High-stakes cash game pro and former #1-ranked player in the world Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro bested 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Damian Salas heads-up in this week’s $10K GGPoker Super MILLION$ to take home his first Super MILLION$ title and the $408,406 first-place prize.
Finland’s Kelopuro has proved to be a regular runner in the Super MILLION$, appearing in 32 out of the 36 times the tournament has taken place. This week marked the third time Kelopuro earned a trip to the final table however in his previous two attempts he had never finished higher than seventh place. The odds were stacked against him again this week as he entered the final table eighth in chips and facing off against a table full of poker’s toughest tournament players. In addition to Damian Salas, Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens, Adrian Mateos, and two-time Super MILLION$ champ Darren Elias all had eyes on this week’s top prize.
With just nine of the 202-entries left, Guillaume Nolet found himself slipping in the chip counts. The former Super MILLION$ winner started the day in the middle of the pack but nearly an hour into the final table, he had fewer than 20 big blinds. Nolet opened holding only to be three-bet by Stevens on the button with . Nolet four-bet jammed and Stevens called putting Nolet at risk. The flop came keeping Nolet in the lead. The was safe as well. But the hit the river giving Stevens a pair and sending Nolet out the door in ninth place for $51,051 sending his Super MILLION$ total earnings above $900,000.
Russia’s Aleksei Barkov had been grinding a short stack as well and six hands later, when it folded to him on the button, he put his final five big blinds in the middle with . Salas, in the small blind, made the call with the and the pair watched as the board ran out awarding the pot to Salas’ ace-high and eliminating Barkov in eighth place for $66,205.
Stevens had entered the day as the chip leader, but after losing some key hands his stack had dwindled down to roughly ten big blinds. From under the gun he shipped his remaining chips with . In the small blind, with slightly fewer chips, ‘dimiasg’ made the quick call with . The flop was giving ‘dimiasg’ top set and leaving Stevens looking for help. The turn left Stevens drawing dead to the river which allowed ‘dimiasg’ to double up. Stevens was left with less than a small blind, which he lost on the very next hand to Kelopuro. Stevens exited in seventh place for $85,857.
Four hands later it was Adrian Mateos’ turn to tangle with Kelopuro. In the cutoff, Kelopuro raised with . With fewer than ten big blinds, Mateos three-bet with his , leaving himself just a little over one big blind behind. The action folded back to Kelopuro who bet enough to put Mateos all-in and the three-time WSOP bracelet winner made the call. Kelopuro’s ace-king held through the board eliminating Mateos, who has played in every single edition of the Super MILLION$, in sixth place adding $111,342 to his $645,087 in previous Super MILLION$ earnings.
With five left, Kelopuro had a dominating chip lead as well as in the small blind. He opted to complete and Arsenii Malinov checked his option holding in the big blind. The gave Kelopuro a flopped full house and he led out with a min-bet. Malinov put in a raise and Kelopuro called. The action went check-check on the turn. Kelopuro put out a bet on the river and Malinov, after hitting bottom pair, shoved all-in representing a number of made hands, one of which could have been the straight flush. After taking a few extra seconds, Kelopuro made the call which ended Malinov’s tournament in fifth place for $144,393.
Roughly fifteen minutes later, Super MILLION$ satellite winner ‘dimiasg’ made their final move. From the button, they shipped their last nine big blinds in the middle with and was called by Salas in the big blind holding . The flop came which gave Salas some additional flush outs to win the hand. The turn was the which kept ‘dimiasg’ in the lead but increased Salas’ outs to include straight outs. The river was the , bringing in the flush for Salas and sending ‘dimiasg’ home in fourth place for $187,255 in their first appearance in the Super MILLION$.
Just ten minutes later, Darren Elias, who started the day third in chips, needed to win a flip to stay alive. From the button, Elias moved all-in for roughly 12 big blinds holding . In the small blind, Salas made the call with his . After Kelopuro folded the big blind, the flop came out keeping Elias in the lead. The turn changed all of that and in order to join Michael Addamo as the only three-time Super MILLION$ champions, he needed to hit one of the two remaining fours in the deck. However, the river was the eliminating Elias in third for $242,840 which, when added to his $1,086,055 in previous earnings, propels him into the top 5 of the Super MILLION$ all-time money list leaders.
After winning the hand, Salas took over the chip lead as the final two headed into heads-up play. Salas and Kelopuro passed the chip lead back and forth, eventually evening out the stacks. Then, in a critical hand, Kelopuro raised with the which prompted Salas to three-bet his . Kelopuro made the call and the flop came . Salas put out a small bet which Kelopuro called. The turn was the giving Salas a set and Kelopuro the nut straight. Salas then checked, and it was Kelopuro’s turn to put out a bet. Salas called and the river came the . Salas checked again to Kelopuro who, with less than a pot-sized bet behind, shoved. Salas tanked but eventually made the call. Kelopuro won the hand with his turned straight and took a commanding chip lead.
Five hands later, Kelopuro raised from the button with and Salas made the call with the . The flop came giving Salas top pair, but giving Kelopuro a dominating top-two. When checked to, Kelopuro min-bet the flop. Salas then min-raised and Kelopuro called. The turn was the and Salas put out another small bet. Kelopuro decided to ship all-in and Salas, after a few extra seconds, called with top pair drawing dead to the river. Salas’ runner-up finish earned him $314,924, the second-largest online score of his career while Kelopuro’s $408,406 first-place prize becomes the third-largest score of his prestigious online career.
Super MILLION$ Final Table Results (2/16)
1. Sami Kelopuro – $408,406
2. Damian Salas – $314,924
3. Darren Elias – $242,840
4. ‘dimiasg’ – $187,255
5. Arsenii Malinov – $144,393
6. Adrian Mateos – $111,342
7. Bert Stevens – $85,857
8. Aleksei Barkov – $66,205
9. Guillaume Nolet – $51,051