The $55 Big 20 Finale tournament was epic in many ways. First, there was the $5 million guaranteed in the prize pool. Then there were the almost 100,000 entries.
But what else made the tournament special is that PokerStars put a $20,000 bounty on the heads of ten PokerStars Team Pros. That meant if you were lucky enough to bust one–whether it be on the very first hand or late on Day 2–you would instantly have $20K added to your PokerStars account.
Only 10 players (0.01% of the field) know what it’s like to take down such an obscene bounty. And here, we speak to one of them.
Rami “Ramikoi” Koivuniemi is a 25-year-old from Southern Ostrobothnia in Finland. He’s just about to start studying at university.
Now, thanks to busting Twitch streamer Georgina “GJReggie” James, he’s $20K better off.
PokerStars Blog: Hi Rami! When did you find about the $20K bounty promotion?
Rami “Ramikoi” Koivuniemi: I found about it in the tournament info when I registered it a couple of days before. However, I never really paid any attention to it because the chances of actually getting on the same table with a PokerStars pro were really slim.
So how did it feel when GJReggie joined your table?
I remember being on a voice call with my friend at the time when the tournament started. I saw GJReggie writing something in chat and I was like “wait a second, there’s a PokerStars pro on my table!”. Let’s just say that I instantly got nervous and started to figure out some plans for how to play when there’s a $20k bounty in play.
Would you have called her all-ins with any two cards?
Even if I had the worst possible odds there’s always a chance to win, so yes, for sure! My first attempt to get the bounty was with 62off, I didn’t quite get there though!
You got it eventually! You called her shove with second pair, can you describe your feelings when you hit call and saw the second nine land on the turn?
Even if I had more than a 95% chance of winning after I hit that nine on the turn, I wasn’t celebrating before the river was on the table. When I realised I’d won the pot I couldn’t believe it. I might have screamed a little! My memory is kind of foggy from that moment because it was just so unreal!
How did the rest of the tournament go for you?
I didn’t manage to get make Day 2 of the tournament. I think I busted with top trips against a flush an hour or two away from the end of Day 1.
What does the $20K mean to you? Will it change your poker playing moving forward?
It means a lot to me, especially as I’m starting my studies in school. That money is very much needed! I think my poker game will stay the same, I’ll just continue grinding lower stakes and continue having fun playing them!