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  1. [caption width="640"] Niall Farrell became the first Scottish player to win a WSOP bracelet Thursday night at WSOP Europe (WSOP photo)[/caption] Over the course of his career, Niall Farrell has had a couple of close calls at the World Series of Poker. A second in 2013, another second in 2016. Two other final tables. But he’s never been able to close one. He’s won a World Poker Tour and a European Poker Tour title. Thursday night at WSOP Europe though, Farrell finally broke through on the WSOP stage. Farrell won the €25,000 High Roller event and became the first Scottish player to win a WSOP bracelet, completing the live poker Triple Crown. To do so he beat out a final table that included a former WSOP Main Event champion, three other Main Event final tablists, and two talented Germans. Antoine Saout found himself on the losing end of a battle with one of the other Frenchman at the table, Benjamin Pollak. Saout moved all in from UTG for 2,570,000 and Pollak called from the button. The blinds folded and Saout revealed [poker card="as"][poker card="td"] and Pollak showed [poker card="6d"][poker card="6h"]. The board ran out [poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"][poker card="2c"][poker card="js"] to give Pollak the pot and eliminate Saout in eighth place. A little over an hour later, Pollak found another victim. Action folded to Pollak in the small blind and he completed only to have Stefan Schillhabel move all in for 7,125,000 from the big blind. Pollak snap-called and tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="as"] while Schillhabel needed lots of help after showing [poker card="kd"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="ts"][poker card="6s"][poker card="3d"] flop was no help for Schillabel and the [poker card="4h"] turn ended his run in seventh place. The meaningless river was the [poker card="jh"] to give the German star a needle on his way out. Another blind-vs-blind battle resulted in the next elimination. Sylvain Loosli moved all in from the small blind and Andrew Leathem called all in. Loosli showed [poker card="qs"][poker card="3c"] and Leathem was barely ahead with [poker card="3h"][poker card="3s"]. The [poker card="kc"][poker card="qc"][poker card="2s"] changed that though and neither the [poker card="2h"] turn or [poker card="4c"] river were able to save Leathem and he was out in sixth. Despite picking up that pot, Loosli only hung around another half hour. Claas Segebrecht raised to 1,200,000 from the button and Loosli moved all in for 4,125,000 from the small blind. Segebrecht called and was behind with [poker card="8c"][poker card="8d"] against Loosli’s [poker card="qd"][poker card="qh"]. The [poker card="9s"][poker card="6d"][poker card="2h"] flop changed nothing, but the [poker card="8s"] turn put Segebrecht ahead and when the [poker card="7s"] river hit the felt, Loosli was forced to settle for a fifth place result. Down to just seven big blinds, Ryan Riess was in need of a double or two and felt like he found a good spot when he shoved for 5,100,000 from the small blind and Pollak called from the big blind. Riess tabled [poker card="kh"][poker card="8d"] which put him ahead of Pollak’s [poker card="qd"][poker card="6c"]. The [poker card="as"][poker card="qs"][poker card="4d"] flop gave Pollak a pair and left Riess drawing thin before the final two cards. The [poker card="ts"] turn actually gave Riess extra outs but the [poker card="2h"] river was not one of them and he was done in fourth place. After his bustout, Riess admitted to making a mistake at the final table. Just 11 hands later the final German player was sent packing. Having already lost a significant chunk of his stack to Farrell, it seemed only fitting that the Scotsman claim the rest of Segebrecht’s chips. After Pollak folded his button, Farrell moved all in from the small blind and Segebrecht called off his last 2,750,000. Farrell was slightly ahead with [poker card="ks"][poker card="5h"] to Segebrecht’s [poker card="jd"][poker card="7c"]. The board ran out [poker card="td"][poker card="8c"][poker card="3c"][poker card="qh"][poker card="kh"] to send Segebrecht packing and send Farrell to heads-up with a 3-2 lead over Pollak. It took just 30 minutes for Farrell to grab his first career bracelet. Farrell opened to 2,200,000 and Pollak moved all in for 23,275,000 and got bad news after Farrell called and tabled [poker card="as"][poker card="jh"] which had Pollak’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"] dominated. The [poker card="ks"][poker card="qh"][poker card="5h"] changed nothing and neither did the [poker card="9s"] turn or [poker card="8h"] river and Pollak was eliminated in second, giving Farrell his first career bracelet. Final Table Payouts Niall Farrell - €745,287 Benjamin Pollak - €460,622 Claas Segebrecht - €321,863 Ryan Riess - €230,071 Sylvain Loosli - €168,323 Andre Leathem - €126,113 Stefan Schillhabel - €98,819 Antoine Saout - €96,209
