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  1. Off to a hot start in 2014 is PocketFives member LarsLuzak(pictured), who is known in the real world as Sami Kelopuro. This Finnish poker pro has a final table in the Full Tilt Poker FTOPS Main Eventand a win in the site's $250,000 Guaranteed already this year for a combined $134,000. Additionally, he has one of the largest cashes ever recorded by a PocketFiver. We'll have more on that to come. --- Follow professional sports tipsters, make your own betting tips, and compete for real cash prizes. Tipdayis the ultimate sports tipping resource. Check it out. --- "It's always great to final table the right tournament," Kelopuro said of the FTOPS Main Event. "I wasn't doing well in any of the earlier FTOPS tournaments and finishing fifth in a lot of them wouldn't have paid much at all. Of course, it would've been great to go all the way and win it, but that's a good enough payday. I'll take what I can get." PocketFiver firaldo took down the FTOPS Main Event for $236,000 after a three-way chop. "I thought it was a sick field when there were about 30 players left and to my immediate right were Phil Galfond (pictured) and Mike timex McDonald," Kelopuro said of the field down the stretch in the $635 Re-Entry tournament. "Then, Phil busted and I had position on Mike all the way. There definitely weren't any very fishy plays toward the end." He bought into the FTOPS Main Event exactly once and said he was "running pretty well from the start. In general, I try to take advantage of the possibility of re-entries, play looser, and take chances, at least until I have a stack." Kelopuro officially banked $735,000 in 2011 after winning the PokerStars SCOOP High-Stakes Main Event, one of the largest scores you'll find for any PocketFiver. That score makes up nearly half of his tracked in the money finishes in tournaments and helped push him as high as #53 in the PocketFives Rankings. "I think a deeper structure is better for me," Kelopuro said of his success in larger tournaments. "I feel like I have more of an edge when it's not just pre-flop poker and there is room to play some. I've probably also been running well in the right tournaments, as luck is such a big factor, even after all these years." He added, "There aren't too many big tournaments running and I mostly play these big series, as I'm not too interested in the normal weekly tournaments. Last year until September, I played tournaments most Sundays, but then I realized it wasn't worth it. They have bad hours and even though I was running all right, it didn't pay enough per hour for me to keep doing it. I've always been more of a cash game player and there wasn't any downside for me to play just cash games." You can find him in $10/$20 and $25/$50 cash games nowadays and he was formerly active in the nosebleed stakes. "I tried to figure out how much I was getting from weekly tournaments and then decided to quit them when it seemed it was never going to pay more than $100 or $200 per hour; it's easy to make more from cash games." He explained, "I don't even need to play $10/$20 or higher. In fact, I think a good $2/$4 PLO player beats every single tournament player's win rate by multi-tabling and choosing games in a smart way. On top of that, you can make your own schedule; those games run all day long." Kelopuro got into poker in 2005 through friends who held home games. "I was immediately hooked and started playing online shortly thereafter," he said. His family was always approving of the Fin's poker exploits and, despite a stint in the military in 2007, he remained on top of his game. "By the time that was over," he said, "I was already winning big. At that point, it would have been time to think about schools to apply to, but I already had a career going in poker, so I stayed on that path." The Finland poker community is 522 members strong here on PocketFives. Its top 20 ranked players have combined for $43.4 million in winnings, including $3.9 million in the last three months. Kelopuro is its tenth-ranked player. FTOPS runs quarterly on Full Tilt Poker. If you don't already have a Full Tilt account, sign up through the links on PocketFives and make a deposit to get one free month of PocketFives MTT Training. You'll also get $25 free in most locations. Click here for PocketFives' Full Tilt Poker link. