EPT Dublin: The Players
Here are profiles of our final table players, thanks to Mad Harper.
Seat 1. Rob Yong (UK) - 365,000 chips
Rob Yong, 34, used to be a blackjack player but got barred because his "system" was too effective. He took up poker three years and is the founder of the new Dusk Till Dawn poker club, due to open in Nottingham next year. Former recruitment consultant Rob said: "My lack of patience is my weakness, but I can be fearless with necessary." He picked up £23,300 after coming 2nd in the Midlands Meltdown in Wallsall in June.
Seat 2. William Thorson (Sweden) - 773,500 chips
William Thorson, 23, from Gothenburg, started playing at home with his parents. His father Olof, a horse-trainer, is also a highly successful player and has cashed at the WSOP. William is already a well-known and formidable player and one of the most successful online players in the world, playing the highest no limit games available. He came 13th in this year’s World Series of Poker for a $907,128 payout. His main concern today is Roland who describes as "sickly aggressive".
Seat 3. Nick Slade (UK) - 269,000 chips
Nick Slade, 43, a acquisitions broker from Preston, has only been playing poker for ten months but is already enjoying enormous success, making four final tables in four different countries in the last three months. He came 3rd in the Bellagio Cup II in July for a #41,000 payout. A former semi-pro golfer, he had to give up because of family commitments but believes the concentration skills he learned on the fairway are helping in him four-day poker tourneys.
Seat 4. Gavin Simms (UK) - 442,000 chips
Londoner Gavin, 36, learned his poker skills at the PokerStars’s fun Century Club monthly tournaments and, according to tournament director Conrad Brunner, he is by far the most successful graduate of the event. His biggest win to date was $44,000 after coming 59th in the $25,000 WPT Classic in April – a spectacular feat from the London stockbroker who outlasted some of the best players in the world. He said: "I’m either suicidally reckless or overcautious but this week I’ve managed to self-destruct". He may a dark horse for this event; Noah Boeken says "No one ever knows what he has."
Seat 5. David Tavernier (France) - 360,500 chips
PokerStars qualifier David 'Davethebest' Tavernier nearly didn't even make it to Dublin. He missed his first flight by 5 minutes and his second flight was cancelled. He finally sat down at the Regency 90 minutes late. However, the late start doesn’t seem to have harmed his play and the same thing happened to Patrick Antonius who won in Baden last year. Anaesthetist David, 50, has been playing poker for over 30 years - online, in home games and the occasional tournament. Married with four children, he lives in Paris and is a regular on PokerStars.
Seat 6. Patrick Bueno (France) - 140,000 chips
The 40-year-old Parisian has been playing poker for eight years and has made several final tables in both European and the USA. The construction company boss says poker is "not my job, it’s my passion". He is married with three children including eldest son Benjamin who is cheering him on today from the rails. He said: "I can sit and wait for ever for my chance but my weakness is I’m probably not aggressive enough."
Seat 7. George McKeever (Ireland) - 194,000 chips
Friends say Irishman George McKeever looks like Father Christmas - and plays like Scrooge. That may be a bit harsh judging by his results over the years. His highlight was a superb 7th in the World Series of Poker main event in 1999 for $125,775, but it was no fluke as he has a long list of tournament successes behind him. The 72-year-old cashed last month in the London EPT, where he also final tabled in 2004, and is currently 6th in the All Ireland All Time Money List, with $674,334. He has a fearsome reputation in cash games too.
Seat 8. Roland de Wolfe (UK) - 1,352,500 chips
Londoner Roland de Wolfe, 27, had enjoyed several modest cashes before bursting on to the big poker stage by winning the WPT Paris last year, collecting $599,600. More success followed and in April this year he came 3rd in the WPT Five-Star World Poker Classic in Las Vegas for another bumper payout of $1,025,205. Roland, a fanatical Arsenal fan, is also no stranger to the EPT, finishing 20th in Barcelona last month. Before turning pro, he used to work for gambling magazine Inside Edge.
Our final table players. Standing: Roland de Wolfe, Patrick Bueno, George McKeever, William Thorson, Gavin Simms, Nick Slade. Seated: David Tavernier, Rob Yung.