  2. [caption id="attachment_617231" align="alignnone" width="2048"] Niall Farell wants to become poker's first Grand Slam winner (WPT photo)[/caption] He’s an online crusher, live poker triple crown winner, Scotland’s #1 all-time money winner, and the country’s only World Series of Poker bracelet holder. We caught up with Niall ‘firaldo87’ Farrell a couple of weeks after his €25K WSOPE bracelet win for €745,287, to find out how he went from a $4 online sit & go grinder to one of poker’s elite. Here’s Farrell’s story, in his own words. On his humble (but confident) beginnings: “When I first started taking poker seriously, I saved up and bought a lesson from a PocketFives Training instructor. I was becoming okay, beating the $4 180-man sit & gos online. I had a ridiculously small sample but I just ran really well. “I'm probably overconfident in my own ability, because at that point I quit my job at the Carphone Warehouse! I was just fed up of working there anyway. “Back then you'd see all these posts on forums with people saying they were going to quit their jobs to become professionals, asking 'What should I do?', and the answers were always 'Don't do it unless you have six month's expenses'. I just quit, took a grand out on a credit card, and called myself a pro. I was playing $4 180-mans, as a ‘professional’ - in very big air quotes. "The main guy I looked up to back then was David ‘ghettofabolous’ Randall. He was one of the lead coaches on the training site and he ended up backing me for a while and coaching me. He was a real mentor and the guy who enabled me to be able to play professionally at the start of my online career. “We became really close friends. I’d stay with him in Vegas, and he came to stay with me and my girlfriend at the time in Glasgow for a few weeks for holiday.” On getting backed: “I remember when my biggest score was $1,800, and then suddenly there was a night on PokerStars when I won what is now called the Big $55 and an $11 re-buy for like $18,000. I’d just ten-exed my biggest score right after I started a backing deal. “My backer, Jerry Watterson, then said, 'Yeah, that's great, you should play higher'. So I did, but I just lost a lot of money for a long time playing too high. I got moved back down in stakes for a while and that's when I met David. “Jerry was a good guy but he was kind of losing confidence in the situation. We went out for a poker retreat in Florida for all the horses, and I had close to no money. I had expenses to pay and I hadn't been making money for six months, so I had like $12,000 and that was running out due to rent. “I was playing lower stakes than a lot of the guys who were there, and me and David started rooming together. We were talking poker and he was like, 'I'm not sure why Niall is playing lower stakes than these guys, I think it should be the other way around.' We talked poker a lot and eventually I was able to clear make-up and make everyone some money. “David then started his own stable which I joined, and at that point it was the first time I went to Vegas. I bricked everything, but eventually you get a bit better and it went from there.” On a fortunate swap:
 "I'd won the partypoker major about fix or six times for like $50,000, and I'd won the $100 re-buy on PokerStars, but my first six-figure score was the second place at the 2013 WSOP ($366,815). “That was my biggest personal score, although I'd actually had a big one before through a swap in 2011. I swapped 2% with Pius 'MastaP89' Heinz in the WSOP Main Event and he won obviously, so I won $180,000 and at that point I just said 'Right, I don't need to be backed anymore.' I was literally just handed a bankroll big enough to play what I wanted to play. “I was still backed by David at the time and had made him some money. By that time he was more of a friend than a backer, so