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. Last month, Finland's gifuhornawon the Full Tilt Sunday Major, defeating a field of 850 players en route to a $34,000 payday. The top 90 finished in the money and the final table consisted of three PocketFivers, including Jeff YoungSupremacy Hakim. We virtually traveled to balmy Finland to get the scoop on his latest claim to fame. "It's obviously nice to reach a final table in a Sunday tournament, but winning it makes me happy," the #28 player in the PocketFives Rankingstold us. "I had a pretty big stack when there were three tables left and tried to keep the pressure on against the other players. There weren't many aggressive players before the final table that I ran into, so it was kind of the perfect situation for me. When the final table started, I had a good stack and there were ups and downs, but finally I was the only one left." As we said at the top, Hakim, who was ranked as high as #17 on PocketFives in 2009, final tabled the Full Tilt Sunday Major as well and finished in seventh place. According to gifuhorna, "He could have been a bigger threat if he had a bigger stack, but he was short and forced to play push-fold. He was out pretty quickly at the final table." The other PocketFiver to make the final nine was England's Jables20, who took fourth. With $2.1 million in career online tournament earnings, the Fin now has the bankroll to play seemingly whatever he needs. He added that he has been hunting for a new apartment in downtown Ouluand will perhaps be speeding up that process after his latest Sunday Major win. In January, gifuhorna won the PokerStars Sunday $100 Rebuyfor $59,000 and 427 PLB Points, his largest cash to date. He final tabled the same tournament last October for $35,000 and when asked who the top MTT player is right now, gifuhorna responded, "I prefer Finns and PocketFivers, so LarsLuzak is a pretty good answer. I think there aren't many players who have an edge on him." LarsLuzak is one of 540 registered PocketFives members from Finland (pictured), about half of whom have PLB scores. The group has accounted for $45.7 million in total online tournament earnings, including $2.6 million in the last three months. Speaking of Finland, we wanted to ask gifuhorna where his screen name came from. What the heck is gifuhorna, anyway? If you search Google for "Sisu," which is a Finnish salt liquorish candy, you'll see that the logo actually looks like it says "Gifu." It's printed in Fraktur font and looks like something out of medieval times. What's next for gifuhorna? How about a six-figure payday? "It's special to get a five-figure score," he said, "but it's a dream to get a six-figure score, so that's next for me." If you don't already have a Full Tilt Poker account, sign up through the links on PocketFives to get $25 free and one free month of PocketFives Training when you make a deposit. Get started by clicking here. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. [caption width="640"] Finnish players have quietly put up great online results over the years.[/caption] Long gone are the days of Finland being in charge of all things online and live poker. The face of poker there, Patrik Antonius, stays below the radar these days and Fins making WSOP final tables are few and far between. The online presence remains healthy although the nation has taken a backseat to neighboring Sweden. The top-10 online rankings for Finland feature bright newcomers and grizzled veterans still crushing after all these years. At the top is ‘European,’ who had their breakout performance during the 2016 PokerStars WCOOP. ‘European’ notched a win in the WCOOP Super Tuesday and finished third in the $10,000 8-Max High Roller. Doing well in big buy-in events continues to be a trend for ‘European’ as they final tabled the 2017 SCOOP Main Event and recently took second place in the PokerStars High Roller Series $10,300 