UKIPT4 Isle of Man 2: Final Table Profiles
Seat 1 - Marc Radgen, Germany, PokerStars Qualifier - 743,000
Marc Radgen is a 24 year old professional poker player from Frankfurt, Germany. He started playing poker in 2006 with friends in home games, but moved to the online felt where he likes to play hyper-turbo tournaments. Radgen has played a few UKIPT events and enjoys them - this one especially as it marks his first cash on the tour, although he has a €17,500 cash under his belt from EPT Berlin in 2012 and would jump back into EPT waters in London next week should he win this event. Oddly, Radgen's made the final table with Isle of Man room-mate Josh Hart, with whom he may have shared his strategy for the final: win flips.
Seat 2 - David Hill, Isle of Man, PokerStars Qualifier - 1,029,000
David Hill has played - and been enthusiastic about - poker for so long that the exact year of his introduction to the game is hazy, but the Isle of Man resident has only ever played one other big live event - this tournament last year. Hotel manager Hill, 43, used to run the cardroom at the Palace Casino down the road from the Villa Marina, and now plays occasionally both live and online, where STTs are his usual game. Hill won two seats to the UKIPT Isle of Man Main Event and has taken a day-by-day approach, saying that simply getting through the day was the plan each day. As for what he would do with top prize money, he simply says, "I'm not thinking that far ahead!"
Seat 3 - Josh Hart, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player - 1,167,000
The other occupant of the Isle of Man hotel room hosting Marc Radgen is 24 year old Josh Hart, who also came to poker through home games (starting in 2007) and also turned pro specialising in the online version of the game. He has played several UKIPTs but none for two years as he'd moved to Malta - but now back in the UK, he's made a beeline for the Isle of Man where he intends to "just take it as it comes" on the final table. EPT London is also on Hart's radar should he take down the £65,900 top prize tomorrow.
Seat 4 - Josef Snejberg, Czech Republic, PokerStars Player - 1,561,000
Josef Snejberg is a 24 year old poker player from Prague in the Czech Republic. He has been playing poker for about four years, focusing mainly on tournaments online. The Isle of Man event is only his second ever UKIPT, but he will enter the final table as the chip leader. Snejberg's previous best live result was a 4th place finish in the Eureka Mini at EPT Prague last year where he won €11,000.
Snejberg felt that the tournament had been fairly easy early on but had gotten progressively harder. He isn't too happy about his seat draw with Ludovic Geilich on his left, calling the Scot, "crazy aggressive."
Seat 5 - Ludovic Geilich, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier - 1,063,000
Ludovic Geilich, 27, burst on to the UK live poker scene last year after a couple of cashes pre-2009, taking the UKIPT - and EPT - by surprise with his uniquely aggressive style of play. His biggest results came in the Estrellas/UKIPT Main Event last year, where he won €130,000 for taking the event down, and at EPT London where he made the final of the Main Event, bagging £193,340. A chant of "Lu-do" became commonplace at the Connaught Rooms in London last year, as the half-German, half-Scottish player progressed with a rail as enthusiastic as he is.
Day 3 of the UKIPT Isle of Man Main Event saw Geilich climb from second-shortest stack to near-even with the other four chip-millionaires on the final table, and will be a tough contender for a second title tomorrow.
Seat 6 - Fintan Gavin, Ireland, PokerStars Player - 1,148,000
Fintan Gavin is a 46 year old events manager from Galway, Ireland. He's been playing poker for a long time all over Europe, live tournaments being his speciality. His biggest cash is €792,000 for finishing 2nd at the 2008 Barcelona EPT, although he also has a UKIPT title on his resume, having won UKIPT Edinburgh in 2011. Were he to win the tournament, he said he'd "open up the post and pay off all the bills."
Gavin really enjoys the UKIPT as, "the atmosphere is really special, the dealers are great and there's a real buzz about the place." As for his strategy for tomorrow, he said, "These guys are experts, I'll have to up my aggression levels and play more hands to stand a chance."
Seat 7 - Ciaran Heaney, Ireland, PokerStars Qualifier 589,000
This represents lead IT engineer Ciaran Heaney's second UKIPT Main Event final table, after he came 8th for £11,060 at UKIPT4 Edinburgh back in January this year. "I learned a lot from finalling Edinburgh," he said, "it was good experience. Here I've got to play Eugene Katchalov and Willie Tann - it's been tough in certain spots." He said of his run to the final that he didn't suffer the yo-yo stack effect some of his opponents did, and has not been all-in yet for his tournament life. Back in January, Heaney's regular game was a small Wednesday league in Omagh, but his regular tournament days may soon be over as his wife is eight months pregnant.
As for this final, Heaney said his strategy has so far been "more of picking small pots than monster ones" and if he can continue without tournament life-risking showdowns, he could stand to win more than six times his biggest prior cash.
Seat 8 - Thomas Ward, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier - 544,000
Thomas Ward is a 28 year old professional poker player from Aberdeen. He's been playing for 10 years; he first started playing with his friends for £1 coins, but soon became involved in the casino scene and four years ago he went pro. The UKIPT has been a particularly happy hunting ground for him, this being a record twelfth cash for Ward on the tour, his best performance a runner-up spot at the 2013 London UKIPT worth £116,845.
Ward prefers Live MTTs, as online poker feels too much like a job. Were he to win the Isle of Man Main Event he told us, "I would continue to feed myself, play more tournaments and add to the bankroll." He finds the UKIPT "loads of fun, with loads of really cool people. Everyone's really friendly and enthusiastic. You can go outside for a cigarette, talk to a random person and make a really good friend." Ward will be adapting his strategy tomorrow. "I'm shortstacked versus some very competent players so I'll be looking to find a good spot with a good hand. That's the plan."