I told him I wanted to go on my own and he said he understood. “I went on my own, went on a massive downswing immediately, and ended up having to be backed by Pius. The $3K WSOP second place was for Pius and Pratyush Buddiga. Me and Pratyush actually backed a few players ourselves and we just lost a lot of money. We got scammed by a UK guy for a lot. But yeah, I gave Pius and Pratyush the money from the $3K and then that meant I could go on my own again. I’ve been good ever since.” On the UK crowd: “Coming up, I had all the subscriptions to the poker magazines and I'd see guys like Jake Cody, Chris Moorman and Sam 'TheSquid' Grafton and think how cool it was that they were all doing well. “I didn't know any of the UK guys until a lot later in my career though (now I count them as among my best friends). I'd already been a professional for maybe a year or two before I met any of those guys. Now we travel together and stuff. “A lot of the UK guys got a lot of money very quickly. Some of them could be playing the High Rollers if they wanted, but they don’t play that much poker anymore because they've already got all the money. “I’m talking about guys like Toby '810ofclubs' Lewis and Craig 'mcc3991' McCorkell. I’m really good mates with all of them; me and Craig go to Vancouver every year for SCOOP, and I seriously think that might be the only time he plays online. He just shows up, wins $200K and then takes the year off. He's done that for the past three years. He's like 'I could go and play poker in Rozvadov, or I could just go to New York and watch UFC.' And I'm like, 'Yeah, good point you just made there mate.' “These guys are all smart guys. They could be playing $50K-$100Ks, but I just don't think they're as dedicated to poker as they were. Someone you will see in these Super High Rollers soon is Sam Grafton. He's been working super hard, and is super dedicated at improving his game, so over the next 12 months I believe you'll see him rise to top of the UK hierarchy.” On High Roller fields: “Although the One Drop buy-in is higher (Farrell finished eighth in the 2016 $111K WSOP One Drop), it’s actually a much softer tournament than say an EPT €25K. It's a bracelet event which makes it soft; you have the old-school American pros in the field trying to win bracelets, but they're just not winning players in those fields anymore. “In the One Drop, I had a table where it was me, three old school American pros, Andrew Robl, and Christoph Vogelsang. And apart from Christoph, I felt I was the best at the table. “Take people like Robl and these nosebleed cash game guys; Robl could probably be an elite level player again if he gave a fuck, but I mean...he's just already so rich. If all you're doing is playing massive stakes against businessmen, what's the point for him? “The German guys are obviously very good. I mean, you never want to see Fedor (Holz) at your table. I personally really struggle against Steve O’Dwyer. Table of death would be like: Adrian Mateos, Christoph Vogelsang…(Farrell trails off). “Nick Petrangelo is super tough to play against, but he's such a nice guy I have fun playing with him, so it doesn't feel as bad. Daniel Dvoress is a fantastic tournament player. I really struggle against him, he plays very well. I'm just lucky that every time we've played he basically outplays me but then I just cooler him for all the chips anyway. Ike Haxton's obviously a fantastic player too. To crush the highest stakes online you have to be great.” On future goals: “My soft target is to win a partypoker Millions. I think the way they're going, those events are going to become one of the majors. Someone referred to winning one on top of a triple crown as The Grand Slam, and I'm like ‘Yeah, I want to be a grand slam winner, that sounds fucking cool.’ “Although it's somewhat arbitrary, I'd also like to be #1 on the GPI. I was up to #9 recently but I've dropped a little bit as I've not been travelling to every stop. I want to go super hard next year and give it a go.”