Progressive KO event for $110,281. ‘emeriaa’ tags in at the second position. In recent weeks, ‘emeriaa’ has had two results over 200 PLB points. On November 26, they finished fourth in the PokerStars Sunday High Roller for 241.57 points and two days later, they followed that performance up with a second-place result in the Sunday 500, adding 214.29 more. Filing in at #3 is Olli ‘OgSulttaani’ Ikonen. In the middle of November, Ikonen added to his over $5.3 million in online earnings by winning the PokerStars Fast Friday and took third in the Bounty Builder High Roller. The two results were worth over $17,000 to Ikonen. Right behind Ikonen by less than 40 points is ‘imsdurnk.’ This player ended the High Roller series on a high note by placing sixth in the $250,000 guaranteed Wrap Up for over $18,000 on December 6. Two days later, ‘imsdurnk’ made a run in the partypoker MILLIONS online event, placing 34th and earning 273.14 PLB points. ‘ketsemon’ made a splash on December 14 by winning the Hot $215. A few weeks prior to then, ‘ketsemon’ cashed fives times in the High Roller series and won the $2,100 Progressive KO Turbo MTT for 575.33 points along with $62,270. In sixth place is online legend Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro. A staple of the nosebleed world for almost 10 years, Kelopuro still plays online tournaments on occasion. Kelopuro primarily plays High Roller events with his last big run coming in the partypoker $50,000 guaranteed Super High Roller on November 26 for 175.47 points. Neck-and-neck for places #7 and #8 are‘sape89’ and ‘totaloser.’ Both are right above the 3,000 PLB point mark The last five-figure score for ‘sape89’ came on November 5 in the Sunday High Roller. For ‘totaloser,’ they took fourth in the partypoker Title Fight $500,000 guaranteed for $25,5250. ‘Fickle’ had a positive Sunday on December 17 with a bronze medal in the Sunday Cooldown for 177.54 points and $9,804. As volatile as rankings can be, ‘Fickle’ is less than 100 points from jumping up from #9 to #7. Closing out the top-10 is ‘gifuhorna.’ Standing in with over $3.2 million in earnings, ‘gifuhorna’ is playing lower stakes events these days perhaps awaiting the next big score. Finland's Current Top 10 RANKPLAYERPOINTS 1European5,256.39 2emeriaa4,599.04 3OgSulttaani4,297.32 4imsdurnk4,262.27 5ketsemon3,497.14 6LarsLuzak3,378.77 7sape893,079.04 8totaloser3,058.03 9Fickle3,011.77 10gifuhorna2,785.13
  4. The high stakes cash game world takes no time off for the holidays. This December featured more six-figure pots and huge swings. Finishing on top of the leaderboard for the month is ‘RaúlGonzalez.’ The total haul of ‘RaúlGonzalez’ topped out at $521,189 in winnings over the course of 32 sessions. This is according to the data on Highstakesdb.com. It took ‘RaúlGonzalez’ 5,892 hands to reach this total with Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom playing a role in him achieving this number. On December 18, the pair battled in $1,000/$2,000 2-7 Triple Draw and 8-Game mix. ‘RaúlGonzalez’ came out on top in both games and finished the day up almost $220,000. Earlier in the month, ‘RaúlGonzalez’ beat Blom for a comparable amount in the same two games. Of the top-10 winners in D ecember, ‘RaúlGonzalez’ put in the fourth fewest sessions, making the most of his limited volume. ‘RaúlGonzalez’ finished the month with over twice as many winnings as second-place Laszlo ‘omaha4rollz’ Bujtas. In November, Bujtas placed third in the rankings with $150,598 in winnings. This time around, Bujtas has upped that total to $246,988 in 79 sessions and 4,094 hands. Bujtas was on a downward trend heading into the last two months of the year but is now entering 2018 with a profit of almost $400,000 from 2017. Sitting in third place is ‘Grazvis1,’ who put in the most sessions of anyone in the top-10. ‘Grazvis1’ logged on for 166 sessions in December and made $162,163 over their 5,358 hands. December saw ‘Grazvis’ build his graph off a consistent upswing line with Pot Limit Omaha the most played game. Linus 'LLinusLLove' Loeliger jumps in at #4. Loeliger won $148,753 in the previous month despite playing