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Found 19 results

  1. Last weekend, Scotland's Niall firaldoFarrell (pictured) struck gold in the Full Tilt Poker FTOPS Main Event, coming away with the win for $236,000 following a three-way chop. The tournament, a $635 No Limit Hold'em Re-Entry event, drew over 2,500 entrants, four of whom walked off with six-figures. We caught up with Farrell to break down his landmark score that has shot him up to #35 worldwide in the PocketFives Rankings. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- PocketFives: Huge score! How are you feeling about it? Niall Farrell: I'm still ecstatic. It was a great feeling. PocketFives: What are you going to do with the money? Niall Farrell: I'm not sure. Most of it is going back into my bankroll so I can play higher live games. I'm going to buy a ridiculously priced steak in Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker too! PocketFives: Walk us through how the tournament went in general and what you thought about the skill level at the final table. Niall Farrell: I was in for only one bullet, which was a welcome change. I got short very early, but then doubled up and by the time I was at the mid-stages, I had a pretty good stack. I consciously played super-aggressively during the mid-stages trying to make a real run at the final table. My stack was yo-yoing a good amount and then I got 5-5 in versus K-K for a decent number of chips and rivered a five. With 60 or so left, the field was very tough. When we got to three tables, there were two really tough tables with timex(pictured), Phil Galfond, and LarsLuzak and one easier table that I was fortunate enough to be at. The really strong players at my table were kind of short, so I was able to accumulate fairly easily going into the final table. The final table itself was very tough. timex, LarsLuzak, and yrwthmelthrare all top players. Chilax Chuck was the big chip leader and although I believe he doesn't play full-time, he did a great job of applying ICM pressure on the other stacks, so it was certainly a very tough final table overall. PocketFives: Why did you decide to chop? Niall Farrell: Three-handed, the pay jumps were pretty huge. Chilax Chuck had the chip lead and was willing to give up a little equity to get a chop done and I think that was fair. We left $36,000 to play for that he was in the best chip position to win, so all in all it seemed fair. It was nice to lock up $200,000 too. PocketFives: You're about to pass $2 million in tracked scoresin your profile. Niall Farrell: Yeah, that feels really good. Profit is the main number you look at, but having a high cash total certainly helps with that. Hopefully, we're on the way to moorman1-esque numbers, if somewhat more slowly. PocketFives: What separates you from other poker players out there? Niall Farrell: I think every poker player thinks they're really good at all times. I like to think I'm quite self-aware regarding my abilities. At the start of last year, I began thinking I could make it to the top tier of tournament players. I'm certain I can get there, but it's going to take time and hard work. PocketFives: When you say you're self-aware, is that a trait you've had to develop or how do you know you're self-aware? What tools do you use to analyze your game? Niall Farrell: I think a good indication that you're self-aware is your ROI. If you have a strong ROI, it shows you're not playing lots of games you can't beat but think you can and things like that. I watch a lot of training videos and try to apply different concepts I learn. I also go over my play using PokerTracker to try to identify areas where I can improve. I recently signed with CardRunners as a high-stakes MTT instructor and that has really helped me get back in the groove of self-study and improvement. PocketFives: You had quite a fan base railing your FTOPS Main Event win. How did that feel? Niall Farrell: That felt great. It's a very nice feeling to have so many of your peers hoping you do well. I feel like 70% of them were cheering hard knowing the debauchery that's going to follow the next time we meet up. PocketFives: You mentioned to us earlier that you were a little jet-lagged. What are you up to travel-wise? Niall Farrell: I was in Calgary. My girlfriend is doing her PhD there, so I'm there about half the year. I'm going back to Calgary for SCOOP and then on to Las Vegas. I'm back home in Scotland now, although I'm off to Ireland for the Irish Poker Open and then straight on to Monaco for the EPT Grand Final. PocketFives: What are you looking forward to the most at the WSOPthis year? Niall Farrell: I always look forward to Vegas, but after three weeks there, I'm usually ready to come home. I'm really looking forward to the $10,000 Six-Max event this year. I've never played it and they didn't have it last year. I'm also looking forward to the food and a free meal at Nobu that's owed to me. Getting a house in Vegas is really important. Staying in a hotel for that period of time on the Strip gets unbearable. We stay in a house 20 minutes away from the Strip. It's a really good value and quiet so you can get away from the madness every night, which is great. PocketFives: We understand you want to send a shout out to players in Scotland? Niall Farrell: Yeah, I'd like to send a shout out to the Scotland poker chat. The boys have been crushing it this year. FTOPS runs quarterly on Full Tilt Poker. If you don't already have a Full Tilt account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives MTT Training. You'll also get $25 free in most locations. Click here for PocketFives' Full Tilt Poker link. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. The first day of July crowned one new bracelet winner, left six players to return in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship and two more events return a handful players for Day 3. The $888 Crazy Eights event brought out the crowds with two flights in the re-entry event. Safiya Umerova Upsets Niall Farrell for First Bracelet in $1,500 Shootout [caption width="600"] Safiya Umerova came back from down 3-1 in chips heads-up to win her first bracelet.[/caption]Day 3 of the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Shootout kicked off with two six-handed tables, they made the final table at nine players and upstart Safiya Umerova defeated Niall Farrell for her first bracelet and $246,046. “I think women poker players are underestimated, it happens to me." Umerova said. “They underestimate my thinking and my game overall. I’ve only been playing poker for a very short time. It’s exciting, this is a great start for my career.” “I dream big. I want to be the best poker player in the world,” she added. “I know I am not there yet, but I want to have the most gold bracelets anyone has ever had. That’s the goal. That’s what you’re supposed to go for, right?” Heads-up play began with Farrell holding a 3-1 chip advantage but Umerova won a key pot when all in with queens. Farrell held [poker card="ac"][poker card="9d"] but two queens on the flop doubled up Umerova’s stack. A few hands later, down 3-1, he shoved holding queen high and Umerova called with an ace. An ace hit on the flop and Umerova became the second female bracelet winner in as many days. Final Table Payouts Safiya Umerova - $246,046 Niall Farrell - $163,158 Michael Mixer - $118,109 Yuliyan Kolev - $86,513 Damian Salas - $64,129 Raymond Ho - $48,115 Daniel McAulay - $36,543 Daniel Tang - $28,101 Alexander Lakhov - $21,881 Brandon Shack-Harris Leads Final Six in $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship Day 3 of the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship began with 28 returning players after a brutal Day 2 bubble and after ten levels of play Brandon Shack-Harris leads the six-handed Day 4 table. Matthew Parry, Loren Klein, Melad Marji, Harley Stoffmaker and Tommy Le round out the final six. It’s an odd lineup for the event with the unknowns totaling 11 WSOP cashes while Shack-Harris, Klein and Le have 51 cashes and more than $2.5 million combined. Jason Mercier, Mike Watson, Taylor Paur, Mike Matusow and Erik Seidel all made the money but ultimately found the rail. Play resumes Saturday at noon and will be live-streamed with hole cards. Final Six Chip Counts Brandon Shack-Harris – 5,425,000 Matthew Parry – 4,775,000 Loren Klein – 3,530,000 Melad Marji – 2,930,000 Harley Stoffmaker – 2,265,000 Tommy Le – 1,600,000 Jay Farber, James Akenhead and James Akenhead Headline Day 3 in $3,000 No Limit Hold’em The $3,000 No Limit Hold'em event began with 287 returning players for Day 2 and after ten levels of play the