UKIPT London: Final table player profiles
Here's some more information on the eight players contesting today's UKIPT final table.
Seat 1: Guy Goossens, Belgium - 1,250,000
Belgian player Guy Goossens, 50, has a formidable live tournament record - of the past eight live events he's played, he's made the final table in six. He alternates live tournaments - mainly in Belgium - with high stakes online PLO cash games under the moniker 'jumbosmotos'. He owns Moto's Goossens which is a large motorbike shop near Antwerp but a passion for the game of poker has propelled him comfortably to the final table of the biggest live poker event in the UK capital.
Seat 2: Patrick Simcoe, United Kingdom (PokerStars Qualifier) - 1,234,000
Patrick Simcoe, 48, from Oxford, qualified for the UKIPT London Main Event for just £22. He started playing poker for 5p chips in a pub with friends, but has started taking the live game more seriously recently, making two final tables (and over £12,000) at Dusk Till Dawn in 2012. Simcoe, a manager for British Gas, admits he's got the bug and has been to Vegas three times during WSOP season. The UKIPT final represents the biggest cash of his poker career, but he says he still plays with his friends in the pub and would continue to do so should he win.
Seat 3: Chris Dowling, Ireland (PokerStars Player) - 2,262,000
Although Chris Dowling works in distribution and has a family to occupy his time, in his own words he plays a lot. That is backed up by the fact that this is the Irishman's third UKIPT final table. He'll be hoping to go better than the 6th and 7th places he achieved in Nottingham and Cork respectively in Season 2. When not travelling the tournament circuit his main game is pot-limit Omaha cash that he prefers to hold'em. He'll be followed by, amongst others, UKIPT3 Cork winner Thomas Finneran, whom he counts among his closest friends in poker.
Seat 4: Wim Neys, Belgium (PokerStars Qualifier) - 3,270,000
Wim Neys, better known as 'wejo13' online, bulldozed through Day 3 despite starting with one of the shorter stacks, and was the first to top a million chips after knocking out Jason Duval. Neys has keen supporters on the rail in the form of Team PokerStars Pros Christophe and Matthias De Meulder and although already successful on the virtual felt, a win here would represent his best live result - his biggest live prize (€25,650) was won last year in Valencia on the Estrellas Poker Tour where he finished 4th.
Seat 5: Cesar Garcia, Spain (PokerStars Qualifier) - 1,156,000
This is the first UKIPT Main Event for Cesar Garcia, a 23 year old professional poker player from Gran Canaria and he is very excited at having made the final table. He's had a good tournament so far, and he's feeling very confident. It may be his first UKIPT, however Garcia is a regular on the EPT circuit and with some success: he came 6th in EPT Berlin in Season 9. Garcia, following the final table, will also be playing the EPT Main Event.
Seat 6: Tom Ward, UK (PokerStars Qualifier) - 2,474,000
Tom Ward, a 26 year old professional poker player from Aberdeen, is a regular on the UKIPT circuit having qualified for all the Main Events this season except Cork. Although the long Day 1 was tough going mentally, he'd not been in much danger until just before making the final table. This will be his second UKIPT final table as he came 4th in UKIPT Edinburgh Season 2. He's had three cashes in Season 3 and when asked about his feelings on playing the final table, in which he has the second biggest stack, he said that he was feeling confident and excited.
Seat 7: Philippe Souki, UK - 2,402,000
Philippe Souki is the only one of the finalists who can really be called a local lad, his day job being playing cash right here at the Vic in the heart of London. Having recently graduated, Souki, 24, now plays almost exclusively live cash games - 'almost' because he could not resist a stab at the UKIPT taking place right on his doorstep. Although he doesn't want to pursue the tournament route even if he wins the title, he does want to win in order to top James Greenwood's performance at UKIPT3 Bristol (he came second). "I'm going to one-better him," he said, pointing to Greenwood on the rail.
Seat 8: Sergio Aido, Spain, 1,748,000
Sergio Aido started Day 3 as the chip leader and remained in amongst the biggest stacks while 41 players hit the rail. Aido, 24, is a professional poker player but has only recently started playing live. His results are, however, already impressive, including a 1st place at the WPT National Series in Barcelona last October worth €88,500. He is looking forward to the final which he notes will be interesting because all players have chips to play with.