So here we are, after five days of tense tournament action we are down to the final eight contenders for the title of WPT London champion. The UK’s inaugural WPT event has attracted some of the biggest and brightest stars in the world of poker including such poker gods as Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel and Tony G. But the real story of the week has been the outstanding performance of a host of PartyPoker’s very own online qualifiers and of course our PartyPoker.it Team Pro Giovanni Safina.
As we prepare for the final table Safina sits in the chip lead, as he has done for almost the entire event, just ahead of our two online qualifiers Fabian Quoss and Kristoffer Thorsson. The players will be battling away for the £273,783 first prize here at the Palm Beach Casino but before play got under way we were able to catch up with the final eight to get their thoughts on how they think the final table will pan out.
Read on to find out who our potential champion’s are and keep up-to-date with the final table progression at our live update page.
Giovanni Safina – 1,546,000
Chatty and always ready for a hug, this PartyPoker Team Pro qualified his way into the Premier League with only 100 euros. After a great run, he beat some of the best poker players in the world and got himself $160,000 and a place in the PartyPoker Team with Kara Scott, Mike Sexton, Dragan Galic and many others.
He has been steam rolling through the WPT London resisting Ivey, Schwartz and others with solid chip accumulation and some great poker. All of Italy will be hoping he can take down the trophy and become a legend of Italian poker.
Kristoffer Thorsson – 1,317,000
Quiet and concentrated, Kristoffer qualified with $800 through the PartyPoker global Promotion and became eligible to win a whopping half a million dollars and bringing his fellow qualifiers another half to chop. There is a lot of pressure on him but he is very confident about his play.
He has shown a fearless approach throughout this tournament and doesn’t appear to be intimidated by any of the big names he has faced. His approach and chip stack will make him a tough man to beat come the final.
Fabian Quoss – 1,068,000
Another PartyPoker qualifier, Quoss has already got a lot of experience – last year he won over $400,000 dollars in the WSOP $5k event. Fabian takes his game seriously and desperately wants to take this one down for his home country – Germany.
Quoss will be hoping to use the experience garnered by his deep run in the WSOP to secure a deep finish and a run at the title – provided he can find his way past the big stacks of Safina and Thorsson.
He is a capable and dangerous player and the other players in the tournament should be careful if Quoss can get a stack going as he could use it with great effect.
Saarisilta Mattsson – 805,000
Dangerous like all the Swedes, Saarisilta doesnt mess around – his poker base shows nice cashes and deep runs but this one would definitely bring him the big fame – the biggest result he has had so far was the 3rd place in the Lido International Dutch Open.
Mattsson, who likes to be called Nichlas is another player who isn’t afraid to use a few moves he has added to his poker armory during his years of playing. With an arsenal of poker weapons at his disposal, Mattsson won’t be rolling over for any of the players.
Jake Cody – 786,000
The winner of the EPT Deauville 2010 is on fire right now! After going super deep in the UKIPT Edinburgh just a few weeks ago, Jake has got to be an intimidating opponent at this Final Table.
Cody’s deep runs this year have already seen him experience an EPT final table so he won’t be fazed by the occasion here and is sure to be able to count on a number of close friends to support him as he makes his run at his 2nd big title of 2010.
Can he keep the run of English successes in poker going following a record-breaking World Series of Poker 2010 and his friend Toby Lewis’ recent capture of EPT Vilamoura?
Bruce Atkinson – 535,000
Robert or Elvis, as he likes to call himself, is an English poker pro and the President of the Poker Players Hall of Fame. When he is not at the table, he is at the mike, doing Elvis impressions.
We wonder if they bring him more money than poker – we doubt it as his winnings exceed an impressive $500,000. Atkinson has years of poker experience to draw on and as the oldest competitor at the final will be looking to showcase his talents in front of the crowd that is sure to be watching this prestigious occasion.
Sandiep Khosa – 397,000
Being a successful stock trader sure brings in a lot of money, so Sandiep wont worry about the cash but he sure would love to show off his new Tiffany bracelet to all of his friends.
Khosa looked down and out close to the final but made a late rally to give himself a shot at glory.
It would be incredible if he can pull off a win from his shortish stack but this being poker, anything is possible and we look forward to seeing how he implements his strategy.
Gareth Teatum – 387,000
This Englishman sure likes his Vegas – winner of the Bellagio Cup VI goes deep in almost every tournament he plays.
Often seen at the Wynn and the Rio, Gareth will exceed all the cashes in his career if he takes this one down. He had a good summer in Vegas, winning a competition at the Bellagio when his dad also finished third.
“I knocked him out,” said Teatum with a laugh. “He still lets me know about that from time to time.” This time Teatum won’t have to worry about knocking out a relative and can just concentrate on working his stack into a more challenging amount.