The final table for EPT Berlin was decided at around about eleven o’clock last night, when simultaneous eliminations on each of the two tables in play took us from 10 players to the last eight.
Play is due to begin on day five at noon. We will play down from eight to a winner, who will walk away with one million euros from their week in Berlin.
Here are the eight final table players:
Seat 1 – Chips: 2,185,000
Marko Neumann, 23, PokerStars qualifier, Recklinghausen, Germany
Marko Neumann has been playing poker for five years, the last three as a professional. He is a successful online multi-table tournament and sit and go player, but has had a bad run in live events until now – playing numerous EPT events and at appearing twice at the World Series without cashing. EPT Berlin is his first major live tournament since summer 2009 and reaching the final table here represents a breakthrough on the live poker circuit. He has good supporters on the rail including his girlfriend Aga.
Seat 2 – Chips: 3,655,000
Marc Inizan, 23, Quimper, France
The young professional took up on poker in 2005 after stumbling upon a WSOP broadcast on French television. Seeing those 20-somethings winning millions playing cards inspired him to open an online account, and he gradually moved up in stakes until two years later, he qualified for a major live event in Canada and finished 24th, winning $52,000. Since then, Inizan has played several live events as well as cash games, culminating in this appearance at the final table of EPT Berlin, which will be his best career result to date. He has recently made two consecutive final tables – at the Belgian Championships last November and the Antibes Deepstack last week.
Seat 3 – Chips: 6,070,000
Kevin “ImaLuckSac” MacPhee, 29 from Coeur d’Alene, USA
Kevin MacPhee started playing poker with college friends in 2003 after seeing Chris Moneymaker win the World Series Main Event. He then made the transition from “Magic: the Gathering” to poker. He’s been a professional player for three to four years, but made a huge breakthrough in April 2008 when he broke the PokerStars TLB record, amassing more than $100,000 profit. He’s been on the road ever since playing live events and has already won more than $250,000. He continues to shine in online MTTs and won $218,750 for final tabling a $5,000 buy-in event. He’s being supported in Berlin by fellow pros Richard Grace, Jonathan Weekes and Laurence Houghton – and by his father in Idaho, who is watching on EPT Live.
Seat 4 – Chips: 3,530,000
Artur “wesylaa” Wasek, 35, Plock, Poland
Artur Wasek has been playing poker for two years. His biggest online success was a fifth-place finish in the PokerStars Sunday Warm-up for $37,000 and his best live result was winning a tournament in Warsaw for $10,000. Wasek bought in direct to EPT Berlin, winning his entry fee in cash games at Spielbank Berlin casino over the road on Monday night. This is his fourth EPT event but first cash. He is being supported from home by his wife and six-year-old daughter Susanne.
Seat 5 – Chips: 3,590,000
Marcel Koller, 37, Switzerland
Marcel Koller is the only player at the EPT Berlin final table who is not a full-time professional. He’s a computer programmer by trade and says he gives his work 100% – but he’s no slouch when it comes to winning at poker either. He has been playing the Swiss form of seven Card Stud – involving a 36-card deck – for years but only took up Texas hold ’em four years ago. His best result to date was winning a daily $30,000 tournament on PokerStars, earning $8,000. He is being supported in Berlin by a large group of friends, including the three-time Swiss champion Daniel Walter.
Seat 6 – Chips: 960,000
Nico Behling, 24, Jena, Germany
One of the most successful young German players and a good friend of the Team PokerStars Pro Sebastian Ruthenberg, Nico Behling has already won nearly half a million dollars in live tournaments, including a second-placed finish at EPT Warsaw last season. Online, Behling grinds the short-handed cash games but he also sometimes plays multi-table tournaments on PokerStars. Last week, he came third in the PokerStars Sunday Million for $145,000. When he is not playing poker, Nico likes to watch and play soccer.
Seat 7 – Chips: 4,685,000
Ketul Nathwani, 25, London, UK
Despite describing himself as an online cash game specialist, Ketul Nathwani is no stranger to live poker and has put together a string of notable results during the four years he has played the game. He went deep in the 2007 World Series Main Event and then took down a £1,000 buy in tournament in his home city of London, outlasting 423 others to win £119,780 ($240,000 approx). He is a former computing student at Imperial College but is now a professional poker player.
Seat 8 – Chips: 3,940,000
Ilari Tahkokallio, 23, near Helsinki, Finland
Ilari Tahkokallio, who has been a professional poker player for two years, won the PLO/PLHE £1,000 side event at EPT London after beating today’s final table adversary Kevin MacPhee heads-up. Whatever happens today, Tahkokallio has already earned credit for one of the classiest poker moments of the week. When the tournament was interrupted, Tahkokallio and Luca Cainelli were involved in a huge all-in pot. At the turn, Cainelli had AQ, Tahkokallio had AT and Cainelli was looking good to double up. Then the tournament was interrupted and all the players and the dealer left the area. When they returned, tournament director Thomas Kremser said that, if they wanted, the players could consider the hand dead and take their chips back. Although he was losing, Tahkokallio said the river card should be dealt – a sporting gesture greeted by applause. The river was a 5 and Cainelli doubled up. “I like to be fair and play in good spirit,” Tahkokallio said. “It wasn’t even really a choice for me.” Later Tahkokallio ended up busting Cainelli and now sits on nearly four million in chips.