  3. The first Monday of the 2018 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker saw 12 more events wrap up with Niall 'Firaldo87' Farrell picking up a second career SCOOP title. Farrell came into Day 2 of Event #3 (High) second in chips out of the 37 remaining players and battled to be the last person standing to win the first place prize of $101,854 and add a second SCOOP title to his name after he took down Event #47 (High) back into 2016. Roman 'RomeOpro' Romanovsky took another huge step towards the $10M mark in recorded online earnings after winning his first SCOOP title in Event #2 (High). The Ukrainian is now well over the $9M threshold after coming through the 728-player field and defeating 'blikinn' heads-up to take the first-place prize of $123,935. Javier 'minusth3bear' Zarco was the biggest winner on the opening Monday after he claimed victory in Event #4 (High) for $233,909. The Spaniard eclipsed his previous best recorded online cash of $17,121 after seeing off the other 674 entrants, which included Aaron 'aaronmermel' Mermelstein, 'Calvin 'cal42688' Anderson, 'ikkedus', 'zcedrick' and Toby '810ofclubs' Lewis, who all made the final table. In the final 'High' event, 'BongBob' ($130,329), 'Shuller_A1t' ($94,792) and 'ekziter'($68,946) made up the top three places in the Six Max Pot Limit Omaha after 355 entrants paid the $2,100 buy-in to create a $710,000 prize pool. Event #4 (Medium) saw 6,916 entrants do battle in the $215 Sunday Million SCOOP Special with 'XD89lol<3' taking the majority share of the $1,383,200 prize pool. Finland's 'XD89lol<3' recorded his third six-figure online cash after banking $196,472 for defeating 'ham1l_I0n' heads-up, who took away $135,971 for second place, with Brazil's 'Eduardo850' claiming their biggest online cash to date by coming third for $94,103. Canada's 'newguy89' lost out to 'chemigue2' heads-up in Event #2 (Medium) with the players taking away $39,128 and $54,893 respectively. 'Br1ngCabbage' took the win in Event #3 (Med) to earn themselves a coveted SCOOP title as well as $65,159. In the $215 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Event #5 (Medium), it was Brazil vs Poland for the win, with 'charlie580' beating out 'pokerqmaster' for the title and the first-place prize of $47,735. In the 'low' events, 'DedOnTheTurn' won $15,861 for victory in Event #2 (Low) the Mini Sunday Kickoff and 'Allmightry' saw $17,943 added to their account for first-place in Event #3 (Low). Romania's 'pora adrian' came through a massive 17,265 player field in Event #4 (Low) the Mini Sunday Million to earn $36,876, and 'kokosant' came out on top in Event #5(Low) Pot Limit Omaha for $16,903 after agreeing to a heads-up deal with 'Janibp', who took away $14,194 and the silver medal. Below are the SCOOP results for Monday 7th May 2018: Event #2 (Low): $11 Eight Max Mini Sunday Kickoff No Limit Hold’em Entrants: 12,758 Prize pool: $125,028.40 DedOnTheTurn - $15,861.42 10YURA10 - $11,300.41 pqshq - $8,055.32 Seizeds - $5,742.11 BadBeat1411 - $4,093.19 TushCan#1 - $2,917.77 MoW3R - $2,079.89 OMGJamesWelz - $1,482.62 SpongeBobBro - $1,056.87 Event #2 (Medium): $109 Eight Max Sunday Kickoff No Limit Hold’em Entrants: 3,840 Prize pool: $384,000 chemigue2 - $54,893.93 newguy89 - $39,128.64 Hendurr - $27,892.22 Papa poolong - $19,882.52 NCSU2012 - $14,172.90 Davidamon88 - $10,102.92 Kohlrabi7 - $7,201.68 dodi papa - $5,133.58 Event #2 (High): $1,050 Eight Max No Limit Hold’em Entrants: 728 Prize pool: $728,00 RomeOpro - $123,935.44 blikinn - $90,758.95 jwall888 - $66,463.92 ZeeJustin - $48,672.33 Smaxx440 - $35,643.31 KissMyAcePlz - $26,102.07 Timonpoika - $19,114.87 iamivar - $13,998.05 mczhang - $11,192.49 Event #3 (Low): $22 PKO No Limit Hold’em Entrants: 16,286 Prize pool: $325,720 Allmightry - $17,943.40 Slaaasch - $12,782.83 S1gheddii - $9,112.03 shermdog50 - $6,495.36 Oskoma - $4,630.10 algys1 - $3,300.50 sowiniai - $2,352.70 __DennisN__21 - $1,677.08 ace2chico - $1,195.47 Event #3 (Medium): $215 PKO Sunday Warm-up No Limit Hold’em Entrants: 4,574 Prize pool: $914,800 Br1ngCabbage - $65,159.16 CAZZETTEE - $45,723.85 Carloss.Rox - $32,087.52 neeno1990 - $22,518.03 ZeeJustin - $15,802.39 i need sheet - $11,089.61 J3System - $7,782.29 torstii - $5,461.35 juarnes - $3,832.60 Event #3 (High): $2,100 PKO No Limit Hold’em Entrants: 577 Prize pool: $577,000 Firaldo87 - $101,854.96 PrtyPsux - $75,947.97 fellatiado - $56,630.76 Jabba_010 - $42,226.82 pellompogos - $31,486.48 anunnakienki - $23,477.95 olehaswonit - $17,506.35 Danila4444 - $13,053.64 unclewolfy - $9,733.47 Event #4 (Low): $22 Mini Sunday Million No Limit Hold’em Entrants: 17,265 Prize pool: $345,300 pora adrian - $36,876.20 dezember - $26,506.64 whiskeyman25 - $19,058.52 neptune 1969 - $13,703.26 PAst3r - $9,852.79 ValueBieber1 - $7,084.24 Hardcoregym2018 - $5,093.65 