Seat 1: Michael Feil, 27, Munich, Germany – PokerStars player – 3,305,000
Feil considers himself as an “interim” professional player. He finished University last year and is now trying to get a job in engineering. In the meantime, he is playing poker full time, mainly online. Feil plays cash games Monday to Saturday, but on Sunday he focuses on the major MTTs on PokerStars. His biggest cash so far was for around $19k, which means that making this final table has already given him the best result of his career. He has played a few EPTs – in Vienna and Prague – and will buy in to the EPT Main Event here in Malta only if he makes it to the top three in the IPT.
Seat 2: Frederik Reusch, 25, Hamburg, Germany – PokerStars player – 4,730,000
By making the IPT final table, twenty-five-year-old Frederik Reusch has already secured the biggest cash of his career. Before now, his biggest score came in Rozvadov, where he took down the Poker Belgique Masters for €18k. Reusch is currently in his final year of a Masters degree in Economics and that’s why he won’t be playing the EPT Main Event: he has to travel back home to Hamburg for an exam. Reusch plays poker both live and online and both cash games and tournaments. Reusch is enjoying support from his friends who are cheering him on via text messages.
Seat 3: Nicolino di Carlo, 28, Isola Gran Sasso, Teramo, Italy – 2,585,000
Di Carlo is a poker pro who has been playing for the last six years, mainly online cash games. His biggest online result to date was €46k in a 2011 tourney. Last September he finished tenth in the IPT Sanremo Main Event for €6k – so he has just surpassed that achievement by making tomorrow’s Malta final – however his best live result came at EPT7 Sanremo when he finished 27th for €22,500. Di Carlo studied maths at university but dropped out after two years to focus on poker; he also played pool as a semi-professional but had to abandon that pursuit also. He is getting married in October; his fiancée is actually now working as his manager as he pursues his poker career.
Seat 4: Ezio Nisoli, 52, Verdellino, Burgamo, Italy – 1,960,000
Nisoli is a businessman who owns a bar and also a slot room. He only plays poker recreationally but is pretty involved in his local poker community where he is president of a Texas Hold’em club. He’s been playing poker since 2007 and mainly plays live. Nisoli has a passion for horses and racing. He was an amateur jockey for 12 years and owned his own stable of racehorses. His best result to date was winning a €300 NL event in Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt – an achievement he is extra proud of because it involved beating 2010 WSOP finalist Filippo Candio heads-up.
Seat 5: Julian Track, 31, from Berlin, Germany – PokerStars qualifier – 4,375,000
Back in December 2013, when Track won the EPT9 Prague Main Event for a life-changing €725,700, he said that – apart from the forthcoming Aussie Millions – he probably wouldn’t play any more live events because he preferred the quicker pace of online. True enough, he did vanish for a while but he played both the PCA and FPS Deauville this season and also final-tabled a €1k Omaha Hi/Lo side event during EPT Barcelona last August. He won his package to the IPT Malta Main Event back in in January in a €215 qualifier.
Seat 6: Jaroslaw “husajn54” Sikora, 27, Krakow, Poland – 7,600,000
Polish poker pro Jaroslaw Sikora was originally supposed to be in Thailand right now but, thanks to being unable to get a visa in time, he had to cancel that holiday and decided to visit a friend in Malta instead. He has no regrets now as he is chip leader going in to the final table of the IPT Main Event. Sikora took up poker around nine years ago – after seeing a Full Tilt advertisement online – and has been playing professionally for the last seven years, with his biggest result to date coming last October when he finished fourth in the PokerStars Sunday Million for $41,363. He only plays live events a few times a year and, so far, his results are more modest and include a min-cash in the Eureka €2k High Roller last December. He now guaranteed a lifetime best cash for making the IPT Malta final here.
Seat 7: Georgios “Zisimo7” Zisimopoulos, 26, Athens, Greece – 4,000,000
Zisimopoulos is a well-known Greek player and arguably the most experienced live tournament player at the table. He has been playing poker for around six years and is currently ranked #12 in Greece’s all time money list. Zisimopoulos, who graduated in Economics from Athens University, has a ton of EPT cashes including three runner-up finishes in side events in London, Berlin and Prague. Making the IPT Malta final table will take his live tournament winnings well over the €300k mark but that figure is dwarfed by his online winnings which total nearly $2 million and include winning a WCOOP Omaha event for $100k.
Seat 8: Georgi Abuladze, 26, Tallinn, Estonia – PokerStars qualifier – 2,645,000
Even though Abuladze is the current Estonian online champion, he says that “playing poker live is more fun of course!” and he says he’s made a few suck-outs to get this far. He started playing poker around five-six years ago but has been playing more seriously for the last 18 months. Online, he focuses on low to mid-stakes MTTs, and the Sunday majors. He won his seat for IPT Malta €55 qualifier in January. His biggest live cash to date was making the final 16 in the Eureka High Roller event in Prague for €10,600.