EPT8 Copenhagen: The final table begins


The final table starts at 12 noon today with the final eight of 299 players back for one more day of action at the SAS Radisson Casino.

Below you'll find details of all of them, including something about a weather girl, and goalkeeper and at least one player killing it online.

Seat 1: Bjarke "Metalmania" Hansen, 26, Esbjerg, Denmark - 1,497,000
Hansen is from Esbjerg, Denmark, but has been living in Malta for the past seven months. There is a large population of Danes on the island working in the gaming industry and/or playing online professionally.

Hansen actually didn't plan to play EPT Copenhagen but won his seat after playing in an invitational VIP Sit and Go a month ago, which had a seat to the main event up for grabs. Hansen has been a pro since 2004, initially playing no-limit hold'em but now focusing on heads-up pot-limit Omaha cash games. He also coaches PLO via the Pokernet.dk poker forum.

His best live result to date was runner-up in a tournament in Bulgaria in 2010, for €97,515. He is being supported in Copenhagen by his brother Sune who is here working for PokerNews Denmark. Sune said: "He actually reversed jinxed himself by booking a ticket back home to Malta for yesterday - and then had to cancel it after making Day 4."

Seat 2: Mickey 'mement_mori' Petersen, 22, Denmark - PokerStars Team Online - 1,205,000
Local hero Mickey 'mement_mori' Petersen is one of the most successful online poker tournament players Denmark has ever produced, a game he started to master while taking a year off from his studies. Petersen began making so much money online at PokerStars that he ditched University in favour of turning pro. He also started qualifying for live PokerStars events around the world and is now an EPT regular.

Most of his biggest online results have been scored in PokerStars' SCOOP events, including runner-up in a $2,100 No Limit Hold'em event in 2010 for $169,286. Mickey has also cashed in several other SCOOP events, all of which have helped him become one of the highest earners in the history of the series, with more than $500,000 in winnings. He's also won big in other PokerStars online tourneys, including third place in the Sunday Warm-Up helping him top several online Player of the Year and Leader Board rankings.

Winning an EPT title is high on Petersen's list of career goals. He's only cashed in one Main Event before - EPT Barcelona this season - but has ten cashes in EPT side events including fourth place at the EPT Grand Final €5,000 event in Season 6 for €73,400.

Chips chips

Seat 3: Steve O'Dwyer, 29, Pennsylvania, USA - 453,000
Steve O'Dwyer is from the States, but recently moved to Ireland in order to continue his career as a professional poker player.

The communications and broadcasting graduate also does pretty well for himself in live events and has had some astonishing results in the past year. His first big cash came in December 2009 when he finished sixth in the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic, earning more than $200,000. Then last summer O'Dwyer won a $5,000 NL event at the Bellagio Cup for a further $259,452 and a few weeks later the Epic Poker League's $1,500 Pro-Am event.

In August, O'Dwyer finished fifth in the EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller, earning €46,900, then a month later was runner-up at EPT London for £ 465,000, his biggest cash to date.

O'Dwyer has also made the final of three EPT side events, cashed in two more and was runner-up at WPT Venice in December for €95,530. He has racked up more than $2 million in total lifetime tournament earnings.

O'Dwyer is currently lying in eighth place in the EPT Player of the Year race - and he'll get at least 320 more points for making the final here in Copenhagen.

Seat 4: Spencer Hudson, 28, Austin, Texas - PokerStars qualifier - 447,000
Hudson took up poker around six years ago while studying business at university in Houston. He was so successful that he eventually abandoned his degree and took to playing online full time.

Like many other American pros, Hudson has had to relocate since Black Friday and is now living in Playa del Carmen - one of the most popular tourist resorts in Mexico and now home to at least 30 poker professionals. Hudson has been playing EPTs for a couple of years including Snowfest, London and Deauville, and has cashed twice at the PCA.

This year he finished 55th for $35,000. He also has several WSOP cashes to his name, but his best results have come online including winning the Sunday Million in 2010 for around $265,000 and also making the final again last month.

Seat 5: Jacob Rasmussen, 28, Copenhagen, Denmark - 1,325,000
Known as "Sasuke" in the poker community, former law student Rasmussen has been playing for six years and is best-known for his performances online where he specializes in high stakes cash games.

Rasmussen doesn't play that many live events but when he does he tends to do well, especially at EPTs in Copenhagen where he has cashed three times out of four. His biggest cash to date was fifth place at EPT Dortmund in Season 5 for €139,000. At the time, it was the biggest EPT ever held with 493 players. Rasmussen's girlfriend Celina is a weather girl on Denmark's largest online news site ekstrabladet.dk.

Seat 6: Pierre 'Zoutechamp' Neuville, 69, Belgium - Team PokerStars Pro - 908,000
Pierre started playing poker 50 years ago at university when he and his fellow students used to play every day. He then took 25 years off while working as Vice President of Hasbro. He switched careers in the mid-1990s to become a personal advisor to sports stars and celebrities.

Once he retired, he decided to follow his dream of playing poker around the world. He took his wife to the PCA in 2008 and finished 18th, scuppering his wife's doubts that he could compete against world-class players. The following season he did even better and finished in ninth place at EPT5 San Remo for €78,800.

But the major turning point in his new career as a poker pro was his runner-up finish at EPT Vilamoura in Season 6. He won EPT Qualifier of the Year that same season, and soon after became a Friend of PokerStars and is now a full-on member of Team PokerStars Pro. Since Vilamoura, he has cashed in eight further EPTs, as well as the World Series in 2010.

Seat 7: Aage Ravn, 26. Narvik, Norway - PokerStars qualifier - 2,458,000
IT consultant Ravn is from Narvik, a small Norwegian town inside the Arctic Circle. He first came to the poker world's attention when he won a side event here at EPT Copenhagen back in Season 3 - his first ever live event.

His biggest score to date came when he made the final - finishing sixth - at the 2010 PCA for $450,000 after winning his seat on PokerStars in a $100 rebuy satellite. He cashed at the PCA the following year as well and also went deep at the Aussie Millions this January for AUS$ 35,000. He doesn't play many big tournaments, but EPT Copenhagen marks a successful return. His fellow countryman Johnny Lodden describes his playing style as "a new invention of poker".

Seat 8: Niels van Alphen, Westkapelle, Netherlands - PokerStars qualifier - 644,000
Dutchman Van Alphen, 21, earned the nickname "The Alpha Male" on his first European Poker Tour tournament here in Copenhagen by crushing opponents from the start.

Van Alphen is still in college - in his second year of Aquatic Ecotechnology at Hogeschool Zeeland, and plays poker as a lucrative hobby. He finished second in a WCOOP event in 2011, for $171,500, and has had several other big scores online under his nickname 'fisherman903'.

He played his first big live tournament back in Macau but failed to book any success there. He had his eyes on this EPT because he could combine it with studying and his other big hobby: soccer. He is a goalkeeper for local Zeeland team Noormannen 1. Van Alphen lives in Westkapelle and is supported here by his girlfriend.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in European Poker Tour