A total of 449 players bought in to the EPT Copenhagen Main Event. Now, five days later, just eight remain, competing for a first prize of DKK 3,700,000. Here’s how they’ll line up when the final begins on Saturday at 12noon.
Seat 1: Andrea Dalle Molle, 27, Rome, Italy – 417,000 chips
Dalle Molle has been playing poker for around six years, turning pro three years ago. Dalle Molle is from Rome and is friends with Team PokerStars Pros Dario Minieri and Salvatore Bonavena, as well as 2010 WSOP finalist Filipo Candio. Dalle Molle’s best live result before now was third place in the Campionato Nazionale Main Event in Nova Gorica, last September, for €19,900.
Andrea Dalle Molle
Dalle Molle said that making the final of the EPT Copenhagen, which will net him at least DKK 296,400 (€39,755), is “the dream of every poker player”. He has played at least nine EPTs but says Copenhagen is the toughest after London. “I’m the short stack,” he said. “But I’m in a push/ fold situation and if I double up, I’m in a good position.”
Seat 2: Per Linde, 22, Motala, Sweden – 4,980,000 chips
Linde made more than $400,000 in live events last year, the bulk of which was thanks to making the final of the €10,000 WPT Paris event. Team PokerStars Pro Theo Jorgensen won that event, with Linde picking up €234,780 for third place.
The Paris result has been the best of his career but Linde has had several EPT cashes before now including 13th place at San Remo last season, where he earned €40,000. He also cashed in Barcelona in November, earning €15,000.
Seat 3: Nikolas Liakos, 24, Sweden – 1,493,000 chips
Liakos has been playing poker for six years and, after some years as a pro, he is now studying maths with the intention of becoming a teacher, and will graduate in about two years. Liakos mainly plays online cash games up to $10/$20 limits (full ring, shorthanded and heads-up) and is also a sports bettor.
In 2007 he finished EPT Prague in 12th place for €27,800 and also had two big scores in 2008, winning the EPT San Remo €2,000 side event worth €176,200 and finishing fourth at the Master Classics Main Event in Amsterdam, for a further €132,600. Having been focusing on his studies lately Liakos hasn’t played any major live events since.
Seat 4: Mudassar Khan, 38, Denmark – 823,000 chips
Khan is the last remaining Danish player and also a home town boy, hailing from Copenhagen. Khan plays for fun as he normally helps run the family restaurant business.
This hasn’t stopped him achieving some great results though; Khan’s biggest result in that seven-year period coming at the Swedish Open Poker Championships, in 2006, where he won the title and $134,539. Khan has one previous EPT cash in Dortmund, in Season 3.
Seat 5: Kevin Iacofano, 25, Chicago, USA – 1,844,000 chips
Cleveland-born Kevin Iacofano qualified for the EPT Copenhagen for just €215 on PokerStars and is now set for the biggest win of his career. Iacofano is an online pro who makes his living grinding tournaments and is also a regular in the $25/$50 mixed cash games over the last six months. No slouch on the live scene either, Iacofano has $197,542 in live tournament cashes and finished third in a WSOP $1,500 PLO event back in 2009 earning $96,128. The only American at the final table, Iacofano had heard that EPT Copenhagen was a hard nut to crack.
“Even the weaker players make it tough for you,” he said. “It would mean a lot to win an EPT title here.”.
Iacofano also pulled off what he described as the “biggest bluff of my life” on day four, against Sweden’s Nikolas Liakos (who has also made the final). Liakos had led into him on a Kh, 3h, 4c, Qh, Ts board and Iacofano had quickly moved all-in for his tournament life with Ah 8s. Liakos tanked, then folded.
Seat 6: John Eames, 22, Southport, UK – 1,060,000 chips
Eames is a well-known British player who many pros predict will be a future winner of a major event. Eames turned pro nearly four years ago and originally played mainly online, although he has now switched his focus almost entirely to live tournaments.
Eames has had a great Season 7 so far – winning the EPT Vienna €2k event in October for €123,500, and chopping the EPT Barcelona €2k event with fellow finalist Michael Tureniec in November, earning €78,300. Despite playing around 13-14 EPTs, however, this is his first Main Event cash. “I was pretty short around the bubble and thought a min-cash was likely but it picked up,” he said. “It’s great to make a final. All I do now is live events… I like the atmosphere and there’s more prestige if you win. “
Seat 7: Michael Tureniec, 25, Stockholm, Sweden – 1,310,000 chips
Michael Tureniec first rose to fame back in 2008 when he finished runner-up at the Season 5 EPT London event, earning £525,314. That finish is still his best ever live result although his total lifetime live tournament winnings now amount to nearly $2 million.
Last November he chopped the EPT Barcelona €2k side event with fellow Copenhagen finalist John Eames, earning €140,000. Michael has only had one job in his life – working as a supermarket cashier – a job he abandoned to become a professional poker player more than six years ago.
Seat 8: Juha Helppi, 33, Helsinki, Finland – 1,470,000 chips
Helppi was originally a poker dealer but made a name for himself when he eliminated several top pros to take a WPT title in Aruba in 2002. He has since made dozens of other final tables, his best performance being runner-up in a 2006 WSOP $1k NLHE tourney for $331,000. Overall Helppi has had five cashes worth more than $200,000 and more than a dozen first place finishes.
This is Helppi’s third EPT cash but he has won the €20,000 EPT Deauville high roller event back in Season 6, for €192,000. He was also runner-up in the EPT Barcelona €10k event in November, for a further €127,500, and winner of a €1k side event in San Remo last season earning €84,000. Helppi’s career winnings already amount to more than $3 million and Helppi is ranked Finland’s #1 on the All Time Money List. Outside of poker, Helppi is a high level paintball player and was captain of the Finnish National Paintball Champions in 1997, 2003, 2007 and 2008.