FPS Deauville: Final table profiles
Seat 1 - Abdelkader Medjahed, 36, Val de Marne, near Paris, France - 3,800,000
Abdelkader Medjahed - who prefers to shorten his name to Kader, is a French pro from Thiais, in Val de Marne near Paris. After earning his baccalaureate and working in customer service for France Telecom and Quick, Medjahed decided to focus entirely on playing live poker. He discovered draw poker through his cousins, but - passionate about logic - he started playing the NLH & PLO cash tables and tournaments at the Cercle Cadet and the Aviation Club.
Kader only plays live because he finds it more fun. His tournament winnings include 19th at BPT Enghien in October for €3,280. Even though he has played numerous FPS tournaments, this is his first France Poker Series cash. He has already decided to reinvest a portion of his winnings by entering Day 1B of the EPT Main Event - and he's given the rest to his mother. His goal: to finish in the top 3!
Seat 2 - Felix Lambertz, 26, Germany - PokerStars qualifier - 11,150,000
Poker pro Felix Lambertz originally hails from Friesland but, like many German poker players, has relocated to Vienna, Austria. Lambertz has been playing poker since he turned 18 and although he loves both online and live poker, he prefers online because of the faster pace. As well as Hold'em, Lambertz also plays PLO and all variants of Omaha Hi / Lo NLO8, his favorite. Online, his best result was making the final of the PokerStars Sunday Million. He started today's FPS final table as chip leader.
Seat 3 - Yohan Figueiras, 23, Paris, France - PokerStars qualifier - 3,320,000
Figueiras, discovered online poker when he turned 18 and been playing professionally for several years now. He made his debut at the Cercle Cadet in Paris, mainly playing cash games at €2/€4 and €5/€5 limits. Since the club's closure, he has focused on online cash games and live tournaments. Known online as "Figo-75004", Figueiras qualified for FPS Deauville thanks to his runner-up place on the PokerStars.fr Leaderboard last November.
Online his results include runner-up in the SCOOP-01-L event, a €30 NL SuperKO for €9,546. This is the 23-year-old's third FPS Main Event; he finished 107th last year. He came to Normandy with a group of friends from his Circle Cadet days. Accustomed to playing tournaments with mid-stakes buy-ins, Figueiras plans to play the EPT if he does well today and hopefully attain his dream of going to Vegas for the World Series this summer.
Seat 4 - Anthony Apicella, 32, Corsica, France - 4,720,000
Bar manager Apicella discovered online poker ten years ago and, more recently, started playing live. He does not really consider himself a regular player, saying: "I play one or two tournaments per year, but I have good results". These include making the final table in a Partouche Poker Tour side event in 2010 and a deep run in a tourney in Marrakech. However, the €31,000 he is guaranteed here at the FPS Deauville final table will be far and away his best live cash to date.
Seat 5 - Ivan Luca - 23 years - Argentina - PokerStars player - 890,000
Argentinian online pro Ivan "Negriin" Luca has already been on a massive tear before reaching today's final table FPS in Deauville. Luca, an online legend in Latin America, decided a few months ago to really go for it on the international live circuit and fund the trips by qualifying online. In October he won the first of four $16k PCA packages and also a package for EPT Prague. Prague went well - He was runner-up in the €500 Deepstack Turbo NL for €12k and then third in the NL €4k Deepstack 4x4 for € 33,900. While hanging out at the Hilton Prague, he snagged himself an extra $3k LAPT Bahamas package. Luca - who finished fifth at LAPT Punte del Este in 2012 - had another great result at the PCA; 33rd in the $25k High Roller for $ 44,540. En route to Deauville, he squeezed in a detour to Cyrus where he picked up an extra €13k after cashing a pair of live events there. Online Negriin has had some big scores Including winning the PokerStars Super Tuesday in 2013 for $106,000 and the Sunday 500 last September for $80,000.
Pre-PCA, Luca said: "For an Argentinian to play the European tour is not easy - the distance is 11,000 to 14,000km, so the journey and the high travel make it hard to playin the most expensive buy-in tournaments. However, this year I decided to try playing the international circuit, beginning with online qualifiers to different tournaments. Fortunately I won packages for Prague, PCA and LAPT Bahamas."
Luca is here being railed by his girlfriend Constanza Lampropulos. She has been accompanying Luca on his recent trips and was herself runner-up in the PCA Women's Event.
Seat 6 - Anthony Picault, 38, France - 1,350,000
Living in Saint Brieuc, this Breton poker player started his poker life with five card poker 20 years ago. He's an amateur but he's played several tournaments on the European Poker Tour and this is his seventh FPS. His best live result to date was winning the Marrakech Poker Open at the Casino Es Saadi but he has also had some solid EPT cashes. Known as "TonyLeon22" online, Picault is an active member of the Club Poker community. For live tournaments, he usually travels with the same group of friends including Nateag, Max Dupont, Nicolas Le Floch, Mathieu Lamagnère, Romain Chauvassagne or mama913.
If he wins the FPS Main, he plans to play extra events at this summer's WSOP in Las Vegas (he always books his holidays around tournaments he wants to play). If he makes the top three today, he's going to party non-stop for the next three days; if he doesn't make the top three, he's going to play Day 1b of the EPT Main Event.
Seat 7 - Vincent Garat, 37, Paris, France - 1150000
Garat discovered poker seven years ago in tournaments at the Aviation Club and it's there that he's achieved his best results: sixth in the ClubPoker Deepstack in 2010 and winning a €300 tournament for more than €7,000. Vincent is now exclusively focused on live cash games and very rarely plays online. Also known as "VG78" in the ClubPoker forum, Garat bought in to the tournament on site, and has already achieved the best performance of his career.
Seat 8 - Nicolas Hamouni, 19, France - PokerStars qualifier - 7,865,000
Hamouni may be the youngest at the FPS Deauvill final table but he's an experienced player who has been dominating tourneys on .fr since he started playing. He splits his time between Annecy in France, where his parents live and he plays on .fr, with spells in nearby Geneva where he can play on .com. He describes himself as an amateur but one who competes in a lot of tournaments.
His best online result was making the final table of the Sunday Million and suffered a bad beat in a hand that would have given him the chip lead. He qualified for FPS Deauville for just €30 on PokerStars.fr and is aiming for his first six-figure cash. He said:"It's only my fourth live tournament so everything from now on is a bonus. I play to win but it will be tough because my position is difficult, with the big chipleader two seats to my left. I'll do my best with the great support of my friends who are here... and I appreciate all the messages from friends at home."