Introducing the contenders


Markus Gonsalves: from San Diego business school to EPT final table

Seat 1: MARKUS GONSALVES, 21, United States
Markus, a 21-year-old from San Diego California, qualified for the London EPT event last year but requested a seat change to this tournament because he wanted to meet up with his Scandinavian buddies, most of whom he met playing the $10/$20 NL game on PokerStars. "It's been really gruelling so far, playing 10 or 11 hours at a stretch," says Markus. He is the baby of the table but if his online record is anything to go by, he is no novice. Chips: 156,000


Edgar Skjervold: radge on the rampage

Seat 2: EDGAR SKJERVOLD, 31, Norway
This is Edgar's second EPT final table appearance following his 7th place in Baden, Austria last October. The Norwegian was disappointed with his early elimination there and will be hoping to make more of an impact here. He identifies Mads Anderson as the main threat: "He has a ton of chips and isn't afraid of anything." Edgar won the 2004 WCOOP on PokerStars, so he certainly has the game to close the deal, but does he have enough chips to challenge here? Chips: 186,000


Philip Hilm: feeling confident

Seat 3: PHILIP HILM, 35, Denmark
Philip is from Copenhagen but recently moved to Poland, where his father was born. Two years ago he was selling coffee machines but discovered he could earn five times more money playing poker online. Just a month after taking up the game, he was playing full time and making a good living. He is playing more bricks and mortar poker tournaments now, after making his live debut at the 2005 WSOP, which suggests that Philip is not afraid of being thrown in at the deep end. With the second chip lead, he describes himself as "confident". Chips: 600,500


Shek Chi Hung: from Hong Kong to the final table

Seat 4: SHEK CHI HUNG, 46, Denmark
Hong Kong-born Shek, a restaurant owner from Copenhagen, is a familiar presence on the Danish poker circuit. He built up a massive chip lead on day one, when he swam against the tide with some impressively aggressive play. "I don't play the cards," he says, "I play my opponents." That may explain why his favourite poker hand is ten jack off-suit. No-one will want to tangle with Shek! Chips: 307,000


Mads Andersen: leading from the front

Seat 5: MADS ANDERSEN, 35, Denmark
Mads has a massive chip lead on this final table, and those familiar with his aggressive style make him the favourite to win the 2006 EPT Copenhagen title. He is the 2002 World Backgammon champion, but switched to poker soon after, quickly establishing a reputation as one of Europe's most successful cash game players. As if he needed any further help, this native of Copenhagen has his family coming to support him at the final table, and Mads is also wearing his lucky red jumper. "It's a great feeling having all those chips. It doesn't happen that often!" Chips: 1,023,000


Marc Naarland: not a grand master as previously reported (sorry all)

Seat 6: MARC NAALDEN, 37, Holland
Chess fanatic Marc started playing poker three years ago at a recreational level, but the more he plays the more he wins. Having started out playing only online, he is now planning on attending future EPT events, including EPT Deauville next month. Marc, who lives in the diamond capital of the world, is short of chips but remains positive: "I need to double up, and then we'll see." Chips: 273,000


Johan Bergquist: enigma turns final tablist

Seat 7: JOHAN BERGQUIST, 37, Sweden Playing high stakes poker is not everyone's idea of a good way to relax, but Johan plays the game as a stress release from his job as CEO of a successful IT business: "I am very focused on my job so this is just a hobby for me." The 37-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden, is a former maths teacher and believes the experience helps him understand the way his opponents think. He will need to pull off a miracle to make an impact his as he starts the final table with the smallest chip count. Chips: 47,500.


Anina Gundesen: turning $13 into significantly more

Seat 8: ANINA GUNDESEN, 29, Denmark
Anina is a law student from Odense, in central Denmark. She survived day two without ever building a major stack but made a late surge to make the final table. Her talent so far has been knowing when and where to pick her battles. Anina qualified for the EPT Copenhagen via a $13 rebuy tournament on PokerStars.com. With little to lose, she is relaxed at making her debut at a major televised tournament: "I won't be scared of any of my opponents because I have no idea who they are." Chips: 223,500

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in European Poker Tour