only 1,398 hands in his 37 sessions. If you’re looking for efficiency, Ben ‘Ben86’ Tollerene is the model. In only four sessions, Tollerene racked up $132,460 in 573 hands played. Tollerene dueled against Timofey 'Trueteller' Kuznetsov in $100/$200 PLO on December 31 and earned $109,968. Those winnings came in the span of 374 hands for Tollerene. ‘BlackFortuna’ and ‘Azrarn’ inputted 101 and 94 sessions, respectively and both ended December with over six-figures in winnings. ‘Azrarn’ put in most of their volume in Fixed Limit Hold’em while ‘BlackFortuna’ stuck with Pot Limit Omaha. Following Tollerene’s methodology to play less and profit more is Sami ‘LarsLuzak’ Kelopuro. The Finnish high stakes pro only played 12 sessions and 578 hands but came out on the other side with a $87,297 profit. Kelopuro won most of his buck in $100/$200 PLO, taking over $48,000 of the table on December 28. In 10th place is ‘Truelove13.’ Similar to ‘Azrarn,’ ‘Truelove13’ beasted the FLHE tables to the tune of $83,037 won in 99 sessions. In those 99 sessions, ‘Truelove13’ played 6,661 hands. Bujtas wound up being the only repeat top-10 finished from November. January is a fresh start for all players and it will be interesting to see how the high stakes world shakes out in the next couple of weeks. HighstakesDB Cash Game Results for December RANK PLAYER SESSIONS HANDS PROFIT 1 RaúlGonzalez 32 5,892 $521,189 2 omaha4rollz 79 4,094 $246,988 3 Grazvis1 166 5,358 $162,163 4 LLinusLLove 37 1,398 $148,753 5 Ben86 4 573 $132,460 6 BlackFortuna 101 4,913 $115,531 7 Azrarn 94 6,392 $104,760 8 prot0 54 2,005 $93,042 9 Lrzlzk 12 578 $87,297 10 Truelove13 99 6,661 $83,037
  5. One of online poker's most popular players, 'girafganger7,' scooped the 2019 PocketFives February PLB title. Girafganger7's February included 124 cashes for $454,604 in prize money and a leaderboard-topping 4,867.51 points. Girafganger7's largest score of February came in the GGPoker Sunday Blade $5K on February 25. In that event, he took third place for $52,437 and 314.86 points. Girafganger7 also had scores of $45,267 and $45,030 in February, with both of those coming in tournaments on partypoker. With the month of February he had, girafganger7 surged past $8 million in online tournament earnings and now boasts more than $8.38 million in earnings total. All told, girafganger7's February was 569.66 points better than the competition, with January PLB winner Roman 'Romeopro' Romanovsky coming in second place. Although he didn't win the monthly PLB title for the second month of 2019, Romanovsky had another solid showing. His biggest score in February was a $105,500 third-place finish in the The Big Game: $1M Gtd. on partypoker. He also recorded scores of $32,030 and $31,771 on GGPoker. Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford placed third on the February PLB, tallying 4,041.66 points. His largest score was a sixth-place finish in the PokerStars Turbo Series 54: $5,200 NLHE [8-Max, High Roller] for $54,106 and 336.12 points. He also took second in the PokerStars Turbo Series 100: $530 NLHE for $36,954 and 357.73 points and third in the partypoker Turbo Series 100: $530 NLHE for $32,400 and 253.42 points. Girafganger7, Romanovsky, and Beresford were the only three players to tally more than 4,000 monthly PLB points. Rounding out the leaderboard's top five were 'dartazzzz' with 3,984.01 points and 'lena900' with 3,914.57 points. PocketFives February PLB Leaderboard RANK PLAYER PLB POINTS 1 'girafganger7' 4,867.51 2 Roman 'Romeopro' Romanovsky 4,297.85 3 Conor '1_conor_b_1' Beresford 4,041.66 4 'dartazzzz' 3,984.01 5 'lena900' 3,914.57 6 'inhoo' 3,859.73 7 Ramiro 'Ramiro' Petrone 3,651.31 8 'papan9_p$' 3,616.58 9 'DamageAP' 3,534.30 10 Sami 'LarsLuzak' Kelopuro 3,282.27  
