EPT Tallinn: Final table player profiles
The final eight of EPT Tallinn are as follows. They will play down to a winner on Sunday in the Swissotel, Estonia. First prize is €275,000.
A list of player who have already cashed can be found on the prizewinners' page. Keep track of the progress of the final table by following PokerStars Blog's live updates and chip counts.
EPT Tallinn final table player profiles
Seat 1: Grzegorz Cichocki, 38, Poland - 2,059,000
Cichocki has loved card games since childhood but only took up poker in 2005 after watching it on television. He is now a full-time professional playing live no limit hold 'em tournaments around Europe. He has played numerous EPTs but this is by far his best live result to date. His best cash before now was runner-up in a €700 side event at the first EPT San Remo in Season 4 but he also went deep at EPT Vilamoura last season and cashed in the EPT Grand Final in Madrid in May for €25,000.
Seat 2: Raigo Aasmaa, 23, Estonia - 904,000
Known online as "hotcocacola", Aasmaa is a former IT consultant who started playing poker online in 2008 and then live tournaments the following summer. He turned professional in December 2009. At live events, he likes playing no limit hold 'em and pot limit Omaha and favours multi-table deep stack events. Online he specialises in low-stakes PLO heads-up cash games. Making the EPT Tallinn final table is by far his best live cash; prior to now, his biggest result was taking down the Latvian leg of the Baltic Hold 'em series in Riga last February for €7,200. He was runner-up in the Estonian Championship of Online Poker Main Event last November and third in the Estonian Poker Championship last January.
Seat 3: Jani Sointula, Finland - 769,000
Sointula is a familiar figure on the world poker circuit, and not just for his mane of blond hair that stretches down his back, which he has been growing since 2003. He also has a tournament resume going back more than eight years, with significant results from around the world. His first cash, and first tournament win, came here in 2003, the year he took up the game. A little more than a year later, after playing the first ever EPT in Barcelona, Sointula made his breakthrough, winning the Monte Carlo Millions, with more results following. He finished runner-up in the 2006 WPT Paris main event and last season came second in the EPT London High Roller. To date he has nearly $1.8 million in live tournament winnings. Nevertheless, this is Sointula's first EPT main event final.
Seat 4: Stuart Fox, 32, UK - PokerStars qualifier - 514,000
Fox is a well-known poker professional in his home country and has been playing for eight years. Away from the live tournament circuit, he plays heads-up no limit hold 'em cash games and tournaments online. He says EPT Tallinn has been a real grind, with his stack always seemingly hovering between ten and twenty big blinds. He doesn't have any specific poker goals except to earn as much money as possible and keep his bankroll at a level where he can continue to play comfortably.
Seat 5: Arvi Vainionkulma, 21, Finland - 258,000
Vainionkulma, an economics student, is heading for the biggest live cash of his career in Tallinn - and is already freerolling after winning the last longer contest run by Skrill, the Official Payment Provider Sponsor of EPT Season 8. Prior to EPT Tallinn, Vainionkulma's biggest win in a live event was €8,192 for making the final table of the €2k Midnight Sun tourney in Helsinki in June. He also final-tabled a €1k side event at the Irish Open in April. He says he's happy to have made the final but disappointed that he's now the short-stack after losing a giant pot to Grzegorz Cichocki on the penultimate hand of the day.
Seat 6: Sami Kelopuro, 24, Finland - 1,325,000
Over the past five years, Sami Kelopuro has built a reputation as one of the most fearless high-stakes online cash players, featuring regularly at all the biggest games on the net. In recent months he has also been focusing on his tournament game, with startling results. Kelopuro cashed in 12th at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo last April at the start of a huge hot streak. He won the SCOOP Main Event on PokerStars in May for more than half a million dollars, then went to Vegas and finished runner up in the $10,000 pot limit Omaha championship event at the World Series, earning another $500,000. His six registered live cashes, including 12th at EPT San Remo on season six, are all for more than $30,000. This is his first EPT final table.
Seat 7: Erlend Melsom, 23, Norway - PokerStars qualifier - 326,000
Melsom, who won his seat to EPT Tallinn via PokerStars' steps satellites, has been playing poker ever since he left school. He has been playing live, on and off, since he began his career but this will be his only significant live cash to date and he hasn't played an EPT for more than two years. Melsom plays most of his poker online, where his screen name is Sir_Winalot9. One of Melsom's biggest achievements to date was snagging a SCOOP bracelet in the high-stakes version of event #11 ($2,100 PLO Heads-Up) in May. Overall, he has won more than $1 million playing online.
Seat 8: Ronny Kaiser, 21, Bern, Switzerland - 2,394,000
Kaiser started playing poker online when he was 18, focusing on multi-table tournaments and pot limit Omaha cash games, and doing well from the start. He built up a significant bankroll and then switched his attention to live Omaha cash games. Kaiser is now considered one of the biggest Omaha cash game players in Europe and is a regular at the €100-€200 games in Austrian casinos alongside fellow Swiss professional Anton Allemann and the Austrian player Nikolaus Jedlicka. He is also close friends with the German professional Benny Spindler and the two attend numerous EPT events together. Kaiser has several notable cashes at European live events including 20th place in San Remo on season six for €30,000.