EPT London £50K Super High Roller Final Table Determined: Finger Leads

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EPT London £50K Super High Roller Final Table Determined: Finger Leads

Final table chip counts 
Martin Finger, 4,770,000 
Johannes Strassmann, 2,215,000 
Bill Perkins, 2,060,000 
David Benefield, 1,320,000 
Christoph Vogelsang, 1,220,000 
Timothy Adams, 1,140,000 
Tobias Reinkemeier, 850,000 
Patrik Antonius, 750,000

Seat 1: Patrik Antonius, Finland (745,000) 
Patrik Antonius is a professional poker player from Helsinki, Finland, currently living in Monte Carlo. He is known for winning the European Poker Tour Baden Main Event in 2005 as well as scoring numerous World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour money finishes. Antonius is also considered one of the best high-stakes online poker players in the world.

Born in 1980, Antonius started playing poker at a very young age with his friends. He was also a very promising tennis player, but suffered a severe back injury as a teenager and was out of the training for a year and a half. It was at that time when he started taking poker seriously playing $50 games with his buddies. When he turned 18, Antonius took his game to the local casino.

Although Antonius pursued his tennis career after the injury, a few years later he suffered another one and was forced to give up his dream of becoming a tennis superstar. In search of a new path in life he tried a number of other things including modeling, waiting tables, selling products door-to-door coaching tennis, but nothing caught up to him. Nothing except poker.

Antonius cashed in three European Poker Tour events one of which brought him the EPT title. In 2005 Antonius took down the EPT Baden €4,000 Main Event for the €288,180 first-place prize. He finished third at the EPT Barcelona Main Event that very same year collecting €117,000. His third EPT cash came only seven years later when Antonius finished fourth in the €98,500 8 Max Super High Roller Reload event at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo for €443,000.

The first time Antonius finished in the money at the World Series of Poker was in 2005. He cashed in total of three events that year collecting almost $21,000 in winnings. Then in 2006 he added another five cashes. His best result that year was the ninth-place finish at the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event for which Antonius collected just over $200,000. In 2007 he scored his best WSOP result to date finishing third in the $10,000 World Championship Pot-Limit Omaha for more than $300,000.

Antonius made another WSOP final table in 2008 placing seventh in the $10,000 World Championship Pot-Limit Hold'em for more than $120,000. Then in 2011 he scored a ninth-place finish at the WSOP Europe €10,000 Main Event in Cannes, France collecting €90,000.

Antonius begins today’s tournament as the short stack and will likely need to pick his spots carefully as the chip leader is seated to his direct left.

Seat 2: Martin Finger, Germany (4,740,000) 
Very few players have had as much success as Germany’s Martin Finger in the last three years. It all started in 2011 when he amassed $1,037,917 in tournament winnings, which included a win in the EPT8 Prague Main Event for $964,023 – his largest career score to date. He also finished runner-up in a €1,000 No Limit Hold’em side event at that year’s EPT Barcelona for $60,508.

In 2012 he added $326,862 to his lifetime total by finishing fourth in the World Poker Tour Prague €10,000 High Roller for $65,501 and 14th in the EPT Grand Final €25,000 8 Max High Roller for $79,215.

Finger has already amassed $1,030,630 this year, and of course he’ll add to that significantly here today as his position as chip leader has him primed to make a run at the top prize. Finger’s superb year began back in January when he finished runner-up in the 2013 Aussie Millions Poker Championships $1,100 NLHE Event for $168,912, and then he followed that up with a great summer at the World Series of Poker. It was there that he took 14th in the $111,111 One Drop High Roller for $251,549 and won his first gold bracelet in Event #21 $3,000 NLHE Six-Handed for $506,764.

Finger currently sits #51 on the Global Poker Index 300, but he’ll be jumping a few spots no matter where he finishes today.

Seat 3: Bill Perkins, USA (2,005,000) 
Bill Perkins, who rebought in this tournament, is an interesting character and it's certainly tough to label him. Venture capitalist, clean energy enthusiast, commodities trader, poker player, raconteur, political agitator? Perkins has worn all those hats and more, but perhaps the title of the tournament he's been playing in the last couple of days would be the most accurate for any future business cards: Bill Perkins, Super High Roller.

