The finalists of EPT Vienna are now known. The last eight players will return on Sunday at noon to play down to a winner, a prize worth €700,000.
Seat 1: Luca Cainelli, 37, Trento near Verona, Italy – 1,935,000 chips
Cainelli has been playing traditional five-card poker since he was 20-years-old but only took up Texas hold’em six years ago. He is mainly a live high-stakes cash game player but since gaining sponsorship at the start of the year has begun entering more tournaments.
Cainelli has played eight EPTs in total but first came to public attention at EPT Berlin in March, when he was knocked out in 11th place. That was good for a €40,000 cash and he followed it up just a few weeks later at EPT Snowfest, finishing 14th earning €15,800. This season he is planning to play EPT events and whatever happens now he is enjoying his first EPT final, and best ever live cash.
Seat 2: Daniel Negreanu, 36, Toronto, Canada – Team PokerStars Pro – 5,070,000 chips
Ironically, for a player with two WPT titles, four World Series bracelets and nearly $13 million in tournament prize money, Negreanu had yet to cash in a European Poker tour event before playing EPT London earlier this month. There he min-cashed but this week in Vienna he is on course not only for poker’s Triple Crown (WPT, WSOP and EPT titles), but for top spot on the All-Time Money List, a place he lost to Phil Ivey a short while ago.
Negreanu’s list of achievements is too long and too distinguished to give credit to here, but he has been an icon of the game for more than a decade, quickly establishing himself as one of poker’s most naturally gifted players.
Originally from Toronto, Negreanu now calls Las Vegas home, the place where he became the youngest WSOP bracelet winner in 1998, aged just 23. Now 36, his most recent bracelet came in 2008. In between tournaments Negreanu has gained a massive fan base, becoming an author, a regular blogger, as well as being a key figure in poker TV shows around the world. He’s also a leading figure in Team PokerStars Pro and is known online as “KidPoker”.
Seat 3: Matthias Lotze, 35, Dresden, Germany – PokerStars qualifier – 1,250,000 chips
Lotza has been playing poker for four years and is now a full-time pro, playing exclusively tournaments. This is Lotze’s fourth EPT, having played the PCA, Dortmund in season 4 and Berlin last season, but he had yet to make it beyond Day 1.
Online the former web designer has been very successful, winning a heads-up event for $90,000 and two further tourneys for $50,000 and $40,000. He has also finished sixth in a PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up for $30,000 and was runner-up in another online event for $130,000.
Seat 4: Andreas Wiese, 34, Hannover, Germany – 730,000 chips
Wiese has been playing poker for five years, focusing mainly on live games. The 34-year-old has been playing tournaments for a year now but Vienna marks his first major event and his best live result to date.
Online, his best result was seventh place in the PokerStars Sunday 500 worth $17,000 this year. Wiese regularly plays cash games at his local casino in Hannover and considers himself a “semi-professional” although he still works as an anesthetist at Hannover Hospital. He is being railed in Vienna by his wife Anika, as well as his sister-in-law.
Seat 5: Martin Hruby, 36, Czech Republic – Team PokerStars Pro – 975,000 chips
Martin Hrubý has been playing poker online at PokerStars since 2000, turning pro three years ago. Hruby has racked up an impressive string of results in PokerStars’ biggest online tournaments, including sixth place in the Sunday Million, fourth place in the Sunday Warm-Up, fifth in the PokerStars Sunday 500 last year and was runner-up in a PokerStars’ WCOOP 2nd Chance event collecting $92,560.
His best live result to date was 22nd place in the EPT Grand Final Main Event last season, a finish worth €50,000. He’s also has titles and cash finishes to his name in other events around the world, including tournaments in Nova Gorica, Prague, Vienna, and two WSOP cashes. He also cashed for $17,000 at the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, finishing 150th.
Seat 6: Konstantinos “arxigos” Nanos, 35, Greece (lives near Dortmund, Germany) – PokerStars qualifier – 3,635,000 chips
Nanos, 35, won his seat to Vienna in a $22 re-buy on PokerStars. On Day 3 who eleiminated Finnish player Ville MAttila to seize the chip lead and has been among the leaders since Day 3. Nanos, who comes from Greece but lives near Dortmund, in Germany, formerly worked as an eye doctor but turned pro six months ago, notching up more than $200k in online winnings on PokerStars this year.
Earlier in the season Nanons won a seat to EPT Tallinn in a live satellite and while he didn’t cash he did win the €400 NLHE Turbo Bounty side event, collecting €7,240. He also came fourth in the £300 NLHE Turbo event at EPT London a few weeks ago, a result worth £2,300.
Seat 7: Michael “mae9690” Eiler, 20, near Munich, Germany – PokerStars qualifier – 2,160,000 chips
Economics student Michael Eiler is better known as “mae9600” online, having won the Sunday Million in March 2010 for $260,000, after defeating a field of more than 10,000 players. The 20-year-old mainly plays online but also competes in smaller live events with buy-ins between €1,500 and €2,000.
Although pleased to have made the final the PokerStars qualifier was massively disappointed at having lost nearly half his stack in the last hour of Day 4 – some 900,000 to Daniel Negreanu, then another million to Konstantinos Nanos ten minutes later.
Seat 8: Bruno Launais, 24, Montpellier, France – 1,515,000 chips
Launais has been playing poker for six years now and has been a pro for the last three. The Frenchman is principally a high-stakes short-handed online cash game player, and typical of good players has a formidably aggressive style.
He first came to notice in 2009, finishing seventh at the EPT Deauville in season five, earning €108,300 in his first ever live event. Launais cashed twice at the World Series of Poker this summer, including a fourth place in the $5k NLHE Six-Handed event, worth $173,000. He also cashed at EPT Prague last season and won a Partouche event in Cannes last year, collecting €60,242 . It’s a record that makes Launais one of the most promising new players in the game.