field was trimmed to 31 players – well short of the intended final table mark. Tony Ruberto bagged up the lead with three November Niners sliding into the top 10. James Akenhead, Simon Deadman and Daniel Rudd lead a contingent of British players after finishing in the top 20. Andrew Lichtenberger, Tristan Wade, John Hennigan and John Racener also advanced but in the bottom half of the counts. Players return at noon on Saturday with over $500,000 on the line for the winner and they’ll play to a winner is crowned. Depending on the finish of the PLO Championship and the lineup, it could be live-streamed later in the day on WSOP.com. Top Ten Chip Counts Tony Ruberto – 1,165,000 Jay Farber – 1,077,000 Nick Yunis – 1,056,000 Thomas Miller – 970,000 Linglin Zeng – 858,000 James Akenhead – 851,000 Erhan Iscan – 798,000 Pierre Neuville – 770,000 Salvatore Dicarlo – 763,000 Sevan Markarian – 690,000 Allen Le & John Monnette Lead Stacked Field of 27 to Day 3 in Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo The Mixed Omaha Hi-Lo event of three variants is new for the 2016 WSOP schedule and the field returned 207 players to Day 2. Ten levels of play reduced the field to 27 survivors littered with bracelet winners but Allen Le and John Monnette were the only two players to finish above the 500,000-mark. Gary Bolden, Bart Hanson and Keith Ferrera landed in the top 10 counts while Timothy Burt, Gavin Smith, David Bach and Jason Somerville all return with shorter stacks. Michael Mizrachi, John Holley, Mike Leah and Ted Forrest made deep runs into the money but didn’t survive the day. Play resumes for Day 3 at noon as one of three events playing to a winner. Top Ten Chip Counts Allan Le – 562,500 John Monnette – 531,000 Cody Crouch – 435,500 Yuval Bronshtein – 348,000 Gary Bolden – 323,500 Philipp Eirisch – 311,500 Alexey Makarov – 278,000 Bart Hanson – 217,500 Keith Ferrera – 206,000 Mark Johns – 193,500 Two Flights for Crazy Eights Event Combine for 2,816 Entrants The multiple re-entry $888 Crazy Eights Eight Max No Limit Hold’em event ran two of the four opened flights on Friday and combined for 2,816 entrants collectively. Despite those huge numbers, only 36 players advanced from Flight 1A and 50 survivors from Flight 1B – 86 total. Andy Spears bagged the most with 499,000 from the late wave and Daniel Fried led the first flight. Dimitar Danchev, Loni Harwood, Jason Les, Allen Kessler and Jennifer Shahade standout from the 36 Flight 1A survivors. John Gordon, Scott Davies and Hank Sitton advance from Flight 1B pool of 50 advancing players. Day 2 returns to action Sunday at 2 pm in the Amazon Room, bringing all four flights together for the first time. Flight 1C has cards in the air at 10 am and Flight 1D gathers for a start at 4 pm on Saturday. Top Ten Chip Counts A & B Combined Andy Spears – 499,000 Daniel Fried – 366,000 Gytis Bernatavicius – 360,000 Francis Rusnak – 341,000 DNR – 336,000 Joshua Field – 323,000 Lev Mimma – 315,000 Jennifer Shahade – 285,000 Henry Grunzweig – 279,000 Joep Raemaekers – 278,000 Saturday’s Crazier Eights & Poker Players Championship The WSOP will be stretched to its limits on Saturday with three events playing down to a winner in the Amazon Room, while shoehorning in two more flights of the $888 Crazy Eights event. Then the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players Championship kicks off at 3 pm, scheduled for five days and arguably brings together the toughest field each year.
  3. [caption width="640"] You can find Niall 'firaldo' Farrell at big live events around the world with a boisterous band of Scots[/caption] They're loud. They have strength in numbers. And when they have a beer in their hands, all bets are off. They're called Scots, and among them is Niall 'firaldo' Farrell, #8 in the PocketFives Rankings for the UK and #2 on Scotland's all-time money list. "Scottish guys are awesome, especially my close-knit community," Farrell said. "Everyone rails each other and I'm pretty sure each of us has borrowed money from the other people in the group at some point in the last five years. We all travel together a good amount and go out together. Even when we're back home, we hang out as well." Farrell is fresh off finishing second in the France Poker Series Monte Carlo Main Event in Monaco for $144,000. His rail was, needless to say, loud and supportive, and they were there every step of the way. And when you spot him in the halls of Le Sporting at the Monte Carlo Bay Resort, he's surrounded by compatriots and fanboys, all with Heinekens in their hands. This isn't the group's first trip abroad. In fact, their travels approach legendary status. "Recently, I was with Dean Hutchison, who won a UKIPT event, in Australia for a few weeks in Melbourne and Sydney," Farrell said. "We got an Airbnb. It was an absurd Airbnb, like a $3 million place. We had a bunch of English guys like Billy Chattaway with us too. We started off with two of the biggest parties I've ever been involved in. It was ridiculous." Farrell and his merry band of Scots received a message from the owner of the condo on a Saturday night. The owner had received a noise complaint and was concerned that there were more than six people in the apartment - the agreed upon number of guests. The owner was coming over to check. Fortunately for Farrell, the owner never showed. There were over 200 people in the apartment at the time. "It's great to have a group. It really helps keep me sane when you're traveling about so much. It's cool to hang out with your friends at all of these places," Farrell said. Guys like Ross 'RLOG' Loggie (#53 on Scotland's all-time money list) and David 'davidv1213' Vamplew (#1) regularly travel with him. They've helped him retain a sense of normalcy amid a sea of airplane flights, meals out, Uber rides, and power converters. "We don't really talk poker that much," Farrell said of his group's time away from the tables. "We all have different styles and we all play at different levels, so there's not big strategy talks. There is some poker talk, but not as much as most groups. We mostly talk about football, drinking, partying, and stuff like that. We are all big fans of Davey Weir, who is a legendary Scottish footballer, so we talk about him a lot." [caption width="640"] The Scots invade Vegas to root on Pius Heinz[/caption] "I'm in Monaco with Jake Cody, who is obviously not Scottish, but we have an apartment here," Farrell said. "There are five of us Scottish guys here. There are usually a few more, but Monaco is one of those EPTs where it's very expensive. Barcelona, you can just go and party. You can party here, but it's not one that a lot of the boys are going to come over for. A lot of the boys come over and play side events, but it's too expensive to do that here." A Coke and a cheeseburger will set you back well over $30 in Monaco. You'll find similar pricing almost 10,000 kilometers west in Las Vegas, where Farrell and his merry band of Scots are headed in a few short weeks for the World Series of Poker. Look out, world. "The whole UK rail is pretty legendary in Las Vegas," said Farrell. "It's not just Scotland. There have been a lot of pictures and controversy over the years at the rail. When one of your mates gets to the final table, it's like a football match, so it's kind of mental. We go over the top, but I think it's good. I think they should let us do our thing. No one's getting hurt. They should just chill. There will definitely be a good UK rail in Vegas this year." One of those players who has received a red card on the rail over the years is Chris 'moorman1' Moorman, who also calls the UK home. "I know Moorman has been removed from the tournament area before and people have been thrown out," Farrell said of the most accomplished online poker player in history. Again, they're pretty loud. Farrell won last year's EPT Malta Main Event for almost $600,000. His crew was on-hand for the libations and celebrations that ensued. Shortly after, they headed to Prague and will be back in Malta in October when the EPT returns. "The one EPT win I was really going for was Prague, which was right after Malta, because if you win two EPTs in a row, you're set," Farrell said. "I got 40th, so I went really deep. With 50 left, I thought I was going to win and would be living the dream. I'll definitely be back in Malta this year. I very rarely miss an EPT. They're extremely well run. The tournament staff and the dealers are the best in the world by far. They're great tournaments and great value. As a poker pro, you should never miss one." You know who else never misses a big live tournament stop? The merry band of Scots.
