EPT London: Our Final Table
Mad Harper has been busy researching our final table players, here's plenty of information to help you pick who you want to win. Go on, pick a name even if you don't know any of them! It'll make following the coverage more fun... I usually root for the player with the silliest name. Ok, that's just a 'me' thing...
And today I'm a serious and imparial tournament reporter. I'll bring you live updates as soon as play resumes. Shame Schweinebarth went out, isn't it?
Seat 1: Chad Brown from Los Angeles, USA - 759,000 chips
Actor and TV presenter Chad is well-known in the US for his hosting of the Ultimate Poker Challenge television series. A prolific tournament player, Chad arrived in London alongside girlfriend, Team PokerStars' Vanessa Rousso. Originally from New York, Chad grew up in the Bronx and learned poker playing in the neighbourhood cafes. Chad has cashed at several WSOP events including 3rd in the 2002 $1,500 Omaha hi-lo split event, 2nd in the 2004 $1,500 7-card stud event and 2nd in the 2005 $2,000 seven-card stud hi-lo event. Brown made back-to-back final tables at last year's WSOP circuit events, including a third place finish behind Chris "Jesus" Ferguson and Prahlad Friedman.
Seat 2: Emad Tahtouh. 25 from Melbourne, Australia - 680,000 chips
In 2005, Emad qualified for the WSOP and talked his best friend Joe Hachem into coming with him. Some three weeks later, Joe was World Champion and $7.5 million richer. But Emad's recent performances show he is no mere poker sidekick. He won $70,000 at this year's WSOP after coming 7th in the $5,000 Pot Limit event and in the last two weeks has come second in two events at the Victorian Poker Championships in Melbourne - with combined winnings of over $40,000. Emad has been playing poker for years but went pro some four years ago, playing mainly in small live tournaments at his local Crown Casino in Melbourne. He is now a regular in the high limit cash games on PokerStars.
Joe Hachem with his friend Emad Tahtou
Seat 3: Sid "El Sid" Harris, 61 from Hove, Sussex, UK - 270,000
Sid describes himself as a "gifted poker amateur" but his day job is writing. He is the author of several books on food and horse-racing including the "Anti Atkins Diet". Sid has had a run of success in the last few months including a £14,400 win at the South of England Poker Championship in Southampton three months ago and two £10,000 wins in Luton and Brighton in the last six weeks.
Seat 4: Michael Muldoon, 25 from Belfast, Northern Ireland - 570,000 chips
Civil servant Michael has been playing poker for eight years - mainly in home games and at local casinos. In the 2004 UK Open at the Vic, he "bluffed all his chips off in seven minutes". Making the final table this year is by far his biggest success so far. Michael is being cheered on by three friends from Northern Ireland, including two other EPT players - Joe Rafferty (who went out in 24th place) and Brendan Walls.
Seat 5: Jan Sjavic, 42 from Oslo - 460,000
Jan started his poker life playing in underground cardrooms in Oslo and is now one of the most respected poker players in the country. He won the European Championship at the Victoria Casino in 2001 and is a major force in high-stakes limit games in Vegas. Jan has been a professional player for seven years, and also now runs his own poker site.
Seat 6: Peter Hedlund, 38, from Stockholm - 380,000
Peter was one of the very first players to join the EPT circuit - winning € 1,100 for 25th place at the first event in Barcelona in 2004. He also won € 19,000 in a side event at last week's Barcelona event and has made the money three years in a row at the WSOP - with his 99th place last year netting him $77,000. Peter, a popular character in Stockholm cardrooms, is well-known for his excitable behaviour at the table. Journalist Ola Brandborn said: "He talks non-stop. I was playing with him once and offered him $50 to shut up for an hour, but he just laughed and threw the money back at me, saying he knew he wouldn't be able to keep quiet for that long!"
Seat 7: Jules Kuusik, 36 from Stockholm - 240,000 chips
Jules turned pro some three years ago and plays mainly online, coming 3rd in the Swedish internet championship in 2004. This is one of his first appearances at a large live tournament although he only narrowly missed the money at this year's WSOP. Last week, he came to EPT3 Barcelona and made it through to Day 2. Before taking up poker, Jules ran a chain of recruitment agencies.
Seat 8: Vicky Coren from London - 600,000
Londoner Victoria Coren is a well-known television presenter, newspaper columnist and author. Among her many media commitments, she presents TV poker shows and writes a weekly poker column for the Guardian. Vicky is known to supplement her income with regular visits to the cash games here at the Victoria casino. She has impressed onlookers and rivals with her sophisticated play at this EPT event- 'she's a charming person, with a few tricks up her sleeve', says Norwegian pro Allan Dyrstad. Victoria has cashed in several major tournaments here at 'The Vic' and was the winner of the 2004 Celebrity Poker Challenge.