Marc Goodwin is one of the best-known players in the UK with a poker career going back nearly two decades. His live tournament earnings amount to over $1.4 million.
A former double glazing window salesman, Goodwin turned pro after finishing third in the Monte Carlo Millions in 2005 for $325,000. He has had numerous successes since then and in 2008 won the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour Manchester tournament for £90,420.
He has played numerous EPTs and has cashed three times -– in Baden, Dublin and London. However, making the final table in Barcelona is his best EPT result to date. Marc is in the top 25 of the all-time money list for English poker players.
Toni Ojala has been playing poker for four years and has already had several notable successes in live events. He won the Finnish Championship last year for €136,800 and cashed three times at this summer’s WSOP including an 11th in the $1,000 event for $80,566. His tournament winnings to date total nearly $340,000. He has already cashed at three EPTs, but this is his first final table.
A professional player from Canada, Matt Lapossie has been a dominant force throughout this tournament at Casino Barcelona. After qualifying in an satellite on PokerStars, he steadily built a stack through day one and exploded on day two, ending as chip leader.
Supported throughout by his girlfriend Tamara, Lapossie has been a menace at the tables, impressing all with some massively accomplished and fiercely aggressive play.
This is his second EPT event and he spent much of day four on the featured table, where he'll return for the final third in chips.
Former student Carter Phillips has appeared regularly on the EPT since going deep in both San Remo and Monte Carlo last year, busting within sight of the bubble. Barcelona will be his biggest live cash, topping the €29,500 won earlier this month, chopping a €1,000 side event prior to EPT Barcelona.
He also narrowly missed a Latin American Poker Tour event final table, busting in 10th place in Vina Del Mar last January.
Those results, and his performance this week, demonstrate a development from online player, username “Bdybldngpkr,” to live tournaments. In the 10 months spent playing full time, Phillips has competed among the best in the game. “Online you play against the same people and get a feel for how they play,” he said. “Ninety percent of them might play full time. In EPTs there’s a mix of pros and recreational players. But I approach it the same way.”
Asa Smith is one of the UK's brightest young talents and currently on a tournament heater having strung four back-to-back cashes on the PokerStars European Poker Tour. This is the deepest that the young English professional poker player has gone however, and he could go all the way. A big score will add to the over $92,000 that Smith has already scooped in EPT tournaments since he cashed for $24,000 at the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
Smith usually plays mid-to-high-stakes cash games online and says that he plays full time “as long as you can count playing 15-20 hours a week as a job”. His biggest EPT cash to date was €25,000 in the €10,000 EPT Grand Final at Monte Carlo last season.
Santiago Terrazas runs a construction company in Madrid, but has been playing poker for the last ten years. He started off with the Spanish card game Mus and was a Spanish champion before taking up Texas Hold’em. He has had considerable successes in live events including finishing in 338th place in the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2007 for $39,000. He is a familiar figure in the Spanish poker community where he is usually known just as “Terrazas”.
Mihai Manole is a professional poker player and has been playing poker for the last six years. He lives in Bucharest, Romania and graduated in computer science last year. He plays both online and live -- cash and tournaments -- and has had a string of great results including second place at the Caribbean Poker Classic in 2007 for $145,500. He also made the final table of a WSOP event in 2008 for $155,000.
After just a few years of playing poker, Georgios Kapalas is now considered one of the best poker players in Greece. He is also the top Greek "Magic the Gathering" player with a lot of success in international tournaments.
The Athens, Greece native began playing poker in 2006 and at the end of that year, qualified online for a tournament in Austria. It was the beginning of his live poker career and his game improved rapidly.
Known as “gkap13” online, Kapalas has earned more than $200,000 from poker, including seventh place in a WSOP $1,500 event this summer for $97,000. He also recently won $35,000 online -- his biggest online cash. He has made two final tables in EPT side events -- the €2,000 events in Barcelona and Prague –- but this is his best EPT performance to date.