  4. [caption width="640"] Niall ‘firaldo’ Farrell now has a WPT title to go along with his EPT win (WPT photo)[/caption] Niall ‘firaldo’ Farrell is one step closer to being a part of poker’s Triple Crown after taking down the partypoker World Poker Tour Caribbean title for $330,000. 323 entrants took part in the $5,000 buy-in event and after starting the final table among the short stacks, Farrell wound up taking the lion’s share of the over $1,450,000 prize pool. Farrell won the European Poker Tour Malta Main Event in October 2015 for the first leg of the Triple Crown and this victory adds to his already sizable $2,936,820 in live tournament earnings. The final table marked Farrell’s first in a WPT main event and he certainly made the most of the opportunity. This TV final table was an international affair with six different countries represented. Additionally, all the final tablists were making their first WPT final table appearance. Stephen Woodhead started the final table as the short stack and it took 24 hands before he met his end. It was Farrell who did the deed knocking out Woodhead as the two battled for Woodhead’s last 15 big blinds in a preflop confrontation. Farrell opened for 105,000 from the hijack and Woodhead moved all in for 750,000 from the big blind. Farrell called having Woodhead dominated with [poker card="ac"][poker card="jh"] against the short stack’s [poker card="ah"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="4h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="3s"][poker card="2d"][poker card="8s"] runout was no assistance to Woodhead as he took home $66,000 for his finish. The next to go was Yiannis Liperis, who has also hamstrung with a short stack coming into the final table. With just over six blinds left, Liperis jammed for 375,000 on the button and got a call from Anthony Augustino out of the big blind. Like Woodhead, Liperis had an inferior ace as he showed [poker card="as"][poker card="3s"] against Augustino's [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="6s"][poker card="4d"] flop left Liperis needing running cards to double up, as well as a three. The [poker card="7h"] turn gave him a gutshot straight draw but the [poker card="4h"] would seal his fate as the fifth place finisher. Farrell picked up his second elimination of the final table as he took downColin Moffatt 17 hands after Liperis departed. With the blinds still at 30,000/60,000, Farrell raised to 105,000 on the button and Moffatt moved all in for 1,180,000 from the big blind. Farrell called and was in a flip with [poker card="6d"][poker card="6c"] against the [poker card="as"][poker card="7h"] of Moffatt. The [poker card="ad"][10s][poker card="7s"] flop surged Moffatt ahead as he flopped two pair. Farrell regained the lead on the turn, though, with the [poker card="6h"] giving him a set. Needing to fill up on the river, Moffatt did not as the [poker card="jc"] and he exited in fourth place. It would only take Farrell 10 more hands to earn the championship as he dispatched his next two opponents in short order. Farrell caught a double at an opportune time which fully charged his late run to the title. In one of the biggest pots of the tournament, Farrell chased down Troy Quenneville in the hand that effectively sealed the title for Farrell. With the blinds still at the same level, Quenneville opened to 135,000 from the button and was three-bet by Farrell to 375,000. Quenneville pumped it up to 890,000 and Farrell jammed for 3,380,000 total with Quenneville calling with [poker card="as"][poker card="ks"]. Farrell needed to come from far behind with his [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"] to stay alive. The [poker card="qs"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6h"] surged Farrell into the lead and he held on the [poker card="6d"] turn and [poker card="ah"] river. The pot put Farrell into the chip lead with 6,850,000 (114 big blinds) and left Quenneville with 840,000 (14 big blinds). Despite being the short stack, Quenneville doubled through Augustino a few hands later to put him as the low man on the totem pole as Augustino was eliminated in third place. In Hand 73 of the final table, Farrell moved all in from the small blind and Augustino called for his last 1,160,000 with [poker card="ac"][poker card="6c"] from the big blind. Farrell was behind, but live, with [poker card="qh"][poker card="9s"] and promptly flopped a straight draw on the [poker card="ks"][10s][poker card="8h"] board. The [poker card="8s"] changed little but the [poker card="jc"] on the river filled Farrell’s straight to send Augustino out with the bronze medal earning $140,000. Heads up play didn’t last long as Farrell knocked out Quenneville in the first hand of their match. Farrell moved all in from the small blind to put Quenneville at risk for his last 1,540,000 and Quenneville called. Farrell had the slight lead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="5d"] but Quenneville had a lot to work with holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="js"]. The [poker card="ah"][poker card="kh"][poker card="7s"] flop gave both players a pair but Quenneville still needed help to double. The [poker card="qd"] on the turn gave Quenneville a straight draw but the [poker card="6d"] on the river would eliminate him just short of first place. The $330,000 first place prize marks the fourth largest of Farrell’s career as he adds to his already sterling poker resume. Farrell also earns his place in the WPT Tournament of Champions for his victory. Final Table Payouts Niall Farrell - $330,000 Troy Quenneville - $220,000 Anthony Augustino - $140,000 Colin Moffatt - $105,392 Yiannis Liperis - $80,000 Stephen Woodhead - $66,000
  5. [caption width="640"] Over the last five years a number of poker superstars have been born on the European Poker Tour (photos PokerStars)[/caption] The European Poker Tour is coming to an end right now in Prague, as the last ever Main Event is underway. The tour has created many champions over the past 13 years, and here’s a look through just some of the more recent breakout stars. ICYMI read The Breakout Stars of the European Poker Tour: 2004-2010 Dominik PankaRemember how we said Mike McDonald almost became the first ever two-time EPT champ in January 2014? Well, the man who kept him from the top spot was Dominik Panka. The Polish player won a huge score of $1.42 million and became Poland’s all-time money winner…until a certain young wizard by the name of Dzimitry Urbanovich appeared (more on him later). When Panka took down the PCA Main Event in 2014 for $1.42 million, defeating McDonald heads-up, he became Poland’s all-time money winner. Panka followed up the PCA win later in the month with a €10K High Roller victory at EPT10 Deuville for €272,000, and in 2015 he placed third in the EPT11 Malta main event for €347,300. Panka was back to making final tables this year with a fifth-place finish in the IPT8 Malta Main event for €30,970, and taking ninth in the EPT13 Malta Main Event for €41,590. Adrian MateosTechnically, this Spanish whiz kid had already burst onto the scene long before his massive $1.21 million win in the EPT11 Grand Final Main Event in 2015. He’d already won an Estrellas Poker Tour title in 2013 ($137K), and a little-known tournament later that year called the WSOPE Main Event ($1.35 million). But there’s just no way we could have left Adrian Mateos off of this list. A glance through his live scores shows countless EPT side event cashes, including two wins at the same stop (EPT11 Deauville). Since his EPT win, Mateos has taken down his second WSOP bracelet ($409K) and become a high roller regular everywhere from the EPTs to the Las Vegas, where he’s won almost $400K in December 2016 alone. Niall FarrellThe man known as 'Firaldo87' was well-known on the poker circuit as a great online player and fun-loving guy before he took down EPT12 Malta for $588,592 in 2015 (he’d finished second in a $3K WSOP event, and made a few high roller final tables). But Farrell truly had his breakout moment with that huge score. It’s been a great catalyst for him too. He’s now a fixture in the biggest high roller tournaments on the EPT circuit, he finished eighth in the $111,111 high roller for One Drop at the 2016 WSOP, and just last month took down the WPT Punta Cana main event for $335,000. Dzmitry UrbanovichThe player who overtook Panka as Poland’s all-time money winner is Urbanovich, who seemed to burst onto the scene out of nowhere back in March and April 2015. At EPT11 Malta, the wunderkind won the €25K high roller for €572,300, followed by three more side event wins. The following month at the EPT11 Grand Final, he finished second in the €100K super high roller for €1.446 million. The man known online as ‘Colisea’ then went on to finish second in the €50K super high roller at EPT12 Barcelona for €841K, fourth in the EPT12 Prague super high roller for €285k, before finally capturing his first EPT main event title at EPT12 Dublin in February this year for €561K. An incredible run, considering in all this time he’s also notched up more than a million in online earnings, with two SCOOP and three WCOOP wins. Amazing. Sebastian MalecIf you missed the final hand of the EPT13 Barcelona main event, we suggest you go find it on YouTube. Sebastian Malec, a 21-year-old €27 PokerStars satellite winner, took down the title for €1,122,800, and a new star was born. It’s still a little early to see how Malec’s career will develop after the EPT is no more, but that’s exactly why we’ve included him on this list. Who knows what the future will hold? The PokerStars Championships kick off in the Bahamas in January, before heading to Panama and Macau in March. It’s time to find a whole new batch of breakout stars.
