It’s final table day at EPT Sanremo. Here are more details about the last eight, and check out the video at the foot of the page for more information about the stories heading into the final table:
Seat 1: Jordan Westmorland, 23, Seattle, USA (living in Gold Coast, Australia) – PokerStars qualifier – 3,330,000 chips
Having been displaced from his native United States after Black Friday, Jordan “JWPRODIGY” Westmorland moved to Thailand and then to the Gold Coast in Australia to continue playing online. It’s been a profitable few years for Westmorland, who complemented his online play with regular visits to events in Macau, as well as tournaments on the APPT, ANZPT and WSOP APAC. But his live tournament cashes of $165,000 are dwarfed by his online results, now totalling close to $2m, including a triumph in the PokerStars Super Tuesday last August. Despite his globetrotting, this is his first visit to the EPT — and it’s been a breeze. He has been chip-leader for the past two days and takes a commanding stack to the final. Whatever happens, however, he won’t be able to extend the trip to Europe as he is due back in Australia for back-to-back weddings of close friends on the next two Saturdays. He won his trip to Sanremo in a PokerStars €530 qualifier.
Seat 2: Giacomo Fundaro, 27, Italy – 3,100,000 chips
Giacomo Fundaro has been playing poker for nearly six years and has career tournament cashes amounting to more than $650,000. He was the 2012 WPT El Jadida champion for $166,704, and runner-up the following year at WPT St. Maarten, where he cashed for $100,000. He has finished in the money in five IPT events including fifth in San Marino in 2010 for $37,000. His best EPT result before now was 27th at EPT8 Sanremo for €16,000. During the penultimate day of play, Fundaro noticed that every time he took a sip of his Coke or Fanta, he won the next showdown – so he plans to continue the “strategy” at tomorrow’s final. (Sanremo dentists take note.)
Seat 3: Emmanuel Pariset, 34, France – 1,940,000 chips
Emmanuel Pariset, a recreational player who is the manager of a business consultancy, began playing poker online in 2006 and soon after qualified for a small tournament in Edinburgh — at which point he immediately told his friends that he would become the World Champion by the age of 35. Despite the seemingly impossible ambition, and a couple of years out of poker, Pariset has applied himself to the game again recently and is assured the biggest win of his career (at least €53,100) for reaching the final table in Sanremo. It now gives him the bankroll to go to Las Vegas this summer and complete his journey to the top of the world. Typically Pariset is a cash game player — he is a regular at the Aviation Club in Paris — and he has been rewarded for his patience in this tournament. He was a short stack approaching the bubble, at which point he told the media that he was still confident of reaching the final, and has kept his promise after two days of tenacious grinding and a couple of big hands.
Seat 4: Bruno Stefanelli, 47, Scorrano, Italy – 1,335,000 chips
Stefanelli started playing poker in 1998 and was a Full Tilt Pro in 2007. The 47-year-old, who is known online as “falchetto777”, came to Sanremo with his friends Alessandro De Iaco and Gaetano Preite who have both had a fruitful time here. De Iaco, who won the Sunday Special High Roller last Sunday for €50,625, cashed in the IPT Sanremo Main Event and Preite was the IPT High Roller champion for €77,800. After Sanremo, all three will head to Monaco for the last stop of EPT Season 10. Stefanelli is a keen hunter and fisherman and has lifetime tournament winnings of nearly $340,000. Before today, his best live cash was $65,670.
Seat 5: Andreas Goeller, 31, South Tyrol, Italy – 2,320,000 chips
Although Goeller has a Teutonic-sounding name and speaks German, he is actually from the South Tyrol region in the Alps. He only has one recorded live cash to his name: winning a €270 satellite at the Torneo de Poker Nova Gorica 2010 for €2,200. Goeller, a CEO of an insurance company, competed at both EPT Berlin and Madrid but this is his first cash. He’s been playing poker for four years but only as a hobby. His girlfriend also played the main event but busted early and has been loyally railing him every since.
Seat 6: Andrea Benelli, 32, Prato, Tuscany, Italy – 2,085,000 chips
Andrea Benelli was one of the first Italians to make an impact on the European Poker Tour when he made the finals of EPT Warsaw and Deauville in Season 5. Those appearances were actually the second and third of four consecutive Main Event cashes, kicking off in London and finishing in Copenhagen (for a total of almost €300,000). Benelli then followed it up with a deep run in an EPT Dortmund side event a month later. He heads into the final fourth in chips with 2,085,000. He has already cashed twice in Sanremo earlier this month, in the IPT High Roller and in the IPT Main Event, and is now guaranteed at least €53,100 in the Main Event, a sum which will take him comfortably over the $1 million mark in live tournament winnings. His results include victory in the IPT Pro League in 2010, for a €72,000 prize.
Seat 7: Victoria Coren-Mitchell, 40, London, UK – Team PokerStars Pro – 910,000 chips
When Victoria Coren-Mitchell won EPT London in 2006, she was already well-known to poker fans for her appearances on the mould-breaking Late Night Poker show on Channel 4. She became the EPT’s first female champion on home turf – at her local casino “The Vic” in the heart of London – for a £500,000 payday. For many in the UK, she was (and still is) better known as a writer, TV presenter and journalist. The multi-talented Coren-Mitchell – who married British comedian David Mitchell last summer – has a huge fan base (250,000 Twitter followers) and is now aspiring to make history as the EPT’s first ever double champion. Her last big result before today was also in London when she finished sixth in the EPT8 London High Roller for £67,130. This season she was 20th in the same event. She also won the EPT8 Grand Final €5k Heads-Up tourney in 2012 for €58,900. Her live tournament winnings are now close to $1.8 million.
Seat 8: Andrija Martic, 25, Slavonski Brod Croatia – PokerStars player – 1,660,000 chips
Andrija Martic is a 25-year-old professional poker player who battles online at PokerStars under the name “cynicalfish”. Martic, who usually focuses on six-max sit-and-gos (buy-ins of $60+), might be best known for winning a Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP) title last year for $96,931.62, but has also final tabled the Sunday Million and won a Sunday $109 rebuy. This weekend is the first time he’s missed the big Sunday tournaments in two years, but he’s got good reason to skip them. “When I was second of 39 (players remaining) with a big chip lead I knew it wasn’t impossible to make the final table,” Martic said. As a player who’s reached Supernova status focusing on sit-and-gos, Martic is a very real threat and is in with a shout to become the first-ever Croatian EPT champion.
Full coverage of EPT Sanremo is on the main EPT Sanremo page. There’s hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top and feature pieces below. The €10,000 High Roller is also under way. Coverage of that is on the High Roller page.