Seat 1: Mark Reilly, Ireland – 845,000
Mark Reilly, 36, has been a poker pro for the last 11 years, mainly playing medium stakes PLO, both cash games and tournaments. The €16,840 he’s now guaranteed for making the UKIPT Dublin final table will be the third biggest cash of his live poker career – and brings his lifetime live tournament winnings to nearly $200k. His best live result to date was winning the $1k NL Hold’em Championship at Binions during the World Series in 2014 for nearly $41k. His best result at a PokerStars live event was tenth in a €1k event at EPT Prague in December. Online, he has a Sunday Warm-Up victory under his belt. He said: “I also final tabled a SCOOP or WCOOP event – I actually can’t quite remember which!”
Seat 2: Dave Pollock, Ireland (PokerStars Qualifier) – 4,335,000
Dave Pollock, 40, has been commuting (with the exception of last night) back and forth from his hometown Cork in order to participate in the UKIPT Main Event. He’s no stranger to a streamed final table, having finished 2nd in the Irish Open in 2014 for €130,500 (although tomorrow’s top prize exceeds that). Pollock, a factory worker, has been playing poker for 10 years (live tournaments), and still competes weekly with friends in Cork, although says, “I can’t seem to win there, against them. They know me too well!” Here on a UKIPT final table, he says he is more comfortable, and comes back as one of four very close top stacks.
Seat 3: Adalsteinn Karlsson, Iceland (PokerStars Player) – 4,420,000
Adalsteinn Karlsson, from Husavik, Iceland, started playing poker in 2010, first on Full Tilt Poker and then on PokerStars. He’s been learning the game since then and only recently started to play live poker. He became the Icelandic Poker Champion in November 2015, beating a field of 140 players for more than £9,000, and this enabled him to take his game on the road. Karlsson competed at UKIPT5 Edinburgh and came third in the Edinburgh cup for £5,225. Away from poker Karlsson is a self-taught computer programmer and likes to travel. He’s able to work from his laptop so can take his job on the road. He’s been living, on and off, in Thailand for past four years, training in Muay Thai and enjoying life there.
Seat 4: Jelcides Monteiro, Luxembourg – 1,025,000
Jelcides Monteiro will be celebrating not only his first live final table on Sunday, but his first ever live cash. The 28-year-old has been a full time poker player for the last three years but mainly plays cash games. He was born in Cape Verde, a volcanic archipelago lying 500km off the coast of West Africa, but moved to Luxembourg when he was four years old (and now speaks six languages fluently). This isn’t his first PokerStars live event – he also competed in the EPT and Eureka Prague Main Events in December but failed to cash. He’s had considerable success online though including a deep run in the Sunday Million last week. A few months ago, he finished fourth in the Hot $109, and was then runner-up the following day.
Seat 5: Vladas Tamasauskas, Lithuania (PokerStars Player) – 4,255,000
Vladas Tamasauskas is a 21 year old Lithuanian poker pro who cut his teeth online playing the unusual combination of No Limit tournaments and Razz, before heading out on the live tour. He’s only made two trips so far, the first being to the Bahamas (where he could legally play poker before his 21st birthday). At Eureka5 Prague he finished 11th for €19,460 and now here in Dublin he’s about to cash for at least €16,840. Tamasauskas intends to stay for the full EPT Dublin Poker Festival (which runs until the 20th February). He may be new to the non-virtual felt but having found friends in Lithuania to discuss strategy with early on, he’s comfortable heading into the final a close third in chips.
Seat 6: Marc Foggin, United Kingdom – 2,220,000
Marc Foggin, 32, was supposed to be flying to Las Vegas tomorrow for his friend’s birthday and some deep-stack tournaments, but has had to cancel after making the UKIPT Dublin final. Foggin is a semi-professional poker player based in Newcastle who runs a property business with his dad – whom he is debating flying over to watch the final live on Monday. Foggin found the poker room in a casino while trying to hide from a friend of his one night, and having sat down at a table found the game suited him; he has almost $400,000 in live tournament cashes from America to Australia.
Seat 7: Quentin Dellis, Belgium – 4,150,000
Quentin Dellis, a 27 year old poker professional, came to Dublin for the UKIPT and its side events (the PokerStars Cup and High Roller) but has only been able to concentrate on the Main Event. It’s worked out well for him; he’ll soon add a UKIPT final table prize to his five cashes in EPT side events so far in the last year. Dellis was introduced to poker by friends, thought it was fun, and gradually became intrigued by its intricacies. He’s been playing for 5-6 years, professionally for three (mainly tournaments) and although he is a fan of Turbo online tourneys, “can be more patient” when it’s called for.
Seat 8: Samuel Vousden – 3,675,000
Born in Hong Kong, Samuel Vousden grew up in Salo, south Finland. He flew under the radar until last December, when he fell just shy of the EPT12 Prague final table finishing 14th and earning €45,930 – his biggest live result to date. Vousden has played only a few live tournaments just and on Monday he’ll experience his first ever live final table. However, he’s arguably one of the most experienced players among the final eight; he’s been crushing the online realm for several years. Vousden has earned opponents’ respect on PokerStars, having a Sunday Million title as well as a SCOOP title under his belt. Away from poker, he’s a Manchester United supporter, and a big fan of David Beckham.