Introducing the contenders

Seat 1 -- Ram "Crazy Horse" Vaswani, 37, (UK) 1,191,500 chips

Crazy Horse keeping cool

The Hendon Mobster has already cashed at four EPT events, made 3 final tables and won the 2004 EPT Dublin event. His total EPT winnings to date exceed €180,000. He was a huge chip leader at last month's EPT Copenhagen event but eventually busted out in 18th place.

Seat 2 -- Isabelle Mercier, 30, (Canada), 428,000 chips

Isabelle Mercier, representing Team PokerStars

Two years ago Isabelle packed up her job at the Aviation Club in Paris, sold all her belongings and began traveling the world as a poker pro. She quickly found success as the WPT Ladies Champion, earning her the tag 'No Mercy' Mercier. The former Montreal law student almost made the final table at last year's EPT Grand Final, finishing 10th. She'll be keen here to beat Anina Gundesen's sixth place in Copenhagen last month, the highest EPT woman's placing yet.

Seat 3 -- Mark Boudewijn, 41, (Holland) 911,500 chips

Mark Boudewijn: Dutch in Deauville

Mark's biggest win so far was $222,570 at the 2005 Five-Star World Poker Classic in Las Vegas - a win that completely outstripped all his previous winnings which totaled some €6,000. Mark, who lives in the famous cheese town of Gouda, is married with two children.

Seat 4 -- Kirill Gerasimov, 34, (Russia), 215,000 chips

Kirill Gerasimov: from Russia with chips

He may look exactly like Matt Damon but Moscow-born Kirill is substantially better at cards and has been a full-time poker professional for the last four years. Notable wins - on both sides of the Atlantic - include $500,000 at WPT Bellagio and cashing out at three 2005 WSOP events. He came fifth at this year's London EPT. He is married with a young son.

Seat 5 -- Patric Martenson, 19, (Sweden), 291,000 chips

Patric Martenson: EPT final table regular

Patrick (fourth placed at September's Barcelona EPT) only recently left high school but has already enjoyed notable successes. He is the current Monopoly champion of Sweden, owns one of the finest stamp collections in Europe and plays golf off a three handicap. He makes a good living from online poker and came to last year's Deauville EPT.

Seat 6 -- Stuart Nash (UK) 125,500 chips

Stuart Nash: cashing

This 50-something Brit is a big cash game player at the Vic but recently started focusing on tournament play. He's made five final table appearances in the last year, with his best result being second place (€61,000) in the European Poker main event in London.

Seat 7 -- Theo Jorgensen, 33, (Denmark), 809,500 chips

Theo Jorgensen: keeping a lid on it

The former dealer has been playing poker for 14 years, five of them as a professional. Mainly a live tournament and cash game player, his biggest win to date was €100,000 in the 2004 Seven Card Stud European Championships. The live tournament specialist lives in Copenhagen with his girlfriend Ivvona and nine-month-old daughter Maya.

Seat 8 -- Mats Iremark, 23, (Sweden), 397,000 chips

Mats Iremark: the second Swede in the mix

This cool and confident civil engineering student from Gothenberg is attending his first ever EPT but already believes has an edge over Ram Vaswani. He graduates this summer and plans to take a year off to play poker as a pro.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in European Poker Tour