UKIPT Galway: Final table player profiles
After four and a bit days' play, UKIPT Galway has reached a final table of eight.
The contenders are detailed below, and all prizewinners to date can be found on the prizewinner's page.
They play to a winner on Monday February 20, 2012.
Emmett Mullin, Ireland, PokerStars qualifier - 1,620,000
Emmett Mullin hails from Omagh in Northern Ireland and won his Galway seat in an $8 turbo rebuy satellite on PokerStars. The 26 year old says that this stop isn't his first UKIPT - he came 20th in Dublin in 2011 - and won't be his last. He has already qualified for the next leg in Nottingham in April.
Nick Abou Risk, Canada, PokerStars player - 627,000
What more can be said about soft-spoken golden boy of the UKIPT, Nick Abou Risk? The Canadian has already won two UKIPT Main Events, and regards making his third final table (from a field of 698) as "defending" his Galway title. He has racked up more than £100,000 in live tournament winnings from this tour alone.
Richard Haile, United Kingdom, PokerStars qualifier - 312,000
Richard Haile is no stranger to the UKIPT, having finished ninth on the season two leaderboard, cashing four times along the way. He qualified for this event in a $33 rebuy satellite but has been playing live (and racking up results) since 2008. Haile's hometown is Louth in Lincolnshire, but he's played all around the UK and Ireland as well as picking up €11,236 for a 10th place finish at a WSOP-E side event in Cannes last year.
Craig Burke, Ireland - 1,167,000
Craig Burke hails from Cork and alternates working as a plumber with periods of enthusiasm for poker. His appearances at the tables come "every few months, when I get the itch again." Burke won his seat in a live satellite here in Galway and has already bettered his previous highest placing on the UKIPT, which was 19th in Edinburgh in 2010. His best live result to date was €12,000 in Waterford the same year. Making the top seven in this event would overtake that record.
Joe Roberts, United Kingdom, PokerStars qualifier - 1,802,000
Joe Roberts played every stop on the UKIPT during season two - except Galway, the location this year for his first final table appearance. Roberts is a risk consultant by day, but has enjoyed both the atmosphere and social life in Galway as he has progressed through this tournament. He qualified online in a $33 (+ one re-buy) satellite and plans to play every stop this season having tasted victory in a Nottingham side event and now grown keen to take down his first Main Event.
John Willoughby, Ireland, PokerStars qualifier - 2,046,000
John Willoughby is a 21-year-old student from Dublin who qualified for the UKIPT Galway Main Event via a PokerStars $50 (+ 1 re-buy) satellite online. Although he doesn't play many live events, he has got a qualifier's eye on "a couple of EPTs..." This final table appearance represents his first foray into the deep stages of a live main event, although he has cashed in several disciplines including the Blind Man's Bluff World Championship in 2011.
Aleksandras Rusinovas, Lithuania, PokerStars qualifier - 877,000
Aleksandras Rusinovas qualified via a $33 satellite on PokerStars and is making his first UKIPT final table on his second attempt. (He finished 13th in Brighton on season one.) The Lithuanian student attends Mykolas Romeris University, where he studies psychology, but he plans to make it to Nottingham in April and further UKIPT legs if he does well in Galway.
Ronan Gilligan, Ireland, PokerStars qualifier - 1,556,000
Ronan Gilligan is the only Galway resident making the final table. He won three seats in online satellites and his progress here could help him better his highest result to date - a runner-up finish at UKIPT Dublin on season one, which was worth €43,400. He followed that result with a third place finish at WPT Dublin and is no stranger to the pressures of a live final. He is looking forward to a full season of UKIPT tournaments - especially the Irish events.