Benjamin Zamani is a 23 year-old, full-time poker pro who started playing poker in high school with his friends. He only plays only no-limit hold'em tournaments, but when he plays cash he likes to play pot-limit Omaha.
Zamani has had numerous wins online and has played around 50 live poker tournaments. His best result to date was coming tenth in a $5,000 WSOP tournament last year.
Former real estate developer Barry Shulman is putting together a run to remember. The CardPlayer Magazine entrepreneur took down the WSOP Europe main event back in October, beating Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu in an epic heads-up battle. The win landed Shulman a £801,603 payday, with son Jeff adding to the family coffers in November by coming 5th in the WSOP Main Event, worth a $1,953,452 payday.
Before London, Shulman's best result had been a victory in a side event at the Bellagio Five Diamond Classic in December of 2003, a cash worth $234,798.
Shulman enters the final table third place in chips with 6,805,000.
Gimbel won his seat into the PCA Main Event in a $1,000 live satellite the day before the tournament began. Moneywise, this is already his best result to date but he says he won a bunch of online tournaments and in June he took down the 2009 Florida State Poker Championships at Isle Casino in Pompano Beach for $67,860.
His most recent deep run online was snagging around $40,000 for a sixth-place finish in the PokerStars Sunday Million. If he manages to win the PCA, he will be the youngest ever champion in the tournament's seven year history.
He started playing poker when he was 13, tagging along to home games with his older brother. Gimbel had been planning to study business at the University of Alabama from September but he got sick in the first few weeks, reckoned he couldn't catch up and decided to focus full time on poker.
Tom Koral has been playing poker for over six years. Rumor has it he initially deposited $75 online and managed to turn that into six figures within a year. Koral hasn't looked back since, posting six straight winning years.
Koral currently has over $600,000 worth of live tournament winnings but the $201,300 he's guaranteed thus far at the PCA main event marks his best individual performance, surpassing the $126,120 he picked up for a second place finish at a WSOP circuit event in October of 2008.
Koral plays tournaments as a hobby and can often be found sitting at the Omaha Hi/Low or mixed games tables on PokerStars. Koral has said that his main goal in poker is to win a WSOP bracelet. Away from the table, Tom enjoys traveling and and playing golf.
Koral enters the final table with plenty of ammo -- 5,370,000 worth -- to make a serious run at the title.
Player bios courtesy of PokerStars
It might not be that warm in the Bahamas right now but in Norway, it's far colder; another good reason for Ravn to be here at the PCA and not back home in Narvik.
The 24-year-old IT consultant won his trip to the Bahamas in a $100 rebuy satellite on PokerStars and immediately set about selling a percentage of any winnings by posting up appeals on a Norwegian poker forum. He managed to sell 20% of himself over the Christmas holidays, including 2% to Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden who told him: "You had better make it count!" Now guaranteed to win at least $201,300, Ravn has certainly done that.
This is only his second major tournament. The first he played was a side event at EPT4 Copenhagen which he won for $40,000.
Ryan D'Angelo has been a professional poker player for three years. He is only the third player in WCOOP history to win two events in one series . D'Angelo won over $50,000 in an 8-game event and won almost $70,000 in a mixed PLH/PLO event, both at the 2009 WCOOP.
D'Angelo has played a few EPT events, but the PCA marks his first cash in a tournament with a $10,000 or higher buy-in. Prior to this event, D'Angelo's best live result came at the World Series of Poker in 2008 where he came third in a $2,000 NLHE tournament, which was won by Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes.
"I've been running ridiculous," said D'Angelo. "Coin flips, hitting flops, everything. It's been up, up, up from day two."
Like nearly everyone at this year's PCA final table, Zachary Goldberg plays a lot of online poker; although not full time as he's currently studying finance at the University of Arizona.
He started playing poker at age 16 in home games with friends. He says he loves playing live tournaments although he prefers playing cash games when he's online. He bought in to the PCA through PokerStars and said it's the first time he has ever bought in directly into a major live event. He hasn't had any big live results, but came second in a $160 tourney with a $15,000 guarantee.
Day 6 has dawned at the PokerStars.net Caribbean Adventure, and the final table has finally arrived. A week ago, 1,529 players crammed into the spacious Imperial Ballroom to play for a treasure chest full of cash and the first NAPT trophy ever awarded. After a marathon six days of poker, just eight of them are still in contention for the $2.2 million first prize. Here's who's left and how they're stacked up to begin:
Seat 1: Zachary Goldberg (2,340,000)
Seat 2: Ryan D'Angelo (10,090,000)
Seat 3: Aage Ravn (1,600,000)
Seat 4: Tom Koral (5,370,000)
Seat 5: Harrison Gimbel (6,000,000)
Seat 6: Barry Shulman (6,805,000)
Seat 7: Benjamin Zamani (3,700,000)
Seat 8: Ty Reiman (9,350,000)
We'll post short bios of the final eight players in just a moment so you can get to know some of these guys a bit better.
Play is set to kick off at noon local time, but if history is any indication, it'll be a bit later than that before things get rolling. We're right here on the rail to bring you all of the action as it unfolds, so don't wander too far. We'll be back as soon as the cards go flying.