EPT8 Monaco: Profiles of the eight main event finalists
Eight players remain in the PokerStars Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final, the last event of the tour's eighth season. After some long days at the tables the final gets under way today, broadcast on EPT Live, subject to a one hour delay. Play starts at 1.30pm (CET) meaning from 2.30pm you'll see all the action, including hole cards. You won't miss a thing.
As a useful reference, all the action will be detailed here on the PokerStars Blog, with colour features to enhance the experience. For now you can familiarise yourself with the players returning today, with details of each of them below...
The EPT Trophy
Seat 1: Rodrigo "caprioli" Caprioli, 31, Sao Paolo, Brazil - 2,945,000
Caprioli is a PokerStars SuperNova Elite who bought into this year's EPT Grand Final using Frequent Player Points - 850,000 of them. He has been playing poker since he was 12, and professionally since 2005. Having collected so many FPPs, Caprioli is in line for the same award bestowed upon Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Dario Minieri, a TAG Heuer watch, inscribed with the date he reached five million FPPS. Online, Caprioli mainly plays pot-limit Omaha cash games, while this is his fifth EPT and first EPT final table. He previously finished 16th at EPT London in Season 6, earning £19,000.
Seat 2: Bernard Guigon, 64, France - 4,900,000
Guigon is a pharmacist in Dakar, Senegal, and discovered draw poker in the 1980s where he was playing big cash games in the city. He switched to Texas hold'em three years ago but is no stranger to big buy-in events. He says poker is more than a hobby it's a passion, Guignon admitting to being highly competitive. His best performance to date was fourth in a €1,000 World Series of Poker Europe event in Cannes last year, worth €50,000.
Seat 3: Michael Dietrich, 28, London, Ontario - PokerStars qualifier - 1,550,000
Dietrich, a housing contractor, started playing poker while in his second year at the University of Western Ontario, playing home games with friends. A year later, he started playing online and now describes himself as a semi-professional player, while keeping his main job is in construction.
His best live result to date came online, in February 2011, earning $135,000. He qualified for the EPT Grand Final via a 25,000 FPP satellite on PokerStars which got him a seat into a 125,000 FPP satellite. He won that, earning his trip here. Dietrich says he prefers playing online to live as it's faster and he can play from home. For the last three years though he has mainly played tournaments. He has known fellow finalist Clayton Mozdzen for years and is pleased to see that he's also on the final table.
Seat 4: Sergio "genio-ps" Castelluccio, 36, Avellino, near Naples, Italy - 1,410,000
Sergio Castelluccio is a musician and former music teacher. He took up poker four years ago, saying; "I've always had a passion for games, like chess - also and too many video games." His best live result came on the PokerStars' Italian Poker Tour, where he won the San Remo Main Event in August 2010, earning €200,000. He also finished 16th in the EPT Grand Final three years ago collecting €64,000 - one of his first ever live events.
Castelluccio is an EPT regular but this is will be first EPT final table. He plays a lot online but mainly cash games "apart from the Sunday majors when I'm at home".
Seat 5: Mohsin "Chicagocards1" Charania, 27, Chicago, Illinois - 2,215,000
Charania discovered poker through friends while studying finance at the University of Illinois. Since then he's earned over $3.5 million playing online as "Chicagocards1" and more than $500,000 playing live tournaments. In 2010, Charania won Event #20 in the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker, where he plays as "sms9231". The victory earned him $380,364, the biggest prize of his online career.
Charania's first live cash came in 2008 in a $300 tournament at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. Since then he's racked up nine World Series cashes and six World Poker Tour scores, including the biggest payday of his career so far, a sixth-place finish at the 2010 World Poker Finals at Foxwoods Casino, good for $104,741.
Charania has one previous EPT cash, a €15,000, 46th-place run at EPT Deauville in February. Charania is already guaranteed the biggest result of his live career here in Monaco. Charania has spent the last two months traveling the live tournament circuit with close friend Faraz Jaka, who finished third in the 2012 PCA main event.
Seat 6: Daniel "Garnerus" Gomez, 28, Spain, PokerStars player, Supernova Elite - 2,665,000
Daniel is a professional poker player from Zaragoza who started playing online seven years ago and can now claim Supernova Elite status on PokerStars. Gomez is known as a high stakes cash game player, playing $5/$10 to $50/$100 limits, as well as the Sunday majors.
Gomez is a former chess champion and has a FIDE rating of 2230. His best live poker score to date was finishing fifth at the PokerStars-supported Estrellas Poker Tour event in Malaga last March, for €18,020. Other results include 23rd in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $2,000 no-limit event for $6,410 in January this year. For the past few months he's been living in Bournemouth on the South Coast of England.
Seat 7: Clayton "slammedfire" Mozdzen, 28, from Winnipeg, Canada - PokerStars qualifier - 1,430,000
Mozdzen won his seat to the Grand Final in a €33 rebuy satellite on PokerStars. A familiar face on the live scene, he already has one EPT final table under his belt; EPT Warsaw, in Season 6 where he finished sixth for the equivalent of roughly $80,000, his biggest live cash to date. He has nearly $300,000 in live tournament winnings, including €20,000 for 14th place at EPT Madrid last month.
Mozdzen has also cashed at EPT San Remo and EPT Tallinn as well as the World Series, and in the North American Poker Tour Uncasville. He also has cashes at events in his native Canada.
Mozdzen is a SuperNova on PokerStars, scoring his biggest result when he came tenth out of 2,144 players in a 2009 World Championship of Online Poker event for $75,000. Mozdzen is being supported at the Grand Final by his girlfriend Alexa. The couple have already visited Italy and will head for a romantic break in Paris after the event.
Seat 8: Lucille Cailly - 29, Paris, France, PokerStars Qualifier - 2,865,000
Cailly got her introduction to poker five years ago when her room-mates started playing weekly sit and goes in their shared living room. Perhaps indicating a natural-born poker ability, Lucille quickly found herself booking a last-minute flight to Las Vegas to get over a break-up.
Cailly dabbled in poker journalism, live-updating EPTs and WPTs while honing her skills online. In 2010, a series of multi-table tournament successes persuaded her to jump straight in and become a full time pro.
Since then Cailly has played mainly online, earning the respect of her French peers as a true "grinder" as well as earning some serious money. Cailly's best live result came at the now-defunct Cercle Wagram club in Paris, winning a €1,000 event worth €26,190. She has also cashed at the Deauville EPTs in both 2010 and 2012. A former epistemology student, Lucille lives in La Défense, near Paris.