Estonia’s signature poker event, Kings of Tallinn, was founded just three years ago.
Together with the local Olympic Casino, co-founder Teresa Nousiainen, a former tournament director for the European Poker Tour, envisioned developing it into the biggest poker festival in the Baltics.
So far, so good.
The third edition of Kings of Tallinn ran this past week and saw huge fields, high-stakes cash games, a convincing winner and the presence of poker royalty in Finnish superstars Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies and Jens “Jeans89” Kyllönen.
Stakes Unheard of in Estonia
Much like the Battle of Malta, within three years the tournament series has established itself as the biggest poker festival in a poker-friendly region not on the usual European poker circuit.
Kings of Tallinn 2017 consisted of 35 tournaments, over 900 unique players and almost every event full – another example of how popular low-stakes poker festivals are at the moment.
Several notable poker pros also made the trip to Estonia’s capital including the above-mentioned Sahamies and Kyllönen alongside former November Niner Felix Stephensen and Finnish poker legend Juha Helppi.
The presence of Ziigmund and Jeans obviously had a major impact as the cash-game stakes soared as high as €200/€400 – almost unheard of in Estonia.
Triple Win for Knaapinen
The €1,100 Main Event broke its own record from last year with 247 entries, creating a prize pool of €234,650 and a potential first prize of €61,400.
None of the famous pros made it to the final table which instead became a battle between Finland, Estonia and Lithuania. All three countries had three players each but in the end it was Finland that ran away with the victory Sunday evening.
Matias Knaapinen secured the win for Finland as he defeated Estonia’s Roland Luik heads-up after a three-way deal. He took home €45,007.
Luik had the chip lead at the time of the deal and received €46,677 while Kasper Mellanen from Finland got €36,000 for 3rd place.
Knaapinen also won the 5-Card PLO event and ended up with the trophy in the team challenge, too, with Antti Kärkkäinen, Leo Pietilä and Torsti Kettula.
2% of the prize pool in every event went towards the team challenge giving them an extra €13k and the title as the Kings of Tallinn.
Tomas Söderström of Sweden also emerged as one of the big winners in Tallinn as he took down the €2k High Roller event for €31,600 after defeating Finland’s Mikko Turtiainen.
Watch the Main Event final table replay from Kings of Tallinn right here: