With the number of poker tournaments in the world today, it seems as though certain players are winning constantly. When a player can win a tournament in back-to-back years, however, that is something worth noting. That happened in Event #2, the $7500 Pot Limit Omaha Bounty tournament, at the 2024 PokerGO Tour PLO Series on Friday night, with Eelis Parssinen repeating his success by winning the same event he took down in 2023.

Start at the Top…

103 entries were received through the Day One action at the PokerGO Studios in Las Vegas on Friday, and Parssinen did not waste time in staking his claims to keeping his championship. The Finn was atop the leaderboard with his 3.765 million in chips, but the field was tightly bunched behind him. The contenders included Isaac Kempton (2.525 million), Lautaro Guerra (2.2 million), and Ronald Keljzer (1.81 million). Even the short stacks were dangerous as Josh Arieh (1.32 million) and Bradley Ruben (1.215 million) were only one double up from being in contention.

It only took two hands of play before the first casualty of the day occurred. After Arieh opened the betting from under the gun, Parssinen called off the cutoff and a J-4-2 flop hit the felt. Arieh continued his power game, shoving out a 400K bet, but Parssinen cooly made the call and a nine came on the turn. Arieh only had about 770K left and it went to the center of the felt, which saw Parssinen nearly beat him to the center with the call:

Arieh: A-A-10-2 (pair of Aces, no redraws)
Parssinen: J-J-8-7 (set of Jacks, gutter ball straight draw)

Parssinen had flopped gold with his set of Knaves, leaving Arieh looking for one of the two Aces left in the deck. When the river trey came down, Arieh was up and out of the tournament in sixth place.

That hand gave Parssinen command of the table with 5.21 million in chips (Kempton was a distant second with 2.675 million), and he used those chips judiciously. After Keljzer eliminated Ruben in fifth place, flopping a set of Aces to leave Ruben out in the cold, Parssinen dispatched Guerra in fourth when his Q-Q-10-6 faded Guerra’s straight draw (A-J-10-9) on a 9-8-2-K-8 board.

…And Finish in The Same Spot

Parssinen did not completely run roughshod over the final table – he did have one moment of mortality. Kempton was the beneficiary as he hit an Ace high flush against Parssinen to carve nearly two million chips from the Finn’s stack. Those were quickly replaced when Parssinen was able to eliminate Keljzer from the tournament in third place after Parssinen (A-K-8-7) out flopped Keljzer (Q-J-J-5) on a K-8-3-7-6 board, and the tournament was at heads-up action.

Parssinen’s back-to-back feat was only one player away, but Kempton had no desire to see Parssinen make history. On an early hand, Kempton took over the chip lead by cutting over three million chips from Parssinen’s stack and, for the first time in the final table, Parssinen was not the chip leader. He rectified that situation on the very next hand, doubling back through Kempton in a hand that was a stunner.

Kempton went in with the better of it (A-A-J-7) against Parssinen (A-A-3-2), and all the chips went to the center. It could be said that Parssinen might have had the better edge with straight potential in his trey-deuce, but it was something else that would swing the hand. The Q-6-2 flop did not change the fact both men had a pair of Aces, but the second deuce on the turn put Parssinen in the driver’s seat with trip deuces. There was a shot at Kempton drawing into a spade flush on the river, but it did not come with the 8, and Parssinen was back in the lead.

Parssinen would not let the lead go again. After Kempton opened the final hand and Parssinen three-bet the action, Kempton called to see a Q-7-5 rainbow flop. Parssinen pot-bet that flop and Kempton, with less than that, took some time to contemplate his predicament. After using two time extensions, Kempton made the call, and the cards were turned up:

Parssinen: 10-10-9-9
Kempton: J-10-8-4

Parssinen was ahead with his pair, but Kempton had some redraws to straight possibilities in his hand. A trey on the turn gave Kempton even more potential, with thirteen outs to find a way to eclipse Parssinen’s pair. Alas, none of those outs would come with the K♣, sealing the back-to-back titles for Parssinen in Event #2.

1. Eelis Parssinen (Finland), $131,325 ($32.500 bounties, 175 points)
2. Isaac Kempton (USA), $84,975 ($27.500, 113)
3. Ronald Keljzer (Netherlands), $59,225 ($12,500, 79)
4. Lautaro Guerra (Spain), $46,350 ($10,000, 62)
5. Bradley Ruben (USA), $33,475 ($15,000, 45)
6. Josh Arieh (USA), $25,750 ($17,500, 34)

(Photo courtesy of PokerGO.com)

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