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Translated from Finnish, “kiiski” means fish, and a quick Google search of the word will yield dozens of photos of the scaly, water-bound creatures. Though tonight’s champion boasts a now-ironic choice in screen name, this kiiski was far from fishy at the tables tonight, defeating an elite field in Event #37, $2,100 6-max pot-limit Omaha. 453 players bought in, besting the tournament’s $600,000 guarantee by $306,000. 66 places were paid with first place set to earn $172,140.00

Flying the mighty red spade for Team PokerStars Pro were George Danzer, Ylon Schwartz, William Thorson, Grant Levy, Chad Brown, Katja Thater, Johnny Lodden, Johannes Strassman, Steve Paul-Ambrose, Barry Greenstein, Ivan Demidov, Noah Boeken, and Jason Mercier, with Florian Langmann (56th), Chris Moneymaker (40th), Humberto Brenes (36th), and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (19th) all making deep runs.

Here’s a look at the chip counts as the final table action got underway:

Seat 1: Crisper (233,128 in chips)
Seat 2: mojave14 (232,000 in chips)
Seat 3: genoa_st (812,059 in chips)
Seat 4: kiiski (1,658,030 in chips)
Seat 5: plattsburgh (1,131,426 in chips)
Seat 6: hartwith (463,357 in chips)

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“Sick final table!” remarked host Andre Akkari as the cards went in the air.

Akkari hit the nail on the head with that statement. This is the second final table of the 2009 WCOOP for Matt “plattsburgh” Vengrin, who finished second in Event #2, $215 Razz. Genoa_st won the $215 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2005 WCOOP and went on to win last year’s WCOOP Tournament of Champions, earning himself a seat in the 2009 PokerStars Carribean Adventure. Crisper took third place for over $263,000 in the 2009 SCOOP Main Event, and the screen name mojave14 belongs to none other than Akkari’s fellow countryman, Felipe Ramos. The Brazilian pro most recently made the final table of the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the 2009 WSOP and won the first second-chance event of the 2009 WCOOP, $109 NLHE 6-max, for over $21,000.

Crisper was the first player to depart the final table. With his stack down to 75,000, he three-bet all in over the top of kiiski’s 24,000 opening raise. Kiiski made the call and found his A♦7♦5♥4♣ up against Crisper’s A♥A♣9♥7♠. Crisper retained his lead on the J♣10♥4♠ flop and kept it on the 2♠ turn, but kiiski snapped off his aces with two small pair, the 7♥ hitting the river to make him sevens and fours, sending Crisper to the rail in sixth place. For his long day on the felt, Crisper took home $28,992.

In the largest pot of the tournament at that point, hartwith opened for 23,456, genoa_st called, and kiiski called from the small blind before plattsburgh put the squeeze on from the big blind, raising to 117,280. Hartwith moved all in for 303,162 behind him, genoa_st and kiiski both folded and plattsburgh made the call, turning over A♦Q♠J♦10♥, while hartwith revealed A♣J♣8♦7♦. The flop came down 5♣3♠2♣, giving Hartwith the nut flush draw, but plattsburgh caught top pair on the turn when the Q♦ fell. The river was the 8♠ and plattsburgh took down the massive 653,000 pot, eliminating hartwith in fifth place for a $45,300 score.

Plattsburgh was sitting comfortably, his 1.2 million stack putting him second in chips when he suffered a devastating setback on this hand against genoa_st, knocking him down to 336,000.

Down to 178,000 in chips, plattsburgh limped into a four-way pot and saw a flop of 6♥5♣2♥. Mojave14 checked, genoa_st bet 36,000, kiiski got out of the way and plattsburgh came in with a raise to 96,800. Mojave14 folded and genoa_st came back over the top, re-potting to 338,400. Plattsburgh called all in, turning over Q♦J♣8♥7♦ for an open-ended straight draw while genoa_st showed K♥5♥3♠2♦ for two pair and a gutshot straight draw. The turn was the 3♥, no help for plattsburgh, and the river fell the 5♦,genoa_st scoring the knockout with fives full of threes. For his fourth-place finish, plattsburgh earned $63,420, taking his total 2009 WCOOP earnings over the $100,000 mark.

As play turned three-handed, mojave14 was on the short stack until he managed to double through genoa_st. A raising war broke out between the two on a Q♣7♠2♠ flop, all their chips going in with mojave14 holding A♠J♦9♠5♦ for the nut flush draw while genoa_st had a set of queens with Q♥Q♦9♦6♦. The turn was the K♦, genoa_st retaining the lead, but mojave14 caught the 4♠ on the river, making his flush and doubling up to nearly 1.6 million.

Kiiski began pulling away from his two opponents after winning back-to-back hands against mojave14. First his top two pair held up in an 816,000 pot; then, on the very next deal, he hit a jack-high straight against mojave14 in a 1.4 million pot to take his stack up to 2.9 million while mojave14 was left with 393,000. However, mojave14 was able to pick up two back-to-back pots of his own against genoa_st, to climb back to 924,000.

Genoa_st finally met his tournament end against the seemingly unstoppable kiiski. The two limped in from the blinds and saw a 7♠3♥2♣ flop, genoa_st leading out for 32,000 and kiiski making the call. Genoa_st checked the 9♣ on the turn, kiiski bet 80,000, and genoa_st came in with a raise to 336,000. Kiisi re-potted and genoa_st called all in, showing K♣9♥4♥4♣ for a pair of nines and a king-high flush draw while kiisi turned over 10♦7♦3♠3♦ for a set of threes. The river was the Q♠ and genoa_st exited in third place, collecting $92,865.

Here’s how our final two stacked up as heads-up play commenced:

Seat 2: mojave14 (1,071,610 in chips)
Seat 4: kiiski (3,458,390 in chips)

Mojave14 broached the subject of a deal right as they got started, but kiiski, boasting a 3.2 to 1 chip lead, wasn’t interested. Their match ended up being exceptionally brief given the depth of their stacks and the size of the blinds (8,000-16,000), lasting only nine hands. Mojave14 had shed about 200,000 chips from his stack when the final hand unfolded, kiiski opening for a min-raise to 32,000 and mojave14 making the call. Mojave14 checked the 9♦8♥7♥ flop, kiiski bet 48,000, mojave14 raised to 100,999. Kiiski re-potted to 366,997, mojave14moved all in for 803,709 and kiiski made the call. It was a pair, a gutshot, and a flush draw with J♥7♠4♥3♥ for mojave14, while kiiski had flopped the nut straight with Q♣J♣J♦10♣. The turn was the K♣, the river was the 5♣, and kiiski took down the pot, eliminating mojave14 in second place and claiming his first WCOOP title, along with $172,140! For his runner-up finish, mojave14 earned $126,840.

WCOOP Event #37 ($2,100 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-max) Results

1. kiiski $172,140.00
2. Felipe “mojave14” Ramos $126,840.00
3. genoa_st $92,865.00
4. Matt “plattsburgh” Vengrin $63,420.00
5. hartwith $45,300.00
6. Crisper $28,992.00

Watch WCOOP 2009: Event 37 – $2,100 PL Omaha [6-max] on PokerStars.tv

Plattsburgh is one of only a few players who has made multiple WCOOP final tables this year. Curious as to the company he’s in? Check out the WCOOP page for stats and a look at this year’s leaderboard. For highlights and replays from the first 36 events, check out PokerStars.tv.


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