For his day job, Perkins, who is married with three children, runs private equity and venture capital company in Texas, with a wide portfolio of business interests and investments – including movie production.

As far as poker is concerned, Perkins is a regular face on the Super High Roller circuit and, what can you say, the guy loves to play for the big bucks. Perkins is a loose and fast kind of player. Poker isn't where he makes his money or rather he wasn't until he finished third in the WSOP One Drop for $1,965,163.

In this game Perkins would be considered one of the underdogs, but that may not be fair for the businessman and amateur poker player. He’s appeared on The Big Game where he tested his skills against the best in the world, and he is no stranger to big buy-in tournaments. It may be only a matter of time before Perkins captures a title, and it could very well happen today.

The EPT10 London £50,000 Super High Roller started Day 1 pulling together some of the biggest names of the poker world to play for the kind of money that most of us can only really dream of - £821,000 for the winner in a three-day tournament. See also the PokerStars blog interview with Perkins.

Seat 4: Tobias Reinkemeier, Germany (845,000) 
Tobias Reinkemeier is a German professional poker player best known for winning the Season 7 European Poker Tour Grand Final €25,000 High Roller Event for almost one million euros in prize money. A year later Reinkemeier finished runner-up in the €100,000 Super High Roller event at the EPT Grand Final collecting just over one million euros.

Born in 1987, Reinkemeier started playing poker back in 2006 as soon as he turned eighteen. He took off with an online $50 no-deposit bonus from a poker training site. Since then Reinkemeier had never deposited any of his own money on an online poker site.

It was at the EPT tables that Reinkemeier made a name for himself. His first live tournament cash came at the EPT Dortmund €500 Hohensyburg Open event. Reinkemeier won the tournament and took home €30,000 in prize money. Then in 2010 he scored the biggest win of his career by taking down the EPT Grand Final Monte Carlo €25,000 High Roller event for €956,000. Two years later he came back to Monte Carlo for the Grand Final and collected an even bigger cash prize. Reinkemeier placed second in the €100,000 Super High Roller and took home €1,064,000 in winnings.

In March of 2008, Reinkemeier won the €1,500 No-Limit Hold'em 2nd Chance event at the Vienna Spring Poker Festival taking home €30,500. Then in July he placed first in the €1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event at the VIP Days in Venlo, Netherlands for €27,000. In January, 2010 he final tabled the North American Poker Tour's PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 High Roller event. Reinkemeier ended up finishing the tournament in sixth place for $108,045. Then in September of the same year he reached the final table in another prestigious event, the Partouche Poker Tour's Main Event in Cannes, France. Reinkemeier placed eighth in that event for €130,700 in prize money. Two years later, in 2012 he finished second in the €10,000 High Roller 8 Max event at the GCOP II Vol. 4/6 event in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. He took home €93,000 in cash.

Before making a decision to drop out of school and concentrate on poker, Reinkemeier was studying economics at the university. Then in 2008 he opted to quit his studies and move to Malta together with his girlfriend, who also quit university at the same time. After living in Malta for a year, in 2009 Reinkemeier moved to London, England. In hindsight, all those decisions have turned out to be tremendously profitable.

Reinkemeier begins the day as the second shortest stack, though he does have position on two of the biggest stacks at the table.

Seat 5: Christoph Vogelsang, Germany (1,215,000) 
Chistoph Vogelsang, 28, Masters in Risk and Finance. Comes from Germany but has lived in London for a few years and studied for an MBA in Risk and Finance at the London School of Economics. He mainly plays online high stakes heads-up cash games and has just started playing six max. He’s never played a live tournament of this size before but, after watching EPT Super High Rollers on television, he thought he stood a good chance.

Obviously that proved true as he has not only made the final table but has a real chance of making a run at the title with a stack of 1.215 million, which is good enough for fifth at the final table.

Seat 6: David Benefield, USA (1,315,000) 
David Benefield, a 27-year-old who made his name in the online poker realm, is one of the hottest players in the world right now. Not only is he a member of the 2013 World Series of Poker November Nine as the short stack in the Main Event final table, he currently leads the EPT10 Player of the Year Race. He’s also fresh off a fifth-place finish in the EPT10 Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller, a performance that earned him €208,150.