  6. [caption width="640"] Marti Roca De Torres takes down the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for €1,115,207. Photo: Alin Ivanov[/caption] Former economics teacher turned poker professional, Marti Roca De Torres, outlasted the 529 runners and marathon final table to become the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event Champion, taking home his first WSOP bracelet and a massive €1,115,207 ($1,297,552) first place prize. Roca De Torres’ “dream come true” was made in part by winning his way into the €10,350 Main Event through a €220 satellite on 888poker. From there the Spaniard seized the opportunity, showed incredible resolve, and grinded his way through a grueling final table to end up with a career score that will be tough to top. The Final Table After the elimination of Stepan Osinovski in ninth place on Day 5 the official final table of eight players was set to begin. The remaining field included popular UK pro Jack Salter, live poker Triple Crown winner Niall Farrelland one of the most recognizable names in poker, Maria Ho, holding the chip lead and looking for her first World Series of Poker bracelet. Just after the dinner break, on the 10th hand of the official final table, Spaniard Luis Rodriguez, having had his stack crippled on a previous hand, was forced to push his remaining four big blinds in holding [poker card="ks"][poker card="6d"]. Farrell, holding [poker card="as"][poker card="ac"], reshoved, isolating the short stack. The board came clean for the aces, [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"][poker card="5h"][poker card="th"][poker card="3s"], and Rodriguez walked with €97,344. Roughly 30 minutes later, a classic flip helped decide the fate of Jack Salter. With similar sized stacks, Salter and Gianluca Speranza would find themselves all in. Salter, covering Speranza, had the slightest of leads holding [poker card="js"][poker card="jc"] against the Italian’s [poker card="Ad"][poker card="kc"]. The [poker card="kd"][poker card="8s"][poker card="2d"] flop put Speranza in great position to double through. Salter would get no help from the [poker card="4d"] turn or [poker card="6s"] river, leaving him with just a few blinds to try and grind back. The very next hand would be the end of Salter as his shipped [poker card="ks"][poker card="js"] would fall to Roca De Torres’ [poker card="ac"][poker card="7c"]. Salter books a €129,121 cash in seventh place, his second six-figure score of the week after min-cashing the €111,111 High Roller For One Drop earlier in the series. With Salter’s exit, play was suspended for the night. The remaining six returned on Saturday for Day 6 to play down to a winner with Maria Ho still in the chip lead. Unfortunately for Ho, after running hot and playing well over the course of five days, her fortunes changed dramatically on the final day. A couple of key hands made major dents in her chip lead, including a hand in which she shipped [poker card="2h"][poker card="2s"] from the big blind against a Niall Farrell open raise. He snapped with [poker card="js"][poker card="jd"], which held, and allowed him to double up and Ho to sink down to the bottom of the chip counts. While this seemed to send Farrell and Ho's future at the table in opposite directions, the fate of both would be decided just ten hands later. The short-stacked Ho, open shipped roughly 10 big blinds, holding [poker card="as"][poker card="jd"]. The largest stack at the table, now belonging Roca De Torres, made the call in the small blind. Farrell, second in chips and in the big blind, peered down at [poker card="kd"][poker card="kc"]. Farrell reshipped. Roca De Torres snapped. Both Farrell and Ho saw the bad news as the online qualifier tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="ac"] for a three-way set-up hand. No one improved as the innocuous board of [poker card="9d"][poker card="6c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8c"] gave Roca De Torres the double knockout and a massive chipl ead with four remaining. Ho and Farrell, the two most prominent players of the final table were eliminated on the same hand. Ho took home €174,365 in sixth and Farrell finished in fifth for €239,639, just shy of his second WSOP bracelet. Play evened out four-handed and Roca De Torres lost multiple bids to knock out his fellow competitors as his stack fall back to the pack. Hours passed with all four men jockeying for position. Then, finally, over 80 hands later, the next elimination would take place. Finding himself short once again, after being at the bottom of the chip counts for much of the final table, the UK’s Robert Bickley made his last stand by shipping his [poker card="3d"][poker card="2c"] from the small blind. Mathijs Jonkers quickly called showing down the [poker card="as"][poker card="7s"]. Bickley, behind but with two live cards, found no help on the flop of [poker card="qs"][poker card="th"][poker card="9d"]. When the [poker card="2s"] fell on the turn, it looked like Bickley would survive his seventh all in of the final table. But with spades and two overs as river outs, Jonkers ended Bickley’s gritty run when the [poker card="9s"] completed the board. Bickley finished in fourth for €335,089. After a short break, Jonkers own time would come. Speranza, holding a commanding chip lead at this point, put in a raise with [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"], Jonkers, who had folded a suited ace to him in the big blind just a few hands prior, decided that he could not fold a second time. Jonkers put in a re-raise with a dominated [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"], effectively committing his short stack to the hand. Speranza put Jonkers all in and the Dutchman placed his few remaining chips in the middle. After seeing the situation, Jonkers began to beg for a seven to keep his dream alive. The flop of [poker card="js"][poker card="8s"][poker card="4c"] not only didn’t provide any help to Jonkers, but it pulled an out away. When the [poker card="7s"] dropped on the turn, Jonkers, drawing dead, tapped the table, congratulated his fellow competitors and moved to his rail for comfort, collecting €476,585 for his efforts. Nine and a half hours after the six-handed final table started, heads-up play began between Speranza and Roca De Torres. Speranza began the heads-up battle holding the chip lead, but the tides turned in favor of the Roca De Torres as what looked like could be a quick finish turned into a four-hour heads-up battle. The final hand came down to, essentially, a coin flip, as the pair were nearly equal in chips when Roca De Torres shoved with the almighty [poker card="5c"][poker card="5s"] and Speranza called hoping to close it out called with two overs, [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"]. The [ah[p9d][poker card="3c"] put the Italian way in front but the [poker card="5h"] turn sealed the deal for Roca De Torres and the [poker card="9s"] completed the board. Speranza, with less than two blinds left, stuck it in with [poker card="ts"][poker card="8d"] the very next hand. Roca De Torres’ [poker card="qh"][poker card="5d"] held as the final board of the tournament read [poker card="ks"][poker card="5h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="ad"][poker card="3s"]. Speranza’s consolation prize is a hefty €689,246 while Roca De Torres, who won his way into the tournament for €220, wins €1,115,207 and the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event gold bracelet. Final Table Payouts Marti Roca De Torres - €1,115,207 Gianluca Speranza - €689,248 Mathijs Jonkers - €476,585 Robert Bickley - €335,089 Niall Farrell - €239,639 Maria Ho - €174,365 Jack Salter - €129,121 Luis Rodriguez - €97,344
  7. [caption width="640"] Tom Hall played a key hand to win 888Live in London in October[/caption] While it is true that in tournament poker just about every hand counts, for those who make it deep - perhaps even to the end - often times there are one or two hands that can be looked back upon as being a crucial development to the story of the tournament. Those hands and decisions are even more magnified when playing in major events for heaps of money like the players were in the 888Live Events this year. With 888poker's circuit finished for the year, we decided to take a look at a few key hands from final tables that helped change the fortunes for the shot takers who found themselves in a position to go for the win. Niall Farrell Gets Popped Three-handed. After passing chips back and forth multiple times with Romania’s Catalin Pop during the final table of the 888Live event in Rozvadov in February, Scottish superstar Niall Farrell, found himself just moments away from having a choke on the tournament’s endgame. After the chip leader Pop raised from the small blind, Farrell, who was second in chips, looked down at [poker card="jc"][poker card="js"] and put in a healthy three bet. Pop, having Farrell covered, came over the top - moving all in. Farrell snapped Pop off and saw the good news as Pop tabled [poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"]. Unfortunately for the former EPT Main Event winner he only had a moment to enjoy his brief lead as the flop spread out [poker card="9d"][poker card="5d"][poker card="2d"]. The flopped set for Pop put Farrell way behind, with just under 8% chance to pull it out. The [poker card="qd"] on the turn increased Farrell’s outs to one for the win and an additional nine for the chop. But, as we like to see around here, pocket fives won out as the river offers no helps sending the top tier pro home in third for over €36,000 and propelling Catalin Pop to a commanding chip leadthat he would not relinquish - claiming the 888Live Rozvadov Main Event Title for a career high score of €80,000. Cate Hall Plays it Cooler. Outspoken poker personality Cate Hall stormed into the final table of the 888Live May Event in Barcelona second in chips. After some early action which saw Hall’s chip stack fluctuate quite a bit she found herself in an unavoidable head-on collision that nearly left her on life support. Under the gun, Hall picked up the [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"] and put in a raise for roughly 2x. Spain’s own Jaime Rueda Sampedro quickly moved all-in for a little less and when the action returned to her, Hall called. Sampedro had her crushed, holding [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"]. Sometimes though, you just have to play it cool. Hall did just that and her pocket queens got there in a hurry with a [poker card="qd"][poker card="td"][poker card="7h"] flop. The board ran out clean for Hall sending Sampedro to the rail in seventh and helping propel Hall further in the contest. She eventually would bow out in fourth for €35,000. Haroldo Shows Heart. Facing a 2.5:1 chip deficit during heads-up play at the 888Live Event in Sao Paulo, local player Haroldo Ferriera Da Silva had his back against the wall. Needing to make a move he made a tank-call while holding [poker card="4c"][poker card="4s"] vs his opponent, Guilherme Cazula’s suited [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Kh"] and the baby pair held, giving Silva some much-needed breathing room and ability to mix it up. Now holding the chip lead, Silva found himself facing a three-bet after his open raise. Looking down at [poker card="4h"][poker card="5h"] Silva made the call. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="8d"][poker card="6h"] gave him a gutter and backdoor possibilities, but he was also facing another healthy bet from Cazula. He called to see the [poker card="ah"] drop on the turn. The checked around action was just what Silva needed as the [poker card="2h"] completed the board. Cazula put the majority of his chips in the middle and Silva snapped holding the six-high flush. It was good. Casual was nearly felted allowing Silva to turn his overwhelming lead into easily the biggest cash of his career, good for $200,000 BRL ($63,862 USD). Tom's in it for the long Hall. UK poker pro Tom Hall was in the midst of a grueling battle. After reaching a heads-up deal with local UK player Ning Lu at the 888Live Event in London this October, one that guaranteed each at least £70,000, play had begun to drag. With £8,888 and the trophy left in the prizepool, the pair were reluctant to relinquish the notion of taking first place. After play crawled on, the pair agreed to shorten the levels to 30 minutes. Play continued. Hall requested to the levels shorten to 20 minutes, but Lu contested. Play continued. For over three hours the pair grinded their stacks until finally, mercifully at nearly 3:30 in the morning Lu and Hall got it all in. Lu held [poker card="qc"][poker card="td"] but was slightly behind Hall’s [poker card="ac"][poker card="5h"]. The board of [poker card="ad"][poker card="qd"][poker card="3h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="4s"] gave them both a pair but it was Hall that ended up smiling in the winner’s photo. Which crucial hands will change the fortunes of players in 2018? 888Live Events are set to return in the New Year with plenty more pivotal plays to pour over.
  8. [caption width="640"] Marti Roca de Torres hit the ultimate parlay by turning an online satellite into a WSOPE Main Event win.[/caption] The final few tables of the World Series of Poker Europe final table carried some of the biggest names in poker and numerous storylines. Maria Ho, Niall Farrell, and 2015 WSOPE Main Event champion Kevin MacPhee dominated the marquee leaving players like 888poker.comsatellite qualifier Marti Roca de Torres to fight for their own piece of history. The former economics teacher left his position two years ago to pursue poker on a full-time basis. Roca de Torres makes his primary living on online cash games and mid-stakes tournaments. As a Spanish resident, he is only able to compete against his countrymen online and this tournament served as the largest buy-in ever played by him. Roca de Torres managed to claim victory in a memorable final table and complete his journey from noticing some overlay to walking out of Kings Casino with over €1 million. “It was something strange," Roca de Torres said on how he won his seat “I was not planning to play the satellite. It was a normal Sunday. I played tournaments like I sometimes do and I saw the satellite and played just because I didn’t see many players in. I thought there might be an overlay and then I won.” This satellite attempt was the third for Roca de Torres, who prefers to stay close to his family in Spain and not travel relatively far for live events. With that mindset, Roca de Torres rarely plays satellites but this opportunity was too good to pass up. The 36-year-old Spaniard looked at the WSOPE Main Event as a chance to rectify what had been a subpar few months for him. Roca de Torres was winning for the first half of 2017 and then hit a downswing in August and September. His mindset shifted more toward putting himself in a spot to make a deep run and then go from there. “To make the money in this event would be a thing to make a good year. 20-30,000 Euros would be good for me. I wanted to make the money because it hasn’t been a good year.” On the bubble, Roca de Torres eliminated Ole Schemion with a straight-over-straight cooler and then proceeded to run his stack up from there. It wasn’t until the bubble burst and Roca de Torres found himself among the chip leaders did he think he might have a chance to at least make the final table. Once there, the confidence of Roca de Torres grew with every elimination. “At that point, I figured I could think about more than making the money. After, when we were down to nine players and I busted the [Stepan Osinovskii] with aces against ace-king. I was thinking at that point I could win.” Shorthanded play became an arduous process for Roca de Torres. The chip lead escaped his fingertips on a few occasions but when it mattered most, he managed to hold on in all-ins and claim an unlikely win. The mental impact of winning didn’t hit Roca de Torres until he celebrated with friends and family. The ‘wow’ moment did not arrive immediately as, after six days of poker, Roca de Torres found himself exhausted. “At the beginning, I was very excited. Not physically but mentally. It was strange because I was playing poker for six days. When the tournament finished, there’s no music, no ‘wow’ or noise or singing,” Roca de Torres said. “When I met my friends and we celebrated together, it was the first time I was thinking it was so good. When I saw my cousin, Miguel, crying, I understand it was something really big for me. When I met my friends, it was the first moment that I realized I had won a big tournament.” The bankroll boost for Roca de Torres allows him to invest more in his family and increase stakes online. He says his new goal is to be a consistent NL500 player online and maintain the limited live poker schedule he kept before the win. With his second child soon to be born, Roca de Torres looks forward to spending more time with his children and use his win as a nest egg rather than a means to live off of immediately. “I want to improve my poker and cash game online to maybe reach high stakes. If I finally reach NL500, I will be happy playing those levels.” 888poker.com produced yet another satellite success story from Spain from Roca de Torres in what is a growing market. With a new year of major events ready to start in a few weeks, the next Marti Roca de Torres is sitting behind a computer waiting for the chance to be discovered.
