A third TLB title for the unstoppable ismo<3seppo

There are stories each week on PokerStars telling of grand achievements, and life changing wins. But none capture the essence of what it means to be a successful poker player more than the Yearly Tournament Leader Board.

Put simply the TLB is a barometer for the talent and consistency that in our view demonstrates the degree of skill required to be a winning poker player. This is not a game determined by one hand or even one session. The measure of a truly great player is shown over longer periods, maybe even a lifetime.

None prove this fact more than this year's TLB winner ismo<3seppo.

It's not just that ismo<3seppo, from Finland, is the 2015 winner. It's that this is the third consecutive year he's claimed that title, beating the previous record set by Shaun Deeb, winner of back-to-back TLBs in 2007 and 2008. Arguably this puts him among the greatest PokerStars tournament players of all time.


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For his remarkable efforts ismo<3seppo wins more than $50,000 in prizes, including $35,000 cash, one years' worth of Sunday $215 tickets, $5,000 worth of major online series tickets, and entry to a $75,000 freeroll. But there's no small amount of prestige to go with it. In 2015 ismo<3seppo was once again uncatchable.

Here's a look at the top five finishers for 2015:

PlaceUser IDPointsCountry2014WinsTop 10 Finishes
1ismo<3seppo61,859Finland1109567
2Sifosis58,990Denmark12283693
3Aguskb56,823Mexico2373477
4MARCIN12354,130UK>20035275
5markovitsus53,506Estonia4456462

Looking closer at the table above and ismo<3seppo was hardly alone in standing out. Each of the top five players had something to shout about in 2015.

British player Marcin "MARCIN123" Milde won the Sunday Million on April 3, the same event in which Allan "Sifosis" Baekke - a former EPT winner who ranks second on the TLB - finished third. It proved a pivotal TLB story, and one you can read about on the PokerStars Blog.


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But it's that figure of 109 tournament wins out of 567 top 10 finishes for ismo<3seppo that commands such attention, an unimaginable strike rate of 19.22 per cent. It meant even with 83 and 73 wins respectively, it would be almost impossible for Sifosis and Aguskb to keep up, however exceptional their own performances proved.

Previous winners of the yearly TLB:

2004 - teecoy
2005 - JohnnyBax
2006 - tnetter
2007 - shaundeeb
2008 - shaundeeb
2009 - aprilsfool
2010 - AltyAA
2011 - wizowizo
2012 - dhilton12
2013 - ismo<3seppo
2014 - ismo<3seppo
2015 - ismo<3seppo

Now the focus of the annual Tournament Leader Board is on what will be a star-studded freeroll on Sunday, January 24 at 13:30 ET, with $75,000 in prizes available. The top 100 players from the 2015 Yearly Leader Board will compete in a contest that promises something more than most tournaments, pitching the best tournament poker players on PokerStars together, in one heck of a grudge match.

It's a fitting way to sign-off on 2015. For now, the hat tips, the congrats and the ggs go to ismo<3seppo for another great year on PokerStars.

For now it's on to 2016.


Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Stephen Bartley
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