Finland's "ismo<3seppo" Wins the PokerStars Yearly TLB For Third Straight Year
Finland's "ismo<3seppo" finished on top of the 2015 Yearly Multi-Table Tournament Leaderboard (TLB) on PokerStars for a record-breaking third straight year.
PokerStars awarded "ismo<3seppo" with $50,000 in cash and prizes throughout the year including $35,000 cash, a full year's supply of Sunday $215 buy-in tickets, $5,000 worth of major online series tickets, and an entry to a $75,000 freeroll. In total the TLB awarded $450,000 to the top 100 tournament performers.
The Finn destroyed the competition by recording a tournament win once every three days with a total of 109 victories, along with 567 different top 10 finishes, during the last year. His 61,859 TLB points was almost 3,000 more than second-place finisher Allan “Sifosis” Baekke, who finished the year with 58,990 points.
Denmark's Baekke, who in 2014 finished in 122nd place on the TLB, was awarded almost the same prize as the first-place finisher with the main difference being the cash portion of the prize being reduced from $35,000 to $25,000. While Baekke recorded less wins than "ismo<3seppo" with 83, he notched an average of two top 10 finishes per day in 2015 with 693. Additionally, Baekke is recognized as one of the best online poker players in the world, at one time being ranked the sixth best player in the world in the PocketFives Worldwide Rankings.
American poker refugee Aaron "Aguskb" Gustavson made the most of his move to Mexico capping off the year with a third-place finish on the PokerStars TLB with 73 tournament victories and 477 top 10 finishes to help him accumulate a total of 56,823 TLB points. Gustavson will receive a similar package as the top two finishers with the exception being the cash reward portion of the prize reduced to $15,000.
Last year, Gustavson finished 22nd on the TLB, and from Sept. 9-30 this year he was recognized as the best tournament player in the world by holding the No. 1 spot in the PocketFives Worldwide Rankings.
The United Kingdom's Marcin "MARCIN123" Milde finished fourth on the 2015 TLB with 54,130 points. Milde was not ranked in the top 200 on the 2014 TLB, however, this past year he notched 35 tournament wins and 275 top 10 finishes to propel him into one of the top spots.
Estonia's Markku "markovitsus" Koplimaa grabbed fifth place with 53,506 TLB points thanks to 56 tournament victories and 462 top 10 finishes. It was not Koplimaa's first run at the leaderboard as in 2014 he was able to climb up to 44th place.
Milde and Koplimaa receive the same prize as most of the other top 10 finishers on the TLB with 4th-10th place being awarded the same prizes as first to third with the only difference being no cash reward. Other players to secure a top 10 finish on the 2015 TLB included "XODD" (sixth place), "Breakchips" (seventh place), Rohid "FireFaux" Omari (eighth place), "eijseijs" (ninth place), and "iWasDjWtf" (10th place).
With his third straight Yearly TLB win, "ismo<3seppo" etches his name in online poker history as the only three-time winner of the award, a feat that will never be equalled. That's because PokerStars announced that it will be discontinuing the Yearly TLB starting in 2016 and instead plans to replace it with other promotions targeted for top tournament players with details to be announced in the coming months.
Shaun "shaundeeb" Deeb was the only other player to win the award more than once and in consecutive years, accomplishing the feat in 2007 and 2008.
The TLB leaderboard has a long and storied tradition dating back to its inception in 2004 when Mike "teecoy" Tikoian famously grabbed the attention of the online poker world by winning in the inaugural year. The leaderboard received even more attention in 2005 when Cliff "JohnnyBax" Josephy ran away with that year's top performance. Other winners over the years included Tyler “tnetter” Netter (2006), Patrick "aprilsfool" Carron (2009), Brian "AltyAA" Altman (2010), Ole "wizowizo" Schemion (2011), and David "dhilton12" Hilton (2012).