  9. [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
  10. [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.”
  11. 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  
  12. 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."
  13. One look at #WSOP gives even those with the slightest interest in poker a severe case of FOMO. The first week of the 49th Annual World Series of Poker had it all. Big names fighting for multimillion-dollar scores and players mixing it up both on and off-the-felt. It’s impossible to catch everything that’s happening at the Rio in Las Vegas but here are some of the highlights we enjoyed that will make you feel like you’re in the thick of the action yourself. So Many Rings When you want to stretch your bankroll, perhaps a single table satellite is the way to go. Just beat a soft field of 9 other players and next thing you know you’re vying for a gold bracelet. Well, maybe the field isn’t that soft. On to week two!
  14. 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.”
  15. Six months ago, Niall Farrell finally slew the dragon and won his first World Series of Poker bracelet, 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. A quick glance at Niall Farrel's WSOP results so far this summer and something immediately jumps out. There's not a lot of them. He managed to find a min-cash in the $1,000 Double Stack event last weekend though. "I haven't gotten it yet. It's been a fairly annoying week or so or whatever, but it's alright. Just kind of showing up every day, losing very quickly and going home," said Farrell. "You start seeing monsters under the bed. You play a hand and then someone shoves the river and you're like, 'Oh, for fuck's sake. They have it again.' Whereas you have to try and take each hand on an individual basis rather than, 'Well, they've had it all summer. So I guess they have it again'," said Farrell. While it might seem like Farrell is down on himself, he's not. The 2017 WSOP Europe High Roller champion understands that it's all part and parcel of being a pro - and his response to a cold streak is part of what will get him through it. "I know poker players, obviously they run bad, but I am running dreadfully this summer. But it's like 20 tournaments. It's very easy for that to happen, so you just keep showing up and, you know, it's the old cliche it only takes one and then you're up for the summer," said Farrell. Throughout the cold streak, Farrell has relied on roommates Michael Gagliano and Daniel Strelitz to keep him focused. He also understands that playing well doesn't always translate to immediate results. "I put hands in the (group) chat and I'm still playing fine. Just some of the hands are pretty ridiculous. But you know, it's poker," said Farrell. "It's maybe more of a juxtaposition when you've been running as well as I have for the last three years. That's a little shock to the system, but I've seen it before and I'm sure I'll see it again. So it's not super upsetting, but obviously, I'd prefer to be making some runs and stuff and having some fun." Farrell isn't the only one in the house having a rough go through the first half of the WSOP. The group has combined for just nine WSOP cashes between them. "I think everyone's down money this summer, which if it stays that way, it will be the first time since 2011 that we've all bricked off, which is pretty absurd actually if you think about it," said Farrell. "Over the years we've all had like a major score or something every single year. I think Gags got tenth in the $5K. It's the closest we've come. I mean it's just, we're all long time professionals. We're all pretty lucky enough that if we all brick this summer, it's not gonna be the end of the world." That's not to say Farrell hasn't found ways to keep his spirits up and keep himself entertained. He's stepped away from the WSOP a few times to check out Deadpool and Solo, but he's also managed to have some fun in other events at the Rio. One day, after busting yet another bracelet event, Farrell "We were in the $1K PLO and I busted pretty quickly and Gagliano and Strelitz were still in, so I waited for five minutes because Strelitz had 12 bigs or something and he kept playing like a massive nit and I was like, 'I'm going to go play the daily deep stack and have a beer. If you bust, just let me know and I'll just like get up and leave'. I just wanted something to do while I was waiting." He ended up cashing in it for a whopping $414. He wasn't done there though. He ended up in another shortly after, but this one came with more of a challenge, just to keep things interesting. "I actually played another one where I bought some more action off of Gags at 1.5, but the provision was I didn't get to look at my cards. So I had to play it without looking at my cards, which lead to some kind of interesting showdowns at the river." Despite this, Farrell doesn't think anybody at the table caught on to what he was doing. He had a basic strategy that saw him folding every time from UTG but when he was in a pot, he followed a pretty simple rule. "Basically, my strategy was to just c-bet 100%, which is what everyone does out here anyway, and if the turn card is higher than the top pair on the board just to triple off, but if it's lower just to give up," said Farrell. "So, I ended up having to show down [ad][qd] on like 10-3-2-8, three diamonds. And the river paired the board, so at least I didn't get a penalty. But I had to check the river and I turned over [ad][qd] and I just burst out laughing." Some quick-thinking saved Farrell from having to explain what he was doing the table. "I was like, 'Oh yeah, I thought I had hearts, not diamonds. God, I'm so silly.' But no one knew, no one has any idea, you make it if look like you're playing. Like, if I know I'm going to fold, I'll look at my cards very obviously, so it looks like I'm still looking." When he's not mixing it up with the tourists in the DDS, Farrell has managed to sneak in some World Cup action as well, but with his native Scotland at home watching again, he's had to adopt a couple of countries to cheer for just based on who his friends are. He found himself cheering on the Germans over the weekend with Marvin Rettenmaier and some other Germans at the brauhaus in Vegas. He also purchased a Panama 2018 kit. It wasn't so much that he was cheering for Panama as he was cheering against England. Things there didn't quite work out for him either, as the English side went on to win 6-1 - but Farrell made some new friends along the way. [caption id="attachment_619670" align="alignnone" width="225"] Farrell was more than happy to run into another Panama supporter during a World Cup viewing party.[/caption]  
  16. Thanks to a deep run in the 49th Annual World Series of Poker Main Event, Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman helped seal the victory for Team UK in 888poker’s second annual 8-Team Competition. The competition assembled teams of three for seven different countries. Each country's team was assigned a captain, a wingman as well as an online qualifier. Then, depending on how each of the teams performed in the Main Event, they were assigned points. Points were given for both surviving each day as well as where they finished in the chip counts. The team with the most points, would not only grab the glory of outlasting their peers but also nab a free entry into the 2019 WSOP Main Event for all three team members. That means that Moorman, wingman (and the subject of PocketFives’ 50 Days & 50 Nights) Niall 'firaldo' Farrell and online qualifier Billy ‘BillyChat’ Chattaway will all be returning to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in 2019 to, once again, take their shot at poker’s biggest prize. The three Brits were bolstered by Moorman's strong performance. He finished off Days 3 and 4 holding the greatest amounts of chips of any of the participating players left in the tournament, earning them crucial bonus points. In addition, Moorman, who finished