Ilkka Koskinen – The $3.4million Crusher That History Forgot

How do you win over $3.4million online and escape the notice of someone who writes about online crushers pretty much every day of his life? That is the question your writer is asking himself after spotting the amazing career of Finnish beast Ilkka Koskinen – aka bernard_bb and LokoIsBack.

By: Andrew Burnett

Perhaps one reason, other than memory failure on my part, is that Koskinen’s LokoIsBack account seems to be missing from the list of Biggest Poker Winners – where he would jump straight in at a very decent 33rd spot – though pushing his other account bernard_bb down one spot to 53rd!

Let’s start with that first nickname and see exactly how he managed to get among the big boys and girls of the online nosebleed crusher crew…

Remarkably, that 150k hand winning curve spanned barely 14 months – and in reality it was an incredible 10 months in 2010 that saw Koskinen win his $2million, a $23 per hand PLO spree that secured his place in poker history.

For someone who was playing $500/1000 stakes against the likes of Tom Durrrr