Vamos_Serhio - $3,662.3 poker lance - $2,633.32 Event #4 (Medium): $215 Sunday Million No Limit Hold’em Entrants: 6,916 Prize pool: $1,383,200 XD89lol<3 - $196,472.69 ham1l_I0n - $135,971.87 Eduardo850 - $94,103.10 hotfils77 - $65,126.86 volandNEW - $45,072.81 barn284 - $31,193.92 johhnnyknock - $21,588.57 EndlessJ - $14,940.91 JonTarg - $10,340.24 Event #4 (High): $2,100 $1m Gtd No Limit Hold’em Entrants: 675 Prize pool: $1,350,000 minusth3bear - $233,909.37 Manni1822 - $172,873.03 aaronmermel - $127,763.59 FourSixFour - $94,424.94 krakukra - $69,785.68 cal42688 - $51,575.80 ikkedus - $38,117.65 810ofclubs - $28,171.26 zcedrick - $20,820.24 Event #5 (Low): $22 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Entrants: 6,448 Prize pool: $128,000 kokosant - $16,903.85* Janibp - $14,194.32* williseb - $8,896.51 Tuxeedos - $6,198.83 felix4444 - $4,319.16 xfadomas666 - $3,009.47 Event #5 (Medium): $215 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Entrants: 1,570 Prize pool: $314,000 charlie580 - $47,735.89 pokerqmaster - $33,260.41 calvin7v - $23,174.95 KingOfThe$ea - $16,147.70 hakoron - $11,251.27 Renanr0x - $7,839.60 Event #5 (High): $2,100 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha Entrants: 355 Prize pool: $710,000 BongBob - $130,329.24 Shuller_A1t - $94,792.95 ekziter - $68,946.18 Venividi1993 - $50,146.94 baadger - $36,473.62 superatos - $26,528.51  
  4. Six months ago, Niall Farrell finally slew the dragon and won his first World Series of Poker, beating out a tough field in the €25,000 High Roller at WSOP Europe. Now, the Scottish poker pro is in Las Vegas for the 2018 World Series of Poker hoping to add another bracelet to his collection. Over the course of the 2018 WSOP, 50 Days & 50 Nights chronicles Farrell’s summer; the highs and the lows and all the stuff that happens in between. Here's how the opening two weeks of the 2018 World Series of Poker has gone for Niall Farrell. He's cashed once - for $1,096, been knocked out of $110,000 worth of poker tournaments by Justin Bonomo (before the money bubble), woke up with a horse screensaver on what he thought was his phone, and is now banned from drinking any booze. Despite all of this, spirits (his, not the ones that come in a glass) are still quite high. His WSOP started with the $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty where he picked up a couple of bounties but busted before the bubble. Next up was the $100,000 High Roller, an event he initially had no intention of playing. "Then I saw the field, it was pretty good, so I got in. I got up to 100 bigs but then ran into Bonomo - that's becoming kind of a theme," said Farrell. "The $100K was going really well, I sat down and was just winning every hand and then I got it in with kings to Bonomo's king-five suited on a jack-eight-four flop for like 2.5 starting stacks and promptly lost." "When someone's on that kind of a heater, it feels kind of inevitable, you see their hand and you're like 'oh, for god's sake'. It just feels like that because they're doing so well at the moment," said Farrell. A few days later, Farrell played the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship event. "The very first round I got to play with Bill Klein and he had me in stitches the whole time. He's a really funny guy, really nice guy," said Farrell, who beat Klein and then Adam Greenberg to advance to a matchup with one of his summer roommates, Michael Gagliano. Before the match, Farrell and Gagliano swapped a bit of action. During the match, they traded a bit of friendly banter. "We were just shit-talking each other a lot and he was folding a lot, and he was like 75% correct to be making these folds. We were just needling each other. It was just fun because although it's a serious tournament, one of us was going to win anyways and we're both playing. I had some good fun with it," said Farrell. As the match continued, another one of their roommates, Daniel Strelitz, walked over to check in on the match. He had just bagged chips in another tournament and was headed back to the house. Farrell asked him to wait so he could drove everybody home. His timing couldn't have been better and set up a perfect spot for Farrell to inflict max pain on Gagliano. "He was down to about 15 bigs and shoved. I looked down at one ace and I almost went 'Oh wow, this is a good one. I think this is going to be it.' Then I looked down at the other ace and