MPNPT Tallinn has been played to a finish and it is Finn Keimo Suominen who has been named champion, grabbing the plaudits, trophy and, of course the sizeable €45,200 first place prize money.
“I’m very happy!” said Paf qualifier Suominen in his clipped Finnish tones following heads up victory over Latvian Davis Modans. He added the support from his vocal Finnish rail had proved invaluable. “A few of my friends have been on the rail all day. I love them!”
The journey to crown the MPNPT Tallinn champion began three long days ago. Day 1A and Day 1B saw a bumper field, replete with locals, professionals, keen amateurs and online qualifiers, swarm through the doors of the Hilton Park Tallinn hotel to showcase their poker skills and bid for glory.
This eclectic field managed an impressive 534 entries between them over the course of the two opening days. The rebuy format of the tournament was taken full advantage of by many of the players – their insatiable hunger for further entries contributing to the hotel ATMs being drained dry of banknotes at one point!
All these shenanigans resulted in a bulging prizepool of €258,990 comfortably smashing the €150,000 guaranteed by Microgaming prior to the event.
Included in the numbers attending were such familiar faces as David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney, who battled through to the latter stages of the event, though O’Kearney was the only one of the two to make the cash – finishing up just short of the final table in a highly creditable 17th place (€2,070.) Fan Favourite Monika Zukowicz, well known from her popular Twitch stream, was another tour regular who ran deep, though she too just missed out on the payouts – a disappointment she brushed off by taking full advantage of Tallinn’s many entertaining hotspots (as well as grabbing some consolatory pizza and ice cream following her elimination.)
Two of last year’s finalists here in Tallinn were looking to do it again- Ranno Sootla and Mantas Urbonas both running deep, though last year’s winner Sootla was unable to emulate his victory this time, narrowly missing out on the payout spots. Urbonas came closer to matching his 3rd place finish last year – though he too fell just short – finishing up in 12th position(€3,235.)
Today saw the final 14 players in contention return to contend the title. Hopes were high for a first female champion – UK National Julie Whitworth flying the flag for the fairer sex. Whitworth had high hopes of adding a title to her four previous MPNPT cashes, but variance was not her friend and she succumbed in a 13th place for €2,590, her convivial table presence winning more than a few friends during her deep run.
After several levels the 14 had been shorn to our nine remaining finalists. They lined up as follows:-
1 Juha Ovaskainen 1,046,000
2 Andres Abakanov 1,331,000
3 Priit Vanem 692,000
4 Davis Modans 2,015,000
5 Keimo Suominen 375,000
6 Aleksei Karev 611,000
7 Sergey Luchishin 746,000
8 Martin Mänd 1,190,000
9 Antti Halme 5,391,000
Aleksei Karev was first to depart the final table, finishing up in 9th place for €4,015 – Modans getting the better of him in a coin flip. Juha Ovaskainen was next to fall(7th €8,020), his A-8 jam running headlong into Suominen’s kings, who was starting to build a stack following a slow start to the final.
Pritt Vanem (6th for €8,020) fell in a huge pot – his AJ shove running into jacks and eights and failing to overturn this equity disadvantage. Surprisingly Antti Halme was the next faller (6th – €10,620) – having dominated the early stages of the final table – he was incredibly unlucky to have a series of bad beats and coolers deplete his stack. Modans applied the death blow – finding pocket aces at the same time Halme found pocket jacks.
Andres Abakanov did well to battle through to 5th spot but fell there as Suominen found kings again to seal his fate (€13,620.) Modans sent Sergey Luchishin to the rail in 4th place( €20,120) and three handed Mand survived for a while before the two big stacks Modans and Suominen found themselves heads-up once Suominen had dismissed Mand in 3rd with kings once more. (€27,770)
The heads-up was fun and frantic – Suominen demonstrating the mixture of skill and good fortune that had brought him that far – making one impressively well-timed bluff and hitting one very fortunate river to cripple Modans.
The pair had done a prizepool-flattening deal, leaving them both 41k with 4.2k and the trophy to play for and it was Suominen who bested his opponent to take the title.
“He was a very good player and I had some luck to beat him,” he related humbly, giving the impressive Modans his merited props.
The tournament has been lots of fun here in beautiful Tallinn. As usual we’ve enjoyed our time, and we’ve had some great feedback from the players. Tallinn is a lovely place and its people have been warm, welcoming and highly entertaining. We look forward to our next trip here and thank them for their hospitality.
For now though, that it is it! Next stop on the MPNPT tour is Morocco. We’ll be visiting from January 11th to the 14th and qualifiers are open now. We hope to see you there so get qualifying and join us on this next leg where you could join Keimo Suominen on the MPNPT winners roster and become the latest tour champion. Even if you don’t, we know you’ll have some amazing memories from the trip. Until next time, good luck poker fans!