The final is set at EPT10 London. Here are the players searching for the title and the £560,980 first prize.
Seat 1: Georgios Karakousis, 63, Livadia, Greece
PokerStars qualifier – 4,390,000 chips
Georgios Karakousis has been playing poker for around 30 years but started with the Greek version of the game that uses a 40-card deck. He first started playing on the EPT when the tour visited Loutraki in Season 8 and has competed at about ten events since then. This is Karakousis’s first ever Main Event cash but he has had several High Roller scores, including a runner-up finish in a €10,000 event in Madrid that earned him €74,100. He won his seat to London via a £215 Double Chance qualifier a month ago. Karakousis, who is married with three daughters, and two grand-children, runs his own plastics factory in Greece.
Seat 2: Jeffrey Rossiter, 23, Australia
Rossiter, 23, has had an outstanding 2013 already, and is currently placed third on the year’s money list thanks mainly to a runner-up finish in the GuangDong Asia Millions tournament in June, where he won more than $3m. Rossiter is now based in Macau, having originally travelled to Asia in November 2011 and stayed there to play in the high-stakes cash games. PokerStars Blog profiled Rossiter on Day 1A of this tournament in London.
Seat 3: Ludovic Geilich, 25, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Ludovic Geilich first came to prominence when he won UKIPT Marbella in June this year, earning €130,000 for defeating a field of 763 players. He has been playing poker for ten years, five of which he’s been a professional. Geilich has a German mother and Scottish father and has lived in Scotland all his life, but has a lot of German family. He mainly plays online MTTs with the occasional dabble into limit hold’s cash games. He has chopped the Bigger $22 on PokerStars for $14,000. Before turning to poker full time, Geilich was a proficient snooker player, but now focuses on the felt of the poker tables instead.
Seat 4: Robin Ylitalo, 27, Gothenberg, Sweden
Robin Ylitalo is a regular online poker player, originally from a small town in Sweden in Dalarna but who now lives in Gothenburg with his girlfriend. This is his second deep run in an EPT Main Event. He came eighth in EPT8 Campione for €54,000. During this summer’s World Series he came sixth in Event #49 ($1,500 NL) for $92,550 and also finished 141st in the Main Event. His live tournaments winnings, before this trip to London, total $364,494.
Seat 5: Kully Sidhu, 31, Birmingham, UK
Sidhu is a professional poker player whose best live result to date was beating Chris Brammer heads-up to take down the GUKPT Manchester event in 2010 for £54,850. It was a tough event with 192 runners and a final table that also featured Sam Grafton and Joe Grech, among others. This EPT London final table is Sidhu’s first EPT cash but he has had several cashes at UKIPT events, including winning a €150 NL Turbo Bounty in Galway in August, and ninth in a £150 NL Turbo Deepstack in Edinburgh. Making today’s final means he is guaranteed at least £60,640, nearly doubling his total live tournament winnings to date.
Seat 6: Stefan Vagner, 35, Kosice, Slovakia
Stefan Vagner becomes the third player from Slovakia to make a final table on the European Poker Tour, following Dag Palovic and Jan Bendik. He has been playing poker for five years, mainly live events, and first competed on the EPT in Prague in Season 6. He cashed in Barcelona last month, which represented his best live result to date. Vagner has also played Italian Poker Tour events and cashed in the IPT Nova Gorica Main Event last year.
Seat 7: Jan Sjavik, 49, Oslo, Norway
Jan Olav Sjavik has been described as an “old school” Norwegian player whose best result came here in London during the third season of the European Poker Tour, where his third place was worth £168,600. His nickname (and online name) is Balrog. Sjavik is considered one of the mainstays of Norwegian poker, the old guard that opened the doors for the younger players to come through. After EPT London, Sjavik finished third in Amsterdam at the Master Classics, and has live tournament winnings of nearly $2m.
Seat 8: Leo McClean, 24, Rushden, Northamptonshire, UK
PokerStars qualifier – 980,000 chips
Leo McClean is a project manager in the retail industry who has made the final table of the biggest live poker event he has ever played. He won his seat to EPT London for a total investment of £93 and, when it comes to live events, normally competes in £500 buy-in tournaments in either Luton or Dusk till Dawn in Nottingham. McClean has another reason to be happy: he was one of many players to enter the Skrill Last Longer competition and, with the exit of Ryan Yu on Day 5, won his £5,250 buy in back. PokerStars Blog profiled McClean on Day 5.