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NAPT Los Angeles final table player profiles

napt-thumb.jpgThe final table of NAPT Los Angeles will begin at 2pm at the Crystal Casino, Compton.

NAPT Los Angeles final table players

Seat 1: Jake Toole, 21, State College, PA


Jake Toole is a 21-year-old student from State College, Pennsylvania. A former tennis player at Penn State University, Toole credits friend and fellow Nittany Lion Andrew Gershenfeld for teaching him the game of poker. Toole has had considerable success online, but is still earning his stripes in the live arena. His biggest live cash to date is a $95,000 score in an EPT German Open side event in 2009. Chips: 1,975,000

Seat 2: Joe Tehan, 30, Las Vegas, NV


Joe Tehan was a poker-made millionaire by the age of 25. Born in Utica, New York, Tehan now resides in Las Vegas and plays poker professionally. Now 30, Tehan is engaged and plays golf in his spare time. Tehan owns a WPT title (Mandalay Bay, 2006), has 17 money-finishes at the WSOP and has earned more than $2.3 million tournament winnings throughout the course of his career. Chips: 1,907,000

Seat 3: Michael Binger, 33, Las Vegas, NV


Dr Michael Binger is a former physicist turned professional poker player. Born in Delray Beach, Florida, Binger now resides in Las Vegas, NV. Binger earned a PhD in theoretical physics from Stanford University in 2006. The 33-year-old has more than $6.5 million in career tournament earnings to his name - more than any other player at the final table - the bulk of which he earned for his third place finish at the 2006 WSOP Main Event ($4,123,310). Dr. Binger credited "Aliens" with teaching him how to play poker. Chips: 1,670,000

Seat 4: Anh Van Nguyen, Team PokerStars Pro, Toronto, Canada


Anh Van Nguyen is a Vietnamese-born, Canadian citizen, currently residing in Toronto. One of the newest members of Team PokerStars Canada, Nguyen was a poker dealer before turning pro several years ago. His nickname "Van Diesel," Nguyen polished his poker skills in local charity casinos in Toronto and underground clubs before taking his game mainstream. Nguyen has just under a million dollars in career tournament earnings to his name. When he was 13-years-old, Nguyen lied about his age to get a job at McDonalds where he worked until he was 16. Chips: 1,058,000

Seat 5: Jason Mercier, 24, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Team PokerStars Pro


EPT Title? Check. NAPT Title? Check. WSOP Bracelet? Check. Career earnings in excess of $5 million dollars? Check. Under 25? Check. Who are you left with? Team PokerStars USA Pro Jason Mercier. The guy is still paying a premium for car insurance, yet he's won enough money to buy his own car dealership. Or two. Mercier celebrated his 24th birthday this week in Los Angeles and is looking to gift himself with a $725,000 birthday present on Wednesday night. Mercier is a Florida native and grew up playing basketball competitively. A loyal Floridian, Mercier can often be seen rocking his #6 Miami Heat jersey around the poker room. Chips: 3,800,000

Seat 6: Al Grimes, 54, New York City, NY


At 54, Al Grimes is the elder statesman of the NAPT Los Angeles final table. Hailing from New York City, Grimes plays poker professionally, though his tournament resume is limited. Grimes' only known major live score was a sixth place finish in the 2010 Borgata Winter Open where he pocketed $115,000 and change. Grimes has his work cut out for him, entering the final table as the only player with fewer than a million in chips.
Chips: 982,000

Seat 7: Ray Henson, 32, Houston, TX


Born and raised in Houston, Ray Henson knows a thing or two about Texas hold 'em. The 32-year-old pro made a big splash in 2007, finishing 12th at the WSOP Main Event, earning $476,000 in prize money. Now guaranteed a minimum payout of $60,000, Henson is the newest member of the poker-millionaires club. "Rayzerr" is an avid sports fan and spends most of his free time with his kids. Chips: 3,268,000

Seat 8: Chris DeMaci, 27, Newport Beach, CA


Chris DeMaci is the overwhelming chip leader heading into Wednesday's final table with 6,283,000 in chips. DeMaci grabbed the chip lead near the end of Day 3 and hasn't relinquished it since. The 27-year-old professional poker player lives in Newport Beach, California. DeMaci has earned more than a million dollars playing online MTTs and $250,000 more playing live tournaments. DeMaci started playing poker with buddies in high school and was hooked after he saw the movie Rounders. DeMaci needs to finish sixth place or higher to best his largest live cash to date - a 2009 WSOP final table appearance where he collected $98,933 in prize money.
Chips: 6,283,000

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