I actually stopped before I said anything, and I was like 'Oh, can I have a count, please? This is going to be pretty close'," said Farrell. "I said to Daniel 'This might be it, it's pretty close,' and I thought that would give it away because I would never have called him over if I wasn't slowrolling to be honest. I got the count again and I said 'Okay, call' and Gags turned his hand over and he had jack-ten and I said 'Oh, how is it such a dirty flip? It's so absurd', and then he looked kind of happy. I turned over aces and he just burst out laughing. It was too perfect of a spot not to do it." All kidding aside, Farrell eliminated Gagliano and then found himself heads-up against, you guessed it, Bonomo, in the next round. That was the end of the road for Farrell as Bonomo continued his hot streak and went on to win the bracelet. "He's on a Fedor heater now. I seem to always run into that. I ran into Fedor on his heater as well in 2016 and just winning any hands against him was pretty tough at that point," said Farrell, who finished just outside the money. We Need to Talk About Hal [caption id="attachment_619522" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Everybody ... meet Hal. He already knows you. (Kevin Mathers photo)[/caption] While it might seem like he's seen a lot of Bonomo through the first two weeks of the 2018 WSOP, Farrell has also seen a lot of Hal. Who the hell is Hal? Hal is the friendly and popular bartender who works the temporary bar set up in the hallway that connects all of the tournament rooms. Over his eight years coming to the WSOP, Farrell has gotten to be quite friendly with Hal. "The absolute highlight of your summer every year is seeing Hal," said Farrell. After Farrell busted the One Drop High Roller in a "ridiculous spot" last summer, Farrell was walking to get a cab home when he ran into Hal. "Hal sees me, and I'm pretty tilted, and he's like 'Niall, how are you my man?' and I said 'Not great Hal, just busted the $100K in a weird spot,' and he says 'Oh, well I haven't got the bar set up yet, but come with me'," said Farrell. "He takes me through the back doors of the Rio, where the Brasilia room is, to this secret bar and just gives me a free beer. That's an absolute legend of a guy." "I'm currently on a self-imposed Hal ban and alcohol ban," said Farrell. How'd We Get Here? (No, Seriously .. How Did We Get Here?) Farrell woke up one morning, feeling the effects of a night of drinking. The events of the next 24 hours convinced him that maybe he needed to put himself in the penalty box for a bit. "I woke up and my phone was lying in my bed and I pressed it to see if it still had any charge and it had a horse screensaver. I was like 'oh, this just isn't my phone, is it?'," said Farrell. "Okay, we've got a 1% chance I've just changed my screensaver to a horse for some reason. I tried to put my code in and it obviously just bricks off and I'm like 'ugh'. At this point I'm thinking someone's got my phone, I've got their phone." Farrell actually found his phone a few minutes later in the jeans he had worn the night before. But wait - whose phone had the horse on it? "I did some detective work with messages on my phone and stuff and managed to find out it was some Australian girl's that we'd met the night before," said Farrell, who then tracked her down on Facebook and made plans to get her the phone back. "It's the least I can do since I now apparently steal phones. So I gave her the phone and I sat down and said 'Okay, I'm taking a couple of weeks off drinking'." "To be fair to me, the girls were like 'We don't remember much,' so it wasn't all my fault," joked Farrell. It's Still Early - Patience is a Virtue Despite the rough start, Farrell's understands that variance can sometimes be a cruel temptress. "I've had stacks in everything. I bubbled the $10K Heads Up, I lost the $3K shootout heads up, I had a lot of chips in the $10K Turbo, I got it in good for 2.5 stacks in the $100K, I lost a 250 big blind pot to Qui Nguyen in the $1,500," Farrell said. "Every bullet in the $1,500 I had 30K from 7K. I've been building stacks and just been dealt out a lot of the time. Confidence is fine, it's still early. It's not like I'm just sitting down to a starting stack and playing badly and blinding out. I've been pretty unfortunate so far - confidence is still high." "I'm a pretty confident person, so it's going to take a lot more than that."
