EPT12 Prague: Niall Farrell unbeaten in a Main Event since August
There are two ways to live through the bubble: comfortably or on the edge of your seat. This has a lot to do with chips, but also the type of player you are. Either you don't really care or you panic. Niall Farrell is among the former.
And why shouldn't he be?
Farrell won EPT Malta six weeks ago. It means he hasn't been knocked out of an EPT Main Event since August, when he busted on day two in Barcelona. Now he's among the leaders in Prague, chipping up while others around him fall away. It makes you wonder what went wrong in Spain.
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So it was no real surprise to see him watch the bubble with mild bemusement, as others around him took the edge of seat approach, leaping up to watch hands, delighting in the fall of others. Farrell's approach seemed more relaxed. When he had cards - any cards - he put them to use, taking on the only other big stack at his table, belonging to Sam Chartier, with a spirit the others at his table, with meagre looking stacks, could only dream about.
A level or so later that rise continues, although now, with 110 players remaining, he switches to the feature table where the poker world can watch him make it look easy.
It was in front of the cameras that Niall Farrell triumphed in Malta, using what we described at the time as a kind of beer and bust approach. As Charlie Carrell put it, Farrell's strength is apparent ambivalence towards elimination, a beer with friends a good alternative to poker with everyone else. It makes him impossible to read.
It's an effective technique, and nearly unstoppable this season. Watch how he does it yourself by clicking here.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.