Sampo Ryynanen is a 23-year old professional poker player from Finland. He has been playing poker for seven years and has been a professional for the last three. His favourite game is actually Heads-Up Pot-Limit Omaha and this is only his second WPT main event, and his first-cash. Ryynanen's biggest live cash to date was $68,296 for a third place at the 2011 Unibet Open held in this very venue.
Ryynanen's favourite player is Phil Hellmuth, and so he would have been overjoyed to have sat next to him in the earlier stages of this tournament. The Fin was one of the quietest players when we moved to a preliminary final table of 10, but did wake up and find pocket aces to eliminate Jack Salter in eight place to give him the cushion needed to cruise to the final table.
Jackson Genovesi will start the final table as chip leader, a title he has held throughout this tournament ever since he entered on Day 1b. The 27-year old poker pro of three years has kept his table mates, the rail and the live reporting team entertained with his witty banter and his willingness to play many pots.
Genovesi lists the online phenom Chris Oliver as his favourite player and that could explain his loose style of play and the fact he is not scared to get his chips into the middle. In his career so far, Genovesi has $120,448 in live tournament winnings, the bulk of which came from his win in the 2010 Poker Grand Prix in Saint Vincent that netted him $63,936.
It should be very interesting to see his starting hand requirements once the live stream kicks off.
Alessio Isaia is no stranger to the World Poker Tour having a handful of cashes and even an outright win in the WPT Venice Main Event in 2011, a result that netted him a career-best $518,382. Isaia resides in Rome where he plays poker for a living, a profession he has maintained for six years.
During the final stages of WPT Malta, Isaia has been playing a rather tight style of poker, something that you do not usually see from him, but that may be partly down to the fact he has never really had the chips available to make any moves. Keep an eye out for boards that jack-ten connects with as this is Isaia's favourite hand.
Today is Isaia's birthday and everyone at World Poker Tour would like to wish him a happy and profitable birthday!
Hui Chen Kuo, also known as “Kitty”, is a 26-year old professional poker player who hails from Taiwan. Kuo is the first woman to reach a European World Poker Tour final table since Cecilia Pesaglini finished second in the very event last year in Season X. Kuo has played poker for four years and has been a pro for two of those.
Kuo has not put a foot wrong in this tournament and is certainly on the six-handed final table on merit. Although she lists her favourite player as being Gus Hansen she does not play in a similar style but she has shown she is not afraid to mix it up and take on the men; she even took on Tony G in a verbal war (and came out on top) yesterday.
Kuo's largest cash tops the scales at HK$557,230 (US$71,899) which she was awarded for winning the 2009 PokerStars Macau Poker Cup.