Glasgow-based online poker ace Niall ‘Firaldo87’ Farrell won his first major live title event over the weekend, taking down the Euro 5,300 European Poker Tour Malta main event for Euro 534,330 after a two-way heads up chop with runner-up Alen Bilic (26) a mainly online player from Bosnia.
The event attracted 651 entries, creating a prize pool of Euro 3,157,350 that enabled 95 players to cash.
Seen taking their seats in the initial stages of the competition were notable names like Johnny Lodden, Sam Greenwood, Luca Pagano, Kitty Kuo, Faraz Jaka, Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald, Matthias De Meulder, Isaac Haxton and Rainer Kempe.
Farrell started the five-hour final table action with a significant chip advantage and maintained a strong position through to the heads up against Bilic, with both players entering heads up on a more-or-less even footing.
A chop that gave Farrell Euro 444,300 and Bilic Euro 444,000, with Euro 90,000 left on the table for the winner was quickly agreed and the duo got down to business.
After some entertaining action from both finalists over 77 hands the competition ended with a busted flush draw for Bilic, leaving the honours and the main prize to Farrell.
It was a rewarding moment for Farrell, who has on two previous occasions come close to an EPT title – in London during season 9 and the following year in season 10 in Barcelona; it was also his biggest career payday yet.
The event was broadcast live in 12 languages on PokerStars.tv, Twitch and YouTube.
Other final six cashes included:
Jaroslaw Sikora (Poland) Euro 265,840
Giulio Spaminato (Italy) Euro 203,640
Rainer Kempe (Germany) Euro 161,340
Sam Greenwood (Canada) Euro 125,660