in 273rd place in the Main Event for $42,980. While Moorman and Farrell were probably already planning on heading back to Las Vegas in 2019, now UK online qualifier Chattaway is certain to make his travel plans early as well. Chattaway a 28-year old professional poker player hailing from London has already made four trips to the WSOP, including this year. Having won free entry into the Main Event, he'll certainly return for his fifth. While many might look at the title of “online qualifier” to mean someone who lucked their way onto a team with some formidable pros, Chattaway himself is a force to be reckoned with. He’s amassed over $4.3 million in lifetime career online earnings and has been ranked as high as #14 in the world (he currently sits ranked #215.) He also pulled his weight for Team UK by finishing in the money in the Main Event, hitting the rail in 652nd place for $21,750. While Team UK will enjoy the spoils of victory some of the other teams were in the mix right until the end. Team Brazil, finished the competition in second place. Although captain Vivian Saliba was unable to make the money, their online qualifier, Pedro Correa made a deep run. He exited the tournament in 356th place for $33,305. Right behind Brazil in the standings was Team Russia. Arseniy Karmatskiy, the Russian captain, was the only other captain of a team to make the money. He finished five spots ahead of Moorman, bowing out in 268th for $42,980. Karmatskiy ended up as the last participant standing, which gave his team an extra 100 points. However, it simply wasn’t enough to overtake Team UK. With the 8-Team competition all wrapped up, the next stop for 888poker LIVE will be this September when the tournament series make their way to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  17. Steve ‘MrTimCaum’ O’Dwyer earned himself another huge payday on Tuesday when he took down the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS UK £25,000 Super High Roller for £450,000. O’Dwyer topped a field of 51 entries to score another trophy for his case and move to more than $24 million in career live tournament earnings. O’Dwyer’s 2018 may be flying under the radar, as a lot of other players grab headlines, but he’s been no slouch on the felt this year with more than $4 million in live tournament earnings following this victory. It’s his eighth six-figure cash of the year and fourth of more than $500,000. What’s more is that O’Dwyer’s victory in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS UK £25,000 Super High Roller comes almost immediately after he wrapped up excellent performances in the 2018 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and partypoker POWERFEST. In WCOOP, O’Dwyer won his first WCOOP title when he took down Event-57-H ($2,100 No Limit Hold’em Eight Max) for a $227,101 first-place prize. In the POWERFEST series, O’Dwyer took down Event #123 Super High Roller Championship Event: $25,500 No Limit Hold’em for $896,610. O’Dwyer defeated Fabrizio ‘SixthSenSe19’ Gonzalez in heads-up play, with Gonzalez taking home £236,750. Interestingly, the event’s third-place finisher, Orpen ‘orpenkk’ Kisacikoglu, placed second to O’Dwyer when he won the POWERFEST Super High Roller Championship Event. Final Table Payouts 1. Steve O’Dwyer - £450,000 2. Fabrizio Gonzalez - £236,750 3. Orpen Kisacikoglu - £200,000 4. Christoph Vogelsang - £140,000 5. Aymon Hata - £100,000 6. Niall Farrell - £60,000 The top six places were set to finish in the money, and it was a notable face in 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Ryan Riess eliminated on the bubble. Riess was short, with only four big blinds in his stack, and moved all in with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="ts"]. He was called in two spots - Niall 'firaldo87' Farrell with the [poker card="kh"][poker card="9c"] and Aymon Hata with the [poker card="as"][poker card="2s"]. The board ran out [poker card="7h"][poker card="5s"][poker card="3c][poker card="6c"][poker card="5d"] to bust Riess. In the money, O’Dwyer was fourth in chips but quickly scored a double up to take the chip lead. O’Dwyer doubled through Farrell, who then busted in sixth place. After that, O’Dwyer knocked out Haha in fifth. O’Dwyer also busted Christoph Vogelsang in fourth place when his [poker card="As][poker card="kh"] came from behind against Vogelsang’s two kings thanks to an ace on the flop. O’Dwyer also came from behind when he spiked an ace with the [poker card="ah"][poker card="9h"] against the pocket jacks for Kisacikoglu to knock Kisacikoglu out in third. O’Dwyer took a massive lead into heads-up play, with more than 45 million to Gonzalez’s 6.25 million. From there, he made quick work of Gonzalez to seal the deal. On the final hand, it was O’Dwyer coming from behind once again. He jammed with the [poker card="jd"][poker card="9h"] against Gonzalez, who had just seven big blinds in his stack. Gonzalez picked up a dream hand with pocket aces, but the [poker card="jc"][poker card="ts"][poker card="9s"][poker card="js"][poker card="qc"] board gave O’Dwyer a full house and the victory. As the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS UK rolls on, stay tuned to PocketFives.com for more coverage. We’ll be recapping the £5,300 Main Event and £10,300 High Roller later this week. Photo courtesy of My partypoker LIVE.
  18. For most of 2018, Steve O'Dwyer has been unbeatable in high roller tournaments, both online and live. Roger Teska flipped the script on that narrative late Monday night at the $25,500 buy-in Caribbean Poker Party MILLIONS World, coming back from a 4-1 heads up chip deficit to win $2,000,000 and his first live title in over nine years. Teska started the final table with the third shortest stack and had to battle against the likes of Rainer Kempe, Niall Farrell, Joao Vieira, Ben Tollerene and Andras Nemeth on his way to the title. Teska's last live win came in 2009 when he won a $500 buy-in Bellagio Cup V event. It didn't take long for the first casualty at the nine-handed final table. Paul Tedeschi raised to 2,500,000 from middle position with [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] before Vieira moved all in for 17,500,000 from the hijack with [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"]. Tedeschi called and watched the [poker card="qh"][poker card="9d"][poker card="4c"][poker card="ah"][poker card="ts"] runout keep him in full control and eliminated Vieira in ninth place. Ten minutes later, Farrell became the next victim of the final table. O'Dwyer raised from the button to 2,600,000 with [poker card="ah"][poker card="6h"] and Farrell moved all in for 10,500,000 with [poker card="2c"][poker card="2d"] from the small blind. Roger Teska re-raised all in from the big blind with [poker card="8d"][poker card="8h"]. O'Dwyer folded and Farrell could only watch after the [poker card="as"][poker card="ts"][poker card="3s"] flop kept Teska well ahead. The turn was the [poker card="td"] and the [poker card="qd"] completed the board to send Farrell to the rail with an eighth place finish. O'Dwyer found his first final table victim almost 30 minutes later. O'Dwyer raised to 2,500,000 from UTG+1 with [poker card="ad"][poker card="jc"]. From the button, Kempe moved all in for 15,600,000 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="jh"] and O'Dwyer called. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="9c"][poker card="5d"] flop gave O'Dwyer complete control as the [poker card="6d"] and [poker card="ks"] hit the turn and river respectively to eliminate Kempe in seventh. It took nearly two hours of play before there was another elimination. Teska and Tollerene tangled in a pre-flop all in hand that saw Teska win with runner-runner flush against Tollerene's pocket pair. Left with just fumes, the next hand was the end of the line for Tollerene. Tollerene moved all in for 10,000,000 from UTG with [poker card="kd"][poker card="2h"] and Nemeth called from the big blind with [poker card="js"][poker card="7c"]. The [qs[poker card="jh"][poker card="5s"] flop gave Nemeth second pair. The turn was the [poker card="6c"] and the river was the [poker card="ad"] to eliminate Tollerene in sixth. Nemeth had plans on putting his newfound big stack to work but ran into the buzzsaw that is O'Dwyer. From the button, O'Dwyer raised to 3,700,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="kc"] and Teska called from the small blind with [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"] before Nemeth moved all in for 71,500,000 with [poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"] from the big blind. O'Dwyer called and Teska folded. O'Dwyer got great news on the [poker card="ad"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3s"] flop. Neither the [poker card="qc"] turn or [poker card="5c"] river were any help for Nemeth and he was eliminated in fifth place. Tedeschi lost a monster pot to Teska before O'Dwyer finished him off for good. Teska and Charles La Boissonniere both folded and Tedeschi moved all in from the small blind with [poker card="ac"][poker card="2d"]. O'Dwyer called from the big blind with [poker card="ks"][poker card="7h"] and then moved ahead with the [poker card="jc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="2c"] flop. The [poker card="ts"] turn and [poker card="3d"] river failed to save Tedeschi and he was out in fourth. As O'Dwyer continued to build his stack, he did so largely at the expense of La Boissonniere. The Canadian had less than 10 big blinds and found himself in the big blind with [poker card="9c"][poker card="9h"]. O'Dwyer folded the button, Teska moved all in from the small blind with [poker card="qs"][poker card="7d"] and La Boissonniere called. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="td"][poker card="th"] flop gave Teska the lead. The [poker card="8s"] turn gave La Boissonniere outs to a straight, but the river was the [poker card="6h"] and he was out in third place. When heads-up play began, O'Dwyer had 79.1% of the chips in play. The tournament was all but over a few minutes later when Teska four-bet all in holding [poker card="qc"][poker card="qd"] and O'Dwyer called with [poker card="kh"][poker card="ks"]. The [poker card="qs"] on the flop moved Teska in front and neither the turn or river helped O'Dwyer and the stacks were nearly even. Teska's momentum continued and less than an hour later he was posing with the trophy. O'Dwyer button-raised to 9,000,000 holding [poker card="5c"][poker card="5d"] and Teska shoved with [poker card="tc"][poker card="8c"] and O'Dwyer called all in. The [poker card="8h"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2h"] moved Teska ahead and the [poker card="qd"] turn and the [poker card="3c"] river sealed O'Dwyer's second place finish. Final Table Payouts Roger Teska - $2,000,000 Steve O'Dwyer - $1,300,000 Charles La Boissonniere - $1,000,000 Paul Tedeschi - $700,000 Andras Nemeth - $550,000 Ben Tollerene - $450,000 Rainer Kempe - $350,000 Niall Farrell - $300,000 Joao Viera - $250,000
  19. Busting out of a World Poker Tour event usually means a miserable end to one's poker trip. Aaron Mermelstein was having none of that. After busting in 53rd place in the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown on Tuesday, Mermelstein jumped into the $25,000 High Roller event and the Pennsylvania poker player beat a final table that included the reigning GPI Player of the Year, a former WSOP Main Event champ and a WSOP Europe Main Event champ to pick up the second biggest score of his career. Ben Yu didn't come to the final table with the shortest stack, but with just six big blinds to work with, the three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner didn't have a lot of decisions to make. On the first hand of play, he moved all in for 295,000 with [poker card="4h"][poker card="4s"] only to have James Calderaro called with [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"][poker card="as"] flop left Yu drawing to perfect-perfect running fours. The [poker card="qs"] turn gave him outs to a chop but the [poker card="jd"] river sealed his fate with a ninth place finish. Just a few minutes later, Brandon Adams ended up on the wrong side of an unavoidable preflop all in situation. Adams and Joe McKeehen got all the money in with Adams holding [poker card="ah"][poker card="kd"] and McKeehen well ahead with [poker card="ac"][poker card="as"]. The ace-high flop gave McKeehen top set and left Adams drawing dead through the turn and river on his way to an eighth place finish. The player who did start the final table with the shortest stack, Alan Schein, laddered up two spots inside of the first 10 minutes before finally busting. Calderaro raised to 110,000 with [poker card="jc"][poker card="tc"] and Schein moved all in for 435,000 with [poker card="as"][poker card="9s"]. Calderaro called and then stayed ahead through the [poker card="7s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="2c"] flop. The [poker card="kc"] turn was also safe but the [poker card="jd"] river give Calderaro a pair to win the pot and eliminate Schein in seventh. Niall Farrell raised to 100,000 from the button holding [poker card="as"][poker card="qh"] before Mermelstein moved all in from the big blind with [poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"]. Farrell called all in and moved ahead on the [poker card="qd"][poker card="8s"][poker card="5s"] flop. The [poker card="7d"] turn gave Mermelstein a gutshot which the [poker card="6c"] river completed to give Farrell a sixth place result. McKeehen, who started the final table with the chip lead, got into a hand with Shannon Shorr that resulted in Shorr's departure. On a flop of [poker card="qs"][poker card="9s"][poker card="6d"], McKeehen bet 160,000 only to have Shorr check-raise all in for a little over 1,000,000. McKeehen called and turned over [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"] which put him ahead of Shorr's [poker card="qd"][poker card="td"] holding. Shorr was unable to improve after the [poker card="as"] turn and [poker card="jh"] river and was out in fifth. The former WSOP Main Event champ wasn't done there. McKeehen raised to 150,000 from UTG with [poker card="ah"][poker card="ks"] and Calderaro moved all in for 425,000 from the small blind with [poker card="ad"][poker card="5c"] and McKeehen called. The board ran out [poker card="qc"][poker card="7d"][poker card="6d"][poker card="3d"][poker card="2s"] to send Shorr home with a fourth place finish. Unfortunately for McKeehen, the next hour wasn't as kind to him and he wound up busting in third. Mermelstein raised to 175,000 from the button, McKeehen moved all in from the small blind for 1,555,000. Foxen moved all in from the big blind and Mermelstein folded. McKeehen tabled [poker card="ks"][poker card="qc"] and was in rough shape after Foxen turned over [poker card="ac"][poker card="ah"]. The [poker card="kh"][poker card="th"][poker card="3c"][poker card="js"][poker card="5h"] wasn't good enough to save McKeehen from elimination. Heads up play started with Mermelstein holding 55% of the chips in play. Over the next hour, Mermelstein never surrendered the chip lead and eventually found a spot to pick off Foxen. From the button, Foxen raised to 350,000 and Mermelstein called. The flop came [poker card="tc"][poker card="9h"][poker card="4c"] and Mermelstein check-raised all in and Foxen called and then got bad news after Mermelstein turned over [poker card="th"][poker card="ts"] for top set while Foxen showed [poker card="js"][poker card="td"] for top pair and a runner-runner straight draw. The [poker card="ac"] turn crushed any hope Foxen had, giving Mermelstein the title and a $618,955 payday. Final Table Payouts Aaron Mermelstein – $618,955 Alex Foxen – $545,000 Joe McKeehen – $305,665 James Calderaro – $210,295 Shannon Shorr – $136,935 Niall Farrell – $100,255 Alan Schein – $83,140 Brandon Adams – $70,915 Ben Yu – $68,470

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