Credited with creating the quad monitor set-up – a grind station system used by hundreds of online players nowadays – Benefield once posted a “Raptor Challenge” on Two Plus Two stating that he wanted to make enough money to buy a $1.4-million vacation home in Costa Rica, and while that may have been a dream of days gone by, he’ll be at least halfway there as he’s guaranteed $733,224 as a member of the November Nine.

Prior to this year, Benefield’s largest score was for $150,035 after finishing eighth in the €50,000 Majestic Super High Roller at the 2012 WSOP Europe. He also took sixth in the 2010 Event #17 $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $135,718. Other notable live accomplishments include 73rd in the 2008 WSOP Main Event for $77,200, 13th in the 2008 WSOP Event #1 $10,000 World Championship Pot-Limit Hold’em for $41,360 and 10th in Event #50: $10,000 World Championship Pot Limit Omaha for $53,721 the same year.

While things are going great for Benefield now, that wasn’t always the case for the former CardRunners instructor and member of the famed Ship It Holla Ballas. “For some reason, I am just not all that happy with what I am doing,” Benefield admitted in a blog post back in 2008. “I have made a ton of money, have set myself up for life, but can’t seem to get any fulfillment out of poker. I am working on some lifestyle changes, and they are coming along nicely.”

Among those lifestyle changes were eating healthfully, practicing yoga and moving to New Mexico to study philosophy and literature at St. John’s College. Benefield proceeded to announce his “retirement” from poker and two years later and transferred to Colombia University, where he is currently a part-time student studying Chinese and political science. While Benefield left the life of an online poker pro behind, he still traveled to the WSOP every year and as you know, while Benefield may have been done with poker, the game wasn’t done with him.

Seat 7: Timothy Adams, Canada (1,135,000) 
Timothy Adams is a Canadian professional poker player hailing from Burlington, Ontario who holds over $1.6 million in live tournament winnings to his name. Adams is also known for his online play under the name "Tim0thee".

Adams' live tournament results date back as far as 2007, but he found true glory during the summer of 2012 at the World Series of Poker. During that summer, Adams scored an impressive five cashes, one of which happened to be a victory and a WSOP bracelet. Adams conquered the field of Event 28: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em Four-Handed to clinch his first bracelet win and pocket over $392,000 in prize money.

Despite his WSOP bracelet being one of, if not the most prestigious items on Adams' live poker resume, his largest cash came earlier this year at the 2013 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final. Adams scored a fourth-place finish in the €100,000 Super High Roller which netted him €485,100 in prize money ($636,088) for the largest live tournament score of his life.

Adams made the final table of eight in the EPT10 Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller, but left empty handed in eighth place as he was that tournament’s bubble boy. No doubt Adams is happy to redeem himself here in London.

Seat 8: Johannes Strassmann, Germany (2,215,000) 
In the early years, German pro Johannes Strassmann was all over the EPT.

Between the EPT3 Grand Final in March 2007 and EPT Snowfest in Season 6 (March 2010), Johannes cashed in a total of nine events including three final tables and two ninth place finishes. His lifetime live tournament winnings exceed $1.1 million – and the vast majority of that comes from EPTs.

Since March 2010 however – when he finished third at EPT Snowfest for a career best cash of €166,000, Strassmann has been largely off the scene. Today he said he took a break from the live poker circuit for some “personal spiritual development”. He said: “I’ve actually been traveling a lot, all over ... Europe, Thailand and quite a long time in the US. My father is American and I have a huge family over there. He had five sisters, so I have lots and lots of cousins – there’s actually about 200 people in my American family.”

Strassmann hadn’t abandoned poker altogether however. He played the EPT Berlin High Roller last season and has also been playing high stakes cash games at casinos in the Czech Republic and online – “to make a living”.

He also went in to business, launching a German poker coaching site which subsequently failed. He said: “It’s OK. As an entrepreneur, you expect some ventures to fail.” Originally from Bonn but now living in Vienna, 28-year-old Strassmann plans to play more live events going forward – including EPT Prague in December, the PCA in January and the Grand Final.

He said: “I’m going to play the High Rollers and some Main Events – the fun ones!” He is also in the process of setting up Europe’s first ever €100,000 Heads-Up tourney in Prague in December.

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