Finland's tonzza82 Nabs $590,000 PokerStars Sunday Million Payday

Published on Mar 19th, 2012

Last weekend, Finland's gross domestic product received a shot in the arm thanks to an eight-way chop of the PokerStars Sunday Million, which was celebrating its sixth anniversary. With more than $6.7 million in the prize pool, Finnish poker player Toni tonzza82 Heinonen (pictured) booked a $590,000 payday, the largest of anyone in the colossal event, and officially landed in eighth place. He's quite proud of getting his native country back on the poker map and spilled his guts about his state of mind to PocketFives.

"When we made a deal, I had 35 big blinds and was not too deep," Heinonen told us when asked about the allure of striking a deal with seven other players. "$590,000 sounded pretty good when there were eight players left because second place would have paid a little over $600,000."

Heinonen's other major online cashes include a final table in the PokerStars $11 Rebuy for $6,200 in August and a $5,400 haul for taking third place in the PokerStars $30,000 Guaranteed on St. Patrick's Day.

Heinonen picked up his $500,000 cash badge by virtue of the Sunday Million chop and boasted that he was proud to bring one home for the Finnish poker community: "It was the biggest win by a Finnish player online recently, I think. Sami Kelopuro (pictured) got around $500,000 [for his SCOOP Main Event win]. I played very good poker in the Sixth Anniversary Sunday Million and didn't make any big mistakes."

The Sunday Million chopper stands at #18 in the PocketFives Sortable Poker Rankings for Finland, a leaderboard that features Chuck Bass at the top. What is the poker scene like in his native land? "It's difficult to say how many players play here for a living, but our poker scene is a little bit smaller than in other bigger countries," Heinonen shared. "We have one casino in Helsinki and it's very nice. There are a lot of regular players there, but on the weekends, it's a little different because there are a lot more people. I think nowadays Finnish players like playing Omaha much more than back in the day."

He's played online poker professionally for a couple of years now and has recently changed his poker lineup to include only MTTs. On his decision to turn to poker full-time, he recalled, "I think it's better than having a normal day job. Sometimes it can be really hard, but you can choose when you play and where you play. Before I started playing full-time, I had been working in different places like warehouses and also doing a few marketing things, which is what I studied."

Here's how the final nine looked in the Sixth Anniversary Sunday Million on PokerStars, the industry's largest online poker site:

1. slyfox151 - $480,761.38

2. blodders03 - $481,724.56 (Wayneo)

3. HesBluffingx - $552,972.89

4. Paars_Wit - $254,827.49

5. lalex-79 - $225,028.27

6. SASHA 2908 - $187,355.63

7. toode - $590,482.92 (tonzza82)

8. baadger - $239,269.62

9. orange6 - $53,296.56

In case you're wondering, Heinonen got started in poker after watching his friends play the game and also catching a few episodes of the World Poker Tour on television. He noted that he was always a fan of different varieties of games in general, so poker was a logical extension of his passion.

Visit PokerStars to see what's on deck this weekend. Also, be sure to check out our interview with U.K. poker player Wayneo, who finished in second place in the Sixth Anniversary Sunday Million for $481,000.


  1. so his backer dropped him before the SM score?

  2. Ha ha is funny

  3. Congrats!!!

  4. How much does 9th pay without the chop? Unless 53k is substantially more than the payout why does he chop?

  5. no he was backed in the sm so only takes 50% of the win

    Originally Posted by McBain74 View Post

    so his backer dropped him before the SM score?

    Yes and No, The stake was closing in MU, Even so the Milly wouldnt have been an option, I'm friends with Toni, He's a great guy and I couldn't be happier for him I knew he was going to bink something large, I wish him well

    Giddy Up!!!

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