Great poker players – that is what Britain definitely has!
Niall Farrell is one out of those many poker players that you think of first when considering who is most likely to win a bracelet at this year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP).
With his roommate of choice, the American Daniel Strelitz, he is staying in a house on West Tropicana.
Farrell says: ‘He doesn’t drink too much so he keeps me out of trouble throughout the summer. If I stayed with the UK guys I would drink far too much’.
The European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event winner no longer needs the hassle of staying in a house with his fellow poker horses, which was the idea when he first came to Vegas for the WSOP.
Farrell has received constant support of Strelitz over the last four years. The WSOP can have very deep impact on poker players and Farrell admits that it’s not his choice to attend the poker event year in-year out as he misses to much fun stuff at home.
Poker for ‘love’ or ‘job’
There are some poker players who love poker like heroin addicts love heroin and then there are other poker players that think poker is an easy way to make money and fast.
Farrell admits he is in between those two parties of ‘love’ and ‘job’.
‘I like the pressure of running deep in a major live event. I love the social aspect of meeting new people. But it’s not something I want to do forever’.
To the inevitable question of what do you want to do asked to every single professional, the most common response is: ‘I don’t know’.
Mostly poker leads to bright young minds coming together as they have not yet figured out how best to service the world, as for the minority it leads to everlasting fame and fortune, or simply ruins people’s lifes.
‘I used to have the mentality of wanting to be a millionaire before 30, but how much money do you need to live in Scotland?’ The way I see things I need enough to share a few pints with the boys on the weekend and then pick up a football coupon’.
Law Degree will not be used
Making his mother proud was the only objective he had by getting that piece of paper- a law degree.
‘I grinded out to please my Mum. I had no intention of using it’.
Farrell’s plan is flawless, like all great poker players when he envisages a future of going into business with his brother.
‘My brother has a great work ethic and is smart. I would provide the funding’.
‘It stems from being smart. I don’t want to sound like a big head, but school work always came easily to me’.
‘I was one of those kids you would find drinking Mad Dog behind a skip and yet would manage to get straight A’s.’
Way before he even picked up a deck of cards, it seems he was putting people on tilt.
‘If you develop this habit of not working hard, and you feel no pain, it breeds a lazy mentality. It’s one of the things that attracted me to poker.’
‘If you are smart, it doesn’t feel like work. It attracts young guys who can’t be asset doing anything but want to make a lot of money at the same time’.
‘You will be lucky to see me playing online twice a week if that.’
And then out of nothing on PokerStars he won a Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP).
EPT Champions- birthplace
At sometime he of course had a job and had to work hard for his money.
Farrell says: ‘I worked at Carphone Warehouse.’
The birthplace of world-class opera singers and EPT Champions- Carphone Warehouse.
‘I was earning decent money for Uni, but it wasn’t a job where I had to use my brains too much. Then one day I quit.’
‘I had no money. I got hold of a credit card, withdrew a grand, and started playing $4 180-mans. I made $500 in my first month and then told everyone I was a professional poker player.’
Of course, Farrell had his doubts about jumping off that cliff.
‘I was fucking dreadful’.
Live in the moment and enjoy poker
Playing against the best players in the world and living for the challenges of the higher buy-ins is something Farrell finds himself back in the upcoming five years (‘at least’)
‘This year, if I could source dollars, I could play One Drop, and that’s exciting’.
Creating a desire to give back to his family gives him the focus to keep on playing poker. The love for his brother and mother keeps him going strong.
‘They have done so much for me when I was growing up.’
We are very curious to see if this motivation results in Farrell bringing home a WSOP- bracelet this year.