EPT London: Final table player profiles
Seat 1: Ian Cox, 45, UK – 234,000
Of all today’s final table players, Ian Cox, a poker pro & sports bettor from Poole, Dorset, has the most experience beneath the studio lights. His first live poker came after qualifying online for the 2005 Poker Million and he’s played in three later TV tournaments. Cox spent 11 years terrorizing fixed odds bookmakers with his knowledge of golf betting, before moving to the exchanges. He took up poker while waiting for market moves. Three final tables from 11 live events in 2006 and six from 14 this year attest to the skills of a natural.
Seat 2: Florian Langmann, 24, Germany – 927,000
Florian, the reigning German champion, carries the chip lead to the final table of the EPT and is enjoying the best year of his fledgling poker career. A professional player taking a break from studies in Dresden, he made two final tables in this year's Bellagio Cup in Las Vegas and cashed in EPT Dortmund last year. Oiginally from Verden in Germany, Florian usually plays high-limit SNGs on PokerStars.
Seat 3: Anthony Lellouche, 27, France – 466,000
Parisian Antony Lellouche mainly plays live poker in high stakes cash games around the world. He is both respected and well-liked by his peers and mentors, including the “godfathers” of French poker Claude Cohen and Jan Boubli. Antony turned pro nine years ago, honing his skills at the smallest limit games at the Aviation Club. Fearless and intuitive, Antony has already made two WSOP final tables and come close in two EPT Grand Finals – 12th in 2005 and 21st in 2007. Today gives him his biggest tournament payout to date.
Seat 4: Fredrik Haugen, 19, Sweden, PokerStars cash qualifier - 190,000
Fredrik, from Gothernburg, is already a highly experienced poker player. With EPT final tables often dominated by Swedes, Fredrik is – unusually - the last Swedish survivor at EPT London and, being the short stack, his task is hardest. One thing in his favour is his girlfriend Elvedina who made the journey with him, providing moral support from the rail. She admitted to being “very nervous” but Fredrik looks far more relaxed. His previous biggest win was 32nd place at EPT Dortmund last year.
Seat 5: Josh Egan, 23, New Zealand, PokerStars double shoot-out qualifier - 477,000
Student Josh has had a "massive roller-coaster" at the London EPT. Down to 3,000 in chips on Day 1, three great hands (fives, sixes and kings) turned it around for the 23-year-old from Auckland. Josh also qualified for the Barcelona leg of this year's EPT via a double shootout, on the same day that he also won his double shootout ticket to London -- four sit and go wins back-to-back, a 6,642 to one shot. He also previously qualified for the 2006 World Series where he came 602nd for $20,000. His strategy for today is suss out the table – and avoid chip leader Florian Langmann.
Seat 6: Marcel Baran, 28, Germany, PokerStars cash qualifier – 583,000
Marcel, from Aschaffenburg in Germany, has been pro for two years after quitting his job as a web developer. The decision has paid off as he’s now on the verge of his biggest cash yet. Marcel took up poker after coming home late one night and catching TV highlights of EPT Season 1. He is now set to improve on his previous best - 11th (€25,870) in EPT Dublin. “I’m not nervous. I’m only nervous when I’m all in. In a hand, I’ve no time to be nervous!”
Seat 7: Paul Mendes, 44, UK - 282,000
Londoner Paul has been a striking figure at EPT London thanks to his distinctive Stetson– a gift from Vegas. He said: “I wear it for special occasions – and this is certainly one of those.” Today’s final table place is by far Paul’s biggest result to date. His previous biggest win was £1,200 after coming 8th in a tournament in Edinburgh a couple of years ago. The 44-year-old screenplay writer took up poker when he was working in a petrol station. He was invited to a game by some regulars, won the game and hasn’t looked back since.
Seat 8: Joseph Mouawad, Lebanon, PokerStars cash qualifier - 780,000
It was nearly over before it began for Joseph Mouawad. He planned to come here with friends but when they cancelled, he nearly did too. Thankfully he changed his mind and is now 2nd in chips. “My friends are following the action from home instead. They’re very excited.” Married with three children, the real estate developer from Beirut began playing poker nearly 15 years ago. He took up Hold’em two years ago when it became popular in his local casino. Today will be his best result yet. “I’ll be nervous for the first 15 minutes - but then I’ll get going.”
Back row L to R: Antony Lellouche, Florian Langmann, Fredrik Haugen, Ian Cox
Front row L to R: Josh Egan, Marcel Baran, Paul Mendes, Joseph Mouawad
All pictures (c) Neil Stoddart