The shortest stack entering the final table is also the player least known. Still, Jim McCrink has plenty of tournament results on his record and it's no surprise he was able to maneuver his way to this final table.
Hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada, McCrink has over $575,000 in live tournament earnings. He has numerous cashes dating back to 2005, but only one over $100,000. That score came in 2010 when McCrink finished 62nd in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $138,285. By making the final table and the money here in the EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller, McCrink has already surpassed that and earned his largest cash ever.
In total, McCrink has 10 WSOP cashes, four cashes from the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and two World Poker Tour cashes. Those four cashes at PCA events amount to over $110,000. The largest of those came this year in January when McCrink took fifth in the $10,000 6-Max High Roller for just shy of $55,000.
McCrink is already on pace to have his best year ever on the felt, but he'll have some work to do here if he wants to climb the ladder at this stacked final table. McCrink may only have 500,000 in chips — the smallest amount coming into the final table — but he's never been one to panic all tournament long.
Ilari Sahamies is most commonly known as "Ziigmund," a high-stakes Finnish professional poker player known for frequenting the highest games in the world, especially online. Sahamies' specialty is both Pot-Limit Omaha and trash talking, which the latter you can often find in the chat box of an online poker room.
Sahamies first got into poker at age 15 when he reportedly hopped in a home game of another famous Finn, Patrik Antonius. From there, Sahamies began playing more and more live poker before transitioning into becoming an online phenom.
When it comes to Sahamies' online results, he's a cash game player, so there's not much to find. Still, Ziigmund is a fixture in the PokerNews Online Railbird Report, often winning or losing seven-figure sums.
As for his live game, Sahamies has $458,043 in live tournament earnings. His best year was in 2009. That year he recorded two big scores — the two largest of his live career. The first was in January when he took second in the Helsinki Freezeout Main Event for €125,126. The other was a sixth-place finish in the £20,000 EPT London High Roller for £74,000.
Sahamies will enter the final table bunched with with the five players all under 700,000 in chips. His stack sits at 685,000 to start the day and that puts him in fifth place on the leader board.
Talal Shakerchi is a European hedge fund manager from Surrey, England who was one of the 48 players to dip into the World Series of Poker $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. Although this Super High Roller is quite that buy-in, €50,000 is nothing to sneeze at and is the largest tournament ever held in Spain — it's also one of the largest in the world.
Shakerchi's hobby was chess prior to poker, but nowadays the wealthy businessman turns to poker in his downtime, often seen at only the largest, most marquee events on tour.
Dating back to 2007, Shakerchi has amassed over $700,000 in live tournament earnings not counting this result here that's set to increase that number. His previous best year was in 2008, but Shakerchi's already pocketed more prize money in 2012 when you factor in this score.
In 2008, Shakerchi took third place in the €10,000 Grand Prix De Paris for €157,320. That's quite an impressive result, but not as impressive as the €223,000 he won for taking down the €10,000 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Max Turbo High Roller a few months ago in May at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final.
Shakerchi will enter the final table sixth in chips with 670,000. He's already proven this year that he has the prowess to take on the best and win, but this event will be worth much more to Shakerchi if he's able to storm his way to the title.
Welcome back to the PokerNews coverage of the 2012 PokerStars.comEPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller. Today, the remaining eight players will battle it out for the title, the seven-figure first-place prize and the Shamballa bracelet.
Leading the way is Dan Smith, who's having himself an absolutely fantastic year on the felt. His chip lead only exemplifies the type of year he's having, which stands to get much better pending his result here today. Trailing not too far behind Smith is his good friend Mike "Timex" McDonald. JC Alvarado also boasts a big, seven-figure stack, but those three are the only players over a million in chips. Between them, they hold over 80% of the chips in play. None of the other five players have over 700,000.
Here's a look at how the final table stacks up going in:
Play kicks off at 1:00 PM local time and you can find all of the action right here on PokerNews. Stay tune for the kick off and the crowning of the first seven-figure champion of the EPT's Season 9!