  6. One of the winningest players in partypoker POWERFEST added to their legacy on Wednesday as one of nine players who took down a High Roller event. Sami 'ChimneyBarrel' Kelopuro beat out 67 other entries in Event #102-HR ($2,100 Six Max Pot Limit Omaha) to win $47,043.50. Kelopuro now has over $400,000 in POWERFEST winnings alone in the last eight months alone. Finishing as the runner-up earned 'San holo1' $30,600, while 'Labasrytas' finished in third for $16,320. [ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="Party Poker NJ"][ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"] 'DasIstMirWurst' had a busy day that started with a win in Event #97-HR ($530 Eight Max NLHE Grind) for $21,205.60. 'jknack10' finished $15,392 as the runner-up and 'Dandelion32892' wound up in third place, earning $10,972. 'DasIstMirWurst' also final-tabled Event #98-HR for a $5,707.80 score. 'Talespin' won their second title of the series and $34,714.90 after beating the 151-player field in Event #98-HR ($1,050 No Limit Hold'em). One spot behind them was 'Xingyun8' for $24,915 while 'Adamm' came third for $18,120. Back on March 17, 'Talespin' took down Event #25-HR ($530 Mix Max No Limit Hold’em PKO Fast). After outlasting 193 other players in Event #101-HR ($1,050 Six Max NLHE PKO), 'veegar' picked up $17,991.86 from the prize pool plus another $18,012.06 worth of bounties. The final bounty 'veegar' collected belonged to 'RentCollection' who finished second for $17,972.18 and $10,186.25 in bounties. Third place finisher 'stakelevic24' took home $12,643.59 from the prize pool and $10,118.54 in bounties. The biggest buy-in event on Wednesday, Event #103-HR ($2,100 Six Max NLHE Fast), drew 41 entries with 'PayAndPlay' doing exactly that by beating all of them to win $32,800. A $20,897.49 prize went to 'Brilvis' for a silver medal performance and 'BaBaDeBaBa' hummed their way to a bronze medal and $10,660. Event #97-HR: Eight Max NLHE Grind $530 buy-in 208 entries $104,000 prize pool DasIstMirWurst - $21,205.60 jknack10 - $15,392 Dandelion32892 - $10,972 Jupiter Jones - $8,112 iRunStims - $5,720 AndreyBolkonsky - $4,368 Patrick_Leonard - $3,224 ChilliConFahne - $2,392 Event #98-HR: No Limit Hold'em $1,050 buy-in 151 entries $151,000 prize pool Talespin - $34,714.90 Xingyun8 - $24,915 Adamm - $18,120 wikidipidi - $12,835 attitydsproblem - $9,060 jenagevite - $7,172.50 DasIstMirWurst - $5,707.80 Greenstone25 - $4,530 Event #99-HR: Pot Limit Omaha 8-or-better Eight Max $54 buy-in 530 entries $27,000 prize pool FcknPeasents - $9,450 JorgeP7 - $6,345 monkeynuts66 - $ AngryKitten - $2,430 mo1st - $1,890 HappyBrm - $1,552.50 IanHunt - $1,282.50 Event #100-HR: Mix Max NLHE PKO Fast $530 buy-in 207 entries $106,087.50 prize pool NILAos - $9,486.32 + $11,098.91 in bounties GlobalHappi - $9,475.91 + $6,537.93 in bounties p4tm0ng0 - $6,666.38 + $1,558.59 in bounties tsuipen - $4,829.42 + $1,361.71 in bounties lipcheader - $3,555.40 + $2,157.43 in bounties Happy-AIA - $2,370.27 + $5,241.80 in bounties Event #101-HR: Six Max NLHE PKO $1,050 buy-in 194 entries $198,850 prize pool veegar - $17,991.86 + $18,012.06 in bounties RentCollection - $17,972.18 + $10,186.25 in bounties stakelevic24 - $12,643.59 + $10,118.54 in bounties SlowBonus0808 - $9,159.58 + $5,471.49 in bounties Dandelion32892 - $6,743.25 + $2,231.24 in bounties JailWallet - $4,495.50 + $2,182.03 in bounties Event #102-HR: Six Max Pot Limit Omaha $530 buy-in 110 entries $55,000 prize pool Knubben71 - $11,602.86 iMightPot - $11,602 actionFreak - $6,600 bonjogo - $4,675 Joao 'XjoaosimaoX' Simao - $3,427.50 NILAos - $2,282.50 Event #102-HR: Six Max Pot Limit Omaha $2,100 buy-in 68 entries $136,000 prize pool ChimneyBarrel - $47,043.50 San holo1 - $30,600 Labasrytas - $16,320 Baccarat - $12,240 PayAndPlay - $8,840 SnoutMySprout - $6,120 Event #103-HR: Six Max NLHE Fast $2,100 buy-in 41 entries $82,000 prize pool PayAndPlay - $32,800 Brilvis - $20,897.49 BaBaDeBaBa - $10,660 Dandelion32892 - $7,380 BigHoney - $5,740 NOLIMITHOLDEM - $4,432.51 Event #104-HR: NLHE PKO Turbo $530 buy-in 105 entries $53,812.50 prize pool headshot - $8,931.20 + $7,411.61 in bounties Serentiy25 - $8,921.66 + $3,474.02 in bounties jamboree - $6,376 + $1,082.80 in bounties High Level - $4,463.20 + $3,371.48 in bounties RiverOffice - $3,315.52 + $1,640.60 in bounties N0GUTSNOGloryAA - $2,550.40 + $131.25 in bounties tritu - $2,040.32 + $902.33 in bounties All_In_PAV - $1,657.76 + $721.88 in bounties

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