Finnish online qualifier Keimo Suominen has taken the mantle of MPNPT Tallinn Champion from last year’s winner Ranno Sootla, winning €45,200 after a heads up deal with Davis Modans. They’d outlasted a field of 534; the total prize pool reached €258,990 – well over its €150,000 guarantee.

Yesterday’s final table was a lesson in table-turning. Unassailable-looking chip leads proved their unreliability in the face of No Limit Hold’em’s brutal swings, and underdogs rose to claim the lion’s share of the prize money. Just 14 players returned, with nine final table spots – and one trophy – to play for.

Aleksei Vandyshev burst the final table bubble, finishing 10th for €3,235 and just missing out on the chance to star on the live stream. He’d made his way to the final table largely at the expense of MPNPT regular and serial microstakes qualifier Julie Whitworth, first cracking her queens with Kh-Td and then winning a flip to send her to the rail in 13th (€2,590). When the final nine were seated, the table looked unbalanced: over a third of the total chips in play were in Halme’s stack.

The elimination of Aleksei Karev in 9th place (€4,105) crowned Sergei Luchishin as Last Longer King, as he had now outlasted all online poker qualifiers from Betsson, BetSafe, NordicBet and Bets10 to win a free MPNPT Morocco package for January 2018. He went on to pick up a good deal more for 4th place – not bad for someone playing his first live event who qualified in a freeroll on Betsson.

One of three Finnish finalists, Juha Ovaskainen, was the next out, after dwindling to just seven big blinds and finding Keimo Suominen behind him with pocket kings when he did move all-in. His A-8 offsuit hit nothing; he hit the rail, collecting €5,430.

There followed a few key hands in which pocket eights (widely considered to be a lucky number), cost erstwhile chip leader Halme the majority of his chips. First, they lost him half a million chips flipping against Sergey Luchishin (who moved in with Q-T suited), then they doubled up Martin Mänd (all-in with Jacks) to the tune of 750,000. The final eights-featuring hand saw the demise of Priit Vanem in 7th (€5,430) as well as another blow to Halme: Vanem shoved with A-J prelop, Mänd also shoved (with 8-8), and Halme, covering both, called with pocket jacks. A flopped eight gave Mänd a much-needed triple-up and dropped Halme further down. Running jacks into Modans’ aces finished him off and he took home €10,620 for 6th.

Suominen’s second final table pair of kings eliminated electrician, Omaha specialist and lifelong poker enthusiast Andres Abakanov in 5th (€13,630), leaving what turned out to be a stubborn foursome at the final. Two levels passed before Sergey Luchishin’s elimination, after which Suominen and Modens clashed in the majority of hands, battling for the table captain’s hat.

Martin Mänd exited in 3rd place (€27,770), having secured himself an excellent delayed party for his birthday, which was yesterday. That left Modans and Suominen to fight heads up, and the latter fought against the higher-stacked Modans with every weapon in his arsenal to first take the chip lead, and then the last of Modans’ gaming discs. They had made a deal heads up, though, which softened the blow for the runner up.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Keimo Suominen, Finland (Paf Heart Poker) – €45,200
  2. Davis Modans, Latvia – €41,000*
  3. Martin Mänd, Estonia – €27,770
  4. Sergey Luchishin, Russia (Betsson Poker) – €20,120
  5. Andres Abakanov, Estonia – €13,630
  6. Antti Halme, Finland – €10,620
  7. Priit Vanem, Estonia – €8,020
  8. Juha Ovaskainen, Finland (Paf Heart Poker qualifier) – €5,430
  9. Aleksei Karev, Russia (BetSafe Poker qualifier) – €4,015

The final MPNPT Tallinn side events also concluded yesterday, with the two-day €110 Estonia Poker Cup bringing back 35 in-the-money players (out of a starting field of 230) to play to a winner. That winner was Cristopher Grontved Pajeso, who claimed top prize of €4.739 out of a total prize pool of €22,989. Two one-day events, the €110 Doubles Event, and the €330 Bounty gave players a final chance to take home an MPNPT trophy. The Doubles was won, jointly, by Sergei Oganesjan and Nikita Semjonov, who took turns exhorting on the rail and winning chips until the other 42 two-man teams were eliminated and they took home €1,666.

So wraps MPNPT Tallinn, after a week of non-stop poker action at the Olympic Park Casino, with activities from sauna parties to Go-Karting and beer tasting laid on for those whose dreams of trophy glory will have to wait until the next stop: Mazagan, Morocco, 11-14 January 2018.

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