of the Game – Stu Ungar (PokerGO) The Big Blind w/Jeff Platt featuring Mike Matusow, Normand Chad, Sarah Herring (PokerGO) Who Makes Money from Professional Poker, Sam Rega (USA) for CNBC PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR POKER PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR Joey Ingram (USA) Jonathan Little (USA) Ryan DePaulo (USA) Lex Veldhuis (NED) PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR HAND OF THE YEAR Bryce Yockey takes a historic hit against Josh Arieh in the WSOP Poker Players Championship Ryan Riess makes 10-high all-in call at EPT Monte Carlo final table Sam Trickett makes Stephen Chidwick fold best hand at Triton London 1M event Thi Xoa Nguyen folds full house to Athanasios Polychronopoulos at PSPC