The PokerStars.com European Poker Tour today released the names of the five finalists in the 'Best Overseas Player' category, another of the seven honors awarded as part of its upcoming EPT Awards ceremony in Barcelona on September 9th. The 'Best Overseas Player' category nominees are the five non-European players deemed to have made the greatest impact at events held during EPT's Season IV.
The five nominees in this category are:
● Tim Vance — American Tim Vance wrote his own unlikely tale at February's 2008 EPT Scandinavian Open in Copenhagen. Vance parlayed an online-qualifier's seat into a much bigger prize, walking away with the Copenhagen tourney's first prize of DKr 6,220,488, or over US $1.2 million. Vance topped a tough final that included Soren Jensen (the eventual runner-up), Rasmus Nielsen and Danny Ryan.
● Isaac Baron — American Isaac Baron ventured to Europe in the spring and made a strong late-season splash on the EPT. Baron came to the EPT's Italian stop in April, at San Remo, and walked away just missing the final table, finishing in 11th for €28,750. From there it was on to the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final, where Baron reached that final and then some, finally finishing in fourth for €589,000, or US $932,000.
● Raymond Rahme — South Africa's Raymond Rahme, the only African member of Team PokerStars Pro, found European events much to his liking. Like Isaac Baron, Rahme cashed at back-to-back events in April to close out the EPT's Season IV schedule – a 43rd-place showing at EPT San Reme for €9,600, followed by a 27-place finish at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo. Rahme's Monte Carlo run was worth €42,100.
● Danny Ryan — American Danny Ryan's tour of the Continent produced deep runs in back-to-back EPT events, assuring his place among this category's nominees. Ryan first made his presence felt at the 2008 EPT German Open in Dortmund, where he just missed the final, finishing 10th for €52,200. (Ryan took fourth in another German Open event a couple of days later as well.) Ryan moved on to the EPT Scandinavian Open a couple of weeks later and final-tabled it, collecting DKr 1,560,304 (about US $307,000) for his fifth-place finish.
● Mike McDonald – Canada's young Mike "timex" McDonald didn't wait long after turning legal age to prove that he was a for-real poker player. McDonald's first significant live-event cash was at EPT Prague, where he finished 14th for €20,200, but that was nothing compared to what would happen at the EPT German Open in Dortmund. McDonald triumphed in an exciting finale to collect €933,600 and record his first significant live title.
The EPT's panel of four expert judges will select the winner in this category. Those four judges are PokerNews' own Editor-in-Chief, John Caldwell, and three judges with strong EPT and/or PokerStars ties, Lee Jones, John Duthie and Victoria Cohen. PokerNews is the official media partner of the PokerStars.com EPT Awards.