UKIPT4 Dublin: Final Table Profiles
Seat 1. Joeri Zandvliet, 25, Netherlands, PokerStars Qualifier - 1,310,000
Two-time UKIPT champion Joeri Zandvliet will be aiming for his third UKIPT title - a feat that no-one has yet achieved. An urban economic developer by trade, Zandvliet won UKIPT1 Manchester (the second ever UKIPT) and also UKIPT2 Dublin for a combined cash prize of $216,445. He is currently based in London, where he works in urban housing development. Zandvliet first started playing poker six or seven years ago in the canteen of his local football club, and although he does play online, he prefers the live game.
He says that he's really enjoyed UKIPT Dublin, with good people and good times all round - he adds that he has definitely had more than his fair share of fun while he's been here! Nevertheless Zandvliet is clearly a sensible guy - when asked what he would do if he had to spend the €87,700 first place money in 24 hours, he said he would invest it wisely in property.
Seat 2. Larry Ryan, 50, Tipperary, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier - 920,000
Larry Ryan's poker career began "many many years ago" when he used to play Five Card Draw. He owns his own business and plays poker recreationally - he prefers live poker to online, although he does enjoy one or two online sessions a week. When he does play online, he enjoys the satellites and has been pretty successful - three packages to the PCA and a trip to EPT Monte Carlo are just a few of his satellite successes.
His best live cash to date was a fifth place finish at EPT6 Prague for $202,320, and he recently cashed at the January PCA. Ryan has found the Round Room at The Mansion House a brilliant and lovely place to host a poker tournament. Ryan is a romantic at heart - when asked what he would do if he had to spend the €87,700 first place money in 24 hours, he said he would spend the lot on his wife.
Seat 3. Kevin Killeen, 24, Dublin, Ireland, PokerStars Player - 3,505,000
Online pro Kevin Killeen is our chip leader going into the final table after knocking out both Michael Naughton and Declan Barker in 11th and 10th places respectively. He mostly plays online, where he's a mid to high stakes tournament specialist - his biggest cash to date was $33,000 in the Sunday Second Chance on PokerStars. He's proving that his online skills translate nicely into the live game this week, though - currently he has almost a million chip advantage over his nearest rival. He has plans to move to Mexico later in the year where he intends to continue playing online for a living.
Seat 4. Christopher Wood, 30, Hartlepool, UK, PokerStars Qualifier - 650,000
Christopher Wood is no stranger to final tables - he finished second in the Irish Winter Festival here in Dublin back in 2008 for €106,000. Despite this, he regards himself as primarily a cash player - he started playing at home with friends before progressing to the online game and then from there moving on to live cash. He tries to go to all the UKIPTs and as many EPTs as he can, playing mostly cash games but also playing the tournaments when he satellites in. Wood is one of our shorter stacks going into the day, but his experience and track record mean that he cannot be discounted just yet.
Seat 5. Max Silver, 23, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player - 2,545,000
Max Silver has become something of a fixture at the UKIPT Dublin final table - he won this event in 2010, and then finished fourth in 2011. Silver has also racked up one more UKIPT final table appearance (sixth in Edinburgh in 2010) as well as one EPT final table (sixth at EPT Prague 2013) and a final table bubble spot at the PCA this January. Dublin has been extremely good to Silver - so much so that the native Londoner now calls the city home. Silver is not the only player at this final table who has been here before - Joeri Zandvliet shared the final table with him at both UKIPT Dublin and UKIPT Edinburgh, and the pair are about to do battle for a third time. Silver will be looking to even the score with Zandvliet and claim his second UKIPT victory
Seat 6. Ivan Tononi, 36, Italy - 435,000
Ivan Tononi originally hails from the small town of Bolzano in Italy, but has been living right here in Dublin for 14 years. A project manager for a Canadian company, Tononi works from home and plays poker recreationally. He is mostly an online player specialising in tournaments and heads-up cash, but he's also racked up some impressive live results including sixth place at the Irish Masters in 2010 for €23,500. Tononi goes into the final as the shortest stack at the table on little more than 10 big blinds, so he will be looking to double up as soon as possible when play resumes
Seat 7. Dirk Thijssen, 31, Isle of Man, Rational Group staff - 1,290,000
Dirk Thijssen is the last Rational Group staff member standing in this tournament - he is a product manager working on desktop and mobile software, improving the online playing experience for PokerStars players. He started playing poker 10 years ago after watching a poker show on TV, and played professionally for four years before getting a job with the Rational Group.
Although this is only his second live tournament (he usually prefers cash games), Dirk finished fourth in the UKIPT Isle Of Man High Roller for £6,600 last year. He thinks that UKIPT Dublin has been, "Awesome, amazing and extremely well organized," and says that if staff were allowed to play in more UKIPT events he most definitely would. When asked what he would do if he had to spend the €87,700 first place money in 24 hours, he said that he would spend it on a couple of Rolexes and some other luxury watches!
Seat 8. Robert Sturman, 25, Stockton-on-Tees - 2,695,000
Robert Sturman is a plasterer by trade and used to play poker online during his lunch breaks at work out of boredom - he says his coworkers used to laugh at him for it. They won't be laughing now though - he's second in chips going into the final after knocking out UKIPT3 leader board winner Tom Hall with aces against A-K, and despite his limited experience (his biggest live cash to date was for €400) he is in an excellent position to take a serious shot at the title. If he does go all the way and take home the €87,700 first prize, he intends to spend it sensibly - a house, a new van, and a holiday with his wife and their six year old child and four week old baby.