WCP Players - Heat 5
Here are the players lining up to play Heat 5, the vital final heat which will decide who'll reach the cash prizes and chance of glory in tomorrow's final. A lot of teams decided to 'save the best till last' and field their strongest players in this game. It's sure to be an interesting heat.
Team Ireland - Niall McNamara
Niall is the top TLB qualifier for Ireland, although he chose not to take the team captaincy. A strong tournament competitor, who has live as well as online experience. He and his brother qualified for last years EPT Monte Carlo event through PokerStars.
Team Canada - Christopher Comely
Team Canada's player is a TLB qualifier for Team Canada. 'TheRedBaron' is his online name, he's a 28 year old poker pro. He has a lot of live and online experienc and his team mates tell me they think he will do very well for them today. It is a mathematical near impossibility for Team Canada not to qualify for tomorrow's final. Christopher may well want to put in a good performance to ensure he's one of the three Canadian players chosen to play the tag team event.
Team Brazil - Raul Oliveira
Raul is Brazil's celebrity player and the most highly rated player in his country. Now a tournament pro, previously a backgammon champion. He's no stranger to high pressure tournaments, his previous cash finishes include $73,230 in the Five-Star World Poker Classic $25k event.
Team USA - Phil Myers
USA's FPP qualifier is 'yellownape' on PokerStars. He's from Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying this trip to Barcelona with his girlfriend, Linda. He's no stranger to pressure, several of USA North Carolina's qualifying matches came down to them and he was a key player. His team mates claim he's, "A rock solid player, if anything goes wrong we know he can come right back. We have tremendous confidence in him." With Team USA almost sure of qualification, Phil might be hoping to have an easy game today.
Team Poland - Philip Hilm
Team Poland's celebrity player is 35 year old Philip Hilm. Although his family background is Polish he's now based in Denmark. Philip was the 3rd place finisher in the EPT Copenhagen, winning 716,636 Kr. Two years ago Philip made a living selling coffee machines, but discovered he could earn much more money playing poker online. Just a month after taking up the game he started playing full time and making a living at online poker. He is highly confident in big buy in live events and his first ever live game was the 2005 WSOP. Team Poland are hoping that this experienced player will bring home the points they need today.
Team Israel - Martin Segal
Team Israel's captain is a civil engineer from Haifa in Israel. He's a highly experienced tournament player. Poker isn't the only game he's played as he's played bridge to a professional standard for 35 years. 'Martingales' qualified for the 2005 EPT Grand Final in a PokerStars satellite, I'm sure this big game experience will stand him in good stead. He lists computer programming and mathematics as his hobbies, and has 2 daughters and a 4 year old granddaughter. He took up online poker because it's a game that's, 'at once close to home and at the same time international.' I hope he's enjoying meeting the many teams from around the world at the WCP. When I mentioned that the top four teams will win cash prizes, Martin shook his head and said, "No, no, no, we want the cup!"
Team Iceland - Bryndjar Valdimarsson
Iceland's player knows that his team can't qualify, but still aims to finish well for Iceland of course. Bryndjar is one of Iceland's more experienced players. He's a Snooker and pool club owner who's been playing poker for 23 years. He has five children back home in Iceland.
Team England - Derek Morris
Derek 'Purr of Aces' Morris knows he has everything to do for Team England today. 'Purr' is a bookmakers assistant at various race tracks, and a keen sports fan who's hobbies include carp fishing, golf and horse racing. Derek was captain of the England team in last year's WCP when England reached the last 8 also. As well as this TLB qualifier having a great online tournament record he tells me he's won many live tournaments at his local casino, and is 'confident' of his live play. Derek has a 13 year old daughter Emily. He flew out to Barcelona on Father's Day, and here's a picture of the card she made to wish him luck. Derek says, "I would love to win this for my daughter."
A lucky card for 'Purr of Aces'?