EPT Dortmund: Final Table Chip Counts
Final table chip leader: Christiano Blanco
Here are the chip counts as the players prepare to sit down at the final table:
1 Christiano Blanco, 26, Rome, Italy: 1,258,000
TV football journalist Christiano has only been playing a couple of years - mainly online and in home games with friends. This is the biggest tournament he's been in and he's delighted to have made the final table. Although mad about football - he
says he will travel anywhere for an AC Roma match - he reckons it's poker that's going to make him rich. He said: "In poker, I am a marathon runner, rather than a sprinter. It is the person who folds well who is the best."
2 Andreas Hoivold, 35, Norway: 750,000
Hoivold's decision to turn pro seven months ago has proved a pretty good move. In December, he banked $250,000 after coming 3rd in the Poker Million and he is now on the final table in Dortmund, assured of at least €60,300. He also won €24,000 last May after winning the Tallin Challenge Cup in Estonia. Andreas used to have the largest comic book collection in Norway and is known as the "Cartoon Collector" - but he recently sold the lot to concentrate on his poker career. His card marker is a Mickey Mouse.
3 Sebastian Ruthenberg, 23, Hamburg, Germany (PokerStars qualifier): 717,000
Known as "Luckbox", Sebastian is a big online player and qualified for this event in a PokerStars Frequent Player Point satellite. Now a professional and well-known in Germany, he's been playing about three years. His biggest win so far was 50k in an invitational tournament. Online, he plays both tourneys and cash games.
4 Gunnar Rabe, 53, Vasteras, Sweden (PokerStars qualifier): 651,000
PokerStars qualifier Gunnar runs an engineering company in his home town and this is only his second ever live tournament. The first was last July's WSOP when he qualified online with PokerStars and came 287th for around $39,000. He is wearing the same PS cap now to bring him luck. He has been playing about three years, almost exclusively in online tournaments. He is married with two children.
5 Erik Lindberg, 24, Stockholm, Sweden: 617,000
Erik started playing poker five years ago and turned pro soon after. He focuses mainly on 25/50 online Pot Limit Omaha cash games but has been to three EPTs - and the World Series three years running. Making today's final table is his biggest success to date, but he also came 11th at the EPT3 Copenhagen in January to win €24,000.
6 Nicolas Levi, 24, France: 467,000
Originally from Paris, Nicolas now lives in London and is an online pro - known as "Croque Monsieur" as well as being a familiar figure in the card rooms. He studied computer sciences at Norwich University before turning pro. Although he went deep in a number of tournaments in 2006, including 7th in the Caribbean Classic $6,000 event, he has yet to trouble the cashiers at an EPT. He writes up his poker performances on his blog: teamrobusto.com
7 Thomas Fougeron, 32, Lille, France: 286,000
Thomas is a well-known figure on the European poker circuit but still holds down a day job as the manager of a computer services company. His biggest tournament wins recently were two cashes in last season's EPTs in Deauville and Barcelona. Thomas travels the EPT circuit with his great friend, poker champion Pascal Perrault. He is an "ultra" supporter of the Olympique Marseille, Tony Cascarino's old team.
8 Jacob Rasmussen, 23, Denmark: 265,000
This is Jacob's second big tournament and he is doing even better than in his last one - January's EPT in Copenhagen where he won €7,424 after coming 27th. Known as "Sasuke" in the poker community, he has been playing around three years, fitting in his online cash games while studying Economy & Law at Odense University. He is being supported here in Dortmund by his girlfriend Jagge.