  5. Six months ago, Niall Farrell finally slew the dragon and won his first World Series of Poker, beating out a tough field in the €25,000 High Roller at WSOP Europe. Now, the Scottish poker pro is in Las Vegas for the 2018 World Series of Poker hoping to add another bracelet to his collection. Over the course of the 2018 WSOP, 50 Days & 50 Nights will chronicle Farrell’s summer; the highs and the lows and all the stuff that happens in between. For the past five years, Niall Farrell has always arrived in Las Vegas the day before the WSOP begins. He takes that day to get settled and take care of some of the errands that need to be run before settling in for the WSOP grind. This year was different though. The World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions was running in Las Vegas on May 24 and Farrell, who put his name on the WPT Champions Cup in 2016, wanted to play. “For the last three years I've been in Vancouver for SCOOP anyways, so I can come the day before because I'm already adjusted to the time zone,” said Farrell. The TOC didn’t end with Farrell at the final table, but that doesn’t mean his confidence at the start of the Series is wavering. “I had a winning SCOOP. I got to Vancouver and basically won the first SCOOP I played, which made the whole trip very relaxing, which was nice,” said Farrell, who won Event #3 High ($2,100 PKO No Limit Hold’em) for his second career SCOOP title. “I've been pretty lucky that I always do pretty well at the Series, even though it took me a little while to win a bracelet. The year before I won a bracelet I had three final tables, including the One Drop and won a bunch of money and I'm lucky enough that all my friends tend to do quite well as well, so that tends to build the confidence. I feel like I'm good to go and ready to win another one.” As he’s done over past few years, Farrell rented a house along with a few other poker players that are all in town to chase big scores and bracelets. His choice of roommates is strategic too. “Same people as always; it's Michael Gagliano, Daniel Strelitz, and Brandon Shane. It's all the American guys, none of the UK guys really,” said Farrell. “It's a tactical thing because if I stay with the UK guys I just go out to the bar most nights. So for the last five years or so I've stayed with the American guys so that keeps me out of trouble a little bit.” While Farrell was putting together his personal schedule for the summer, he referred to his notes from summer 2017 where he cashed six times. It reminded him of an important change he wanted - maybe even needed - to make. “I've got my Google Calendar on my phone and in big capital letters it just says “DO NOT REGISTER THE GIANT”. So I'm going to just trust past me and not do that. So I guess I'll take a couple days off during those events,” said Farrell, who actually cashed in The Giant for $1,343 but grew frustrated by the inability of tournament staff to keep things moving on Day 2. "You've got to take a couple of days off. It's pretty easy to get burned out. If you're doing really well it's easier, but some summers you can just come out and start bricking off, it's pretty easy to get burned and stop playing your best.” Farrell’s schedule will mainly be focused on WSOP bracelet events, with the odd trip to the Venetian or Wynn to take advantage of big fields full of soft players. He’ll also stray a little bit away from his comfort zone of No Limit Hold’em to find some fun in other bracelet events. “Yeah, pretty much all of the No Limit Hold'em events. I usually play some of the $1,500 smaller ones that I'm not very good at, like the Deuce to Seven Single Draw I always play because it's fun. I'll maybe play a $1,500 Omaha or something, but I'm not very good at those games, it's more just for fun.” Having finally won his first bracelet, Farrell has turned his focus to picking up his second, if only to give him some more ammunition for the good-natured ribbing that happens back at the house. “It was quite a relief to get it, but we have some banter (in the house) as well. We'll talk about it and Gagliano will be like 'Nah, it was in Europe - it doesn't count' and I'll be like 'it was in Europe, so you know there were good players in the field, not like your bracelet',” said Farrell. “So we have some banter back and forth. We have a bit of fun with it. It's cool to have it, especially after getting two seconds. Now that I've got one, I want to try and get more.” Adding a new piece of jewelry to his collection is what Farrell thinks it will take for him to call the 2018 WSOP a success, but that goalpost could be a moving one depending on how the first few weeks goes. “Saying it now, I would say a bracelet but I'm sure if I get to the end of the summer and I've made any decent amount of money I'll count it as successful,” said Farrell. “Start-of-the-Series-Optimism is going to say "bracelet only”, but maybe halfway through I'll be like "let's see if I can get out of this hole", and that will count as successful.”
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