– General Introduction –
He rose to prominence in 2007, when he started playing high stakes PLO cash games on the late poker site Full Tilt. Despite originally making a name for himself as an online PLO cash player, he’s actually down (lost around $3 million) in the sample on that account tracked by the online high stakes cash game database. In September 2019, he made headlines in the online poker news world after a screenshot of him went viral which pictured him sitting at a partypoker $100/$200 PLO cash table (where 100 BB’s, $20,000 is the maximum buy-in) with $1.404 million in his stack.
As for online MMT’s, he’s one of the biggest winners in online poker history with $15.5 million in cashes. He has won 2 WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) and 2 SCOOP (Spring Championship of Online Poker) titles so far.
As for live tournaments, Kelopuro has $1.152 million in career earnings. His biggest achievement on the live felt is a runner-up finish in the $10K PLO championship event at the 2011 World Series of Poker.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2007: He starts playing high stakes Pot Limit Omaha cash games under the screen name “LarsLuzak” on the now defunct poker site Full Tilt.
- 2011: He finishes first in the $10,300 SCOOP (Spring Championship of Online Poker) Main Event for $735,300 on PokerStars. That is the biggest single online tournament cash of his career to date.
- 2011: He finishes second in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship event at the WSOP for $503,173. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
- 2019: He amasses a $1.4 million stack at a $100/$200 Pot Limit Omaha cash game table on partypoker. Online poker news sites widely report on it.
- 2021: He finishes first in the $10,000 Super MILLION$ NLHE event on Natural8-GGNetwork for $408,406.
– Sami Kelopuro’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Kelopuro was born and raised in Finland. According to an interview with him on HighstakesDB.com, he first played poker in his life at age 18, in 2005. A few of his friends decided to organize a poker night for fun and the young Sami was invited.
He instantly got hooked on the game. He deposited some money on the iPoker site Betfair and played low stakes cash and tourneys. After a few months of play, he made an over $1,000 score in an MTT. That gave him the bankroll and the confidence to start playing higher levels – he went for $1/$2 and $2/$4 cash games.
By the summer of 2007, he was regularly battling at the highest stakes cash tables on Full Tilt, where he started using his iconic screen name “LarsLuzak”.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Kelopuro has $1.152 million in lifetime live tournament earnings, according to his Hendon page. He accumulated that grand total by cashing in 11 different live events in just a brief 3-year period between 2009 and 2012.
The first recorded ITM finish on his profile is from April 2009. He came in 12th in the €5,250 EPT Main Event in Sanremo, Italy for €45,700. By that time, he was already an accomplished online poker pro.
The first time Kelopuro bagged an over $100K score on the live felt was two years later, in April 2011. He finished in 12th place in a European Poker Tour Main Event again, this time in Monte Carlo with a €10,600 buy-in. He won €80,000 ($106,501).
In August 2011, he took down the €20,200 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event at the Fennia Grand Slam series for €85,000 in his home country, Finland. The same month, only a few weeks later, he finished 3rd in the €10,300 NLHE – Single Reload event at EPT Barcelona for €87,100.
His last recorded cash to date came in August 2012. He got 3rd place for €17,640 in a €2K PLO event in Finland. Almost an entire decade has passed since – in the meantime, Kelopuro collected plenty of big scores online, but none at the live felt.
→ World Series of Poker ←
Sami Kelopuro is yet to win his first WSOP gold bracelet.
In 2011, he came very close to doing just that – he finished second in the $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship event, which is essentially the Main Event for PLO. He lost the heads-up battle for the title to American pro Ben Lamb. Kelopuro had to be contented with the $503,173 second prize money, which is his biggest single live tournament score to date.
He also cashed in the Main Event at the 2011 WSOP, eventually busting in 111th place for $54,851.
In 2020, when the dreaded coronavirus pandemic forced all WSOP events to be played online, he racked up a total of 9 ITM finishes. The biggest one out of those 9 was $70,150, which he got for coming in 31st in the $25,000 NLHE Poker Players Championship event on Natural8-GGNetwork.
→ Live Cash Games ←
Keluporo hasn’t appeared on any TV shows or live streams where he played live cash publicly.
→ Online Poker ←
Despite being hailed as one of the world’s greatest online PLO cash players, the 315,000-hand tracked sample on the online high stakes cash game database actually shows a loss for Kelopuro on his FT account. He’s down about $3.006 million, playing games as big as $500/$1,000 PLO.
On PokerStars, he plays under the screen name “Lrslzk”, where he collected $5.7 million in tournament winnings. His biggest cash to date was also on PokerStars: in May 2011, he topped a field of 380 players in the $10,300 SCOOP (Spring Championship of Online Poker) Main Event, and pocketed no less than $735,300.
On Natural8-GGNetwork, Kelopuro uses the moniker “MiMosa1”. On that site, he collected $5.4 million in MTT cashes. In February 2021, he took down the $10,000 Super MILLION$ NLHE event for $408,406.
In September 2019, a picture of Kelopuro went viral. It showed him sitting at a $100/$200 heads-up PLO cash table on partypoker – with $1.404 million in his stack… That is quite remarkable since partypoker only lets players buy-in for 100 BB’s (in this case, $20,000) at their cash tables.
Kelopuro, who uses the screen name “ChimneyBarrel” on party, elaborated on what happened in a post on his blog. As he explained, he originally lost around 4 buy-in ($800K) to his opponent, so his net profit was “only” around $1.3 million, 65 (!) buy-ins. He was generous enough to keep the identity of his battered opponent secret, even blanking out the screen name on the screenshots he shared.