Kaapo Martinmäki cannot just walk out of his house a find a casino to play poker.
"There's no live poker here besides random home games," he lamented.
Furthermore, he can't even call a father, mother, sister, or brother for a quick heads-up game of poker.
"I am the only one who plays poker in my family," he continued.
Despite it all, Martinmäki has all he needs to be a poker champion. With an internet connection and a little knowhow, Martinmäki claimed his first WCOOP bracelet early this morning after a 19-hour marathon of poker in Event #1, $215 No-Limit Hold'em Six-Max.
We caught up with him after he'd had a few hours to rest and dream about the more than $234,000 he won. He was still in shock.
"I hardly remember anything about the final table because it all happened so fast," he said. "It hasn't really sunk in yet. Winning the final-hand just felt really really awesome."
This all comes from a man who until this morning was a relatively unknown poker player who went by the name ChopSueyy on PokerStars (a nod to the System of a Down song of the same name). This comes from a man who maintains a philosophy of "It doesn't matter how strong your hand is preflop, since you can always flop two-pair."
Two hours before WCOOP started, he entered a $77 satellite to the $215 event. Less than an hour later he had his ticket. Nineteen hours later he had nearly a quarter million bucks, a WCOOP bracelet, and an impressive result for a guy who has only been playing poker for a couple of years. He started playing for pennies and now has the scratch to play just about any tournament he wants.
"I haven't gotten a job since high school, but don't really consider myself a pro yet," he said. "I've been pondering what to do with my life for the last four months. In the next few months I'll either start studying at the university or go pro."
At nineteen years old, the decision may be a lot easier to make now for the down-to-earth Martinmäki. He's got a ton of money and the first WCOOP bracelet of the season.
"I'm just a normal 19 year-old guy from a little town in Finland," he shrugged. "I like to play poker and soccer, watch movies and listen to music.I haven't really thought about what to do with the money yet."
For more on Event #1, see Jen Newell's report, ChopSueyyy serves up NLHE victory on a platter for Event 1.