From a starting field of 1,107, the final eight contesting the big money at EPT Prague look like this. (Profiles are below.)
Final table line up: (standing, l-r) Simon Mattsson, Anton Bertilsson, Jonathan Wong, Fabio Sperling, Remi Castaignon; (sitting l-r): Miltiadis Kyriakides, Stephen Graner, Bjorn Wiesler.
Seat 1 – Anton Bertisson, 26, Stockholm, Sweden – 7,720,000 chips
Anton Bertisson is a professional poker player, who mostly plays pot limit Omaha cash games online. He has, however, also played at a number of EPT events and won two packages for the trip to Prague on PokerStars. He’s been playing poker since turning 18 and has never had another job. He lives with his girlfriend in Stockholm and loves watching and playing football.
Seat 2 – Simon Mattsson, 21, Stockholm, Sweden – 2,805,000 chips
Simon Mattsson has been playing poker for three years and has been a regular on the European Poker Tour for almost all of that time, making his first appearance during season nine. He mostly plays multi-table tournaments online, but has also cashed in EPT main events in Sanremo, Deauville, Barcelona and Prague, as well as numerous cashes in side events. When not playing poker he spends a lot of time watching sport, particularly ice hockey, and plays tennis with friends when there is time.
Seat 3 – Jonathan Wong, London, United Kingdom – 2,090,000 chips
Jonathan Wong is a 30-year-old cash-game pro from London who has been playing poker since 2006. After taking a a break from the game in 2010, he made his comeback at EPT Prague this week and has guaranteed his biggest ever lifetime tournament cash wherever he should finish, having eclipsed his biggest lifetime cash of €70,000 which came when he finished fourth in the Irish Open in 2006. But, the money jumps will not faze him as he’s played as high as $200/$400 cash games online. Sadly Jonathan’s father passed away in November and he plans to donate a portion of his winnings from this tournament to charity in his memory.
Seat 4 – Miltiadis Kyriakides, Athens, Greece – 1,920,000 chips
Miltiadis Kyriakides is an Omaha specialist, but has been playing on the European Poker Tour since season four and earned his first tournament cash in a £1,000 hold ’em side event at EPT London. Most of Kyriakides’ $720,000+ live tournament winnings have, however, come in his preferred four-card variant, and he was the Omaha player of the year during season nine, during which he won PLO tournaments at EPT Barcelona and EPT London, and made two other final tables. Originally from Cyprus, Kyriakides now lives in Athens and is fifth on the all time Greece money list. His biggest live cash came in Las Vegas this summer, where he finished third in the $10,000 PLO event at the World Series, earning $412,408. He won his seat at EPT Prague in a €320 deep-stacked hyper turbo satellite in October.
Seat 5 – Stephen Graner, Las Vegas, United States – 8,985,000 chips
Stephen Graner is a 26-year-old professional poker player, originally from Kailua, Hawaii, but who now lives in Las Vegas. After finishing sixth in the inaugural Millionaire Maker tournament at the World Series this summer – at $273,854, his biggest tournament score – Graner decided to explore a bit of Europe this autumn and included EPT Prague in his schedule. It was a wise choice: he has secured his first in-the-money finish outside of the United States and heads to the final table with a dominant chip lead. Should Graner place in the top two in this event, he will more than double his lifetime earnings from live tournaments, a total that currently stands at $676,642.
Seat 6 – Bjorn Wiesler, Germany – 3,065,000 chips
Bjorn Wiesler has played a few times on the European Poker Tour, but this is his first main event cash. It comes during the same week that he also made the money in the record-breaking €2,000 Eureka Prague high roller event, in which he won €3,730. He has far eclipsed that sum with his final table appearance in this tournament, and will add a minimum of €92,610 to his total live tournament winnings of more than $310,000.
Seat 7 – Remi Castaignon, Saint Aunix Lengros, France – 2,070,000 chips
Remi Castaignon has found a great way to celebrate his birthday this week – with the chance of becoming the second double champion on the European Poker Tour. Castaignon, who turned 31 yesterday, won €770,000 when he prevailed in Deauville during season nine. Castaignon, who hails from a tiny village in the Pyrenées, has had several cashes since his Deauville victory including a final table in a $500 event in Las Vegas last summer. He is in fine form this week, having also made the money in both the Eureka Main Event and Eureka High Roller in Prague.
Seat 8 – Fabio Sperling, Siegberg, Germany – 4,560,000 chips
This is Fabio Sperling’s second visit to a final table of a PokerStars-sponsored event; he won the Estrellas Poker Tour main event in Valencia in April, which earned him €77,000. Sperling originally comes from Siegberg in Germany but is now living in the seaside resort of Ramsgate in the United Kingdom, where he plays online. He finished second in the Sunday Million 8th Anniversary bonanza, and won his seat to this tournament in Prague via a €215 qualifier on PokerStars.