UKIPT Cork: Day 4. Meet the finalists
Seat 1: Fridjon Thordarson, Iceland (PokerStars Qualifier) - 336,000
Fridjon Thordarson was meant to be "partying in London" this weekend but reckons his friends might have extended this period to allow for his making the UKIPT Cork Main Event final table. This is, amazingly, only the 35 year old's second live tournament, his first being another UKIPT event in which he also ran deep. Having arrived nine-handed with a micro stack after doubling Rhys-Davies, two timely double-ups of his own leave him in contention once again.
Seat 2: Pascal Töngi, Germany (PokerStars Qualifier) - 289,000
Töngi, originally from Frankfurt, resides in Zug, Switzerland where he is studying for an Economics degree. He turns 22 on Wednesday, so making the final table here in Cork is an early birthday present for him. He's been playing poker for fun for the last three or four years. This is his first UKIPT and he has loved everything about it. Before this he has played some of the bigger live tournaments in Switzerland and has started to pay online recently. His plan for the final table is to try to double up early and see where it takes him. With this result he is planning on coming to play the next leg in London.
Seat 3: Pawel Keller, Poland (PokerStars Qualifier) - 1,524,000
Polish psychology student Keller, 26, is used to holding the chip lead here in Cork, having traded it with Thomas Finneran several times today. These two chip-laden finalists have not played against each other for more than half a level, but Keller is undaunted, saying, "I've felt confident with my decisions and tomorrow will just try to play my best." This final table represents Keller's best result on the UKIPT so far, but he already has his sights set on London next month - and possibly the EPT beyond that. He enjoys the UKIPT, saying that it's the "best tour for the buy-in that I can afford right now."
Seat 4: Thomas Finneran, Ireland - 1,415,000
Thomas Finneran has a whisker under chip leader Keller's stack and modestly admits that he's been "running pretty well, having won most flips" to get this far. The 35 year old from Galway is an experienced live MTT player who has cashed on the EPT as well as at several events in Ireland, but a win here would represent his second biggest result (he came 7th at the Irish Open in 2007 for €75,000). Finneran has been playing poker for 10 years, mainly live, although has an Omaha FTOPS win under his belt, too. He says overall he is "feeling confident" and hopes things go well on the final table.
Seat 5: Alex Rhys-Davies, Ireland (PokerStars Qualifier) - 457,000
Rhys-Davies is a local Cork lad who plays poker full time. The 21 year old has played only three UKIPTs and the furthest he has progressed was Day 2. His strategy when playing Cork was just to cash, which meant he played more cautiously and remained patient. Having made it past the bubble, he decided to continue this approach and is very confident now having made the final table. He plays most of his poker online and if he wins UKIPT Cork, the money will go towards his travelling plans for later this year.
Seat 6: Nicholas Newport, Ireland (PokerStars Player) - 195,000
Nicholas Newport is 24 and resides in Dublin. He's been playing poker for three years and regularly plays UKIPT tournaments, his best performance coming in Season 1 in Killarney where he finished 10th. His UKIPT Cork experience has been a long and tiring one as his adrenaline is preventing sleep, so he's hoping for a restful night before play restarts tomorrow. If he wins, he plans firstly to repay his backers with the rest of the money going into his account for another day at the tables.
Seat 7: Deborah Worley-Roberts, USA (PokerStars Qualifier) - 795,000
Worley-Roberts originates from California but moved to the UK 18 years ago and now calls Hove, near Brighton, home. When she's not playing at nearly every UKIPT stop she's busy running her own computer security company. Worley-Roberts discovered online poker back in 2005 and ventured into the live arena in 2009. She much prefers playing live as the social aspect of the game is a real draw for her. This is Worley-Roberts' only UKIPT cash to date but she did win £8,800 for finishing 5th in a £1k side event at the UKIPT Grand Final at the end of Season 2. She's comfortable with her stack size heading into the final table and she plans to pick her spots very wisely.
Seat 8: Stephen McGrath, United Kingdom - 610,000
This is not only the second UKIPT that Stephen has played but also the second time he has made a final table. His first UKIPT Main Event was Dublin last May where he was runner -up, winning €60,000. Residing in Liverpool where he is an auditor for DHL he much prefers to play poker live so he can assess the other players and get a feel for things. If he wins UKIPT Cork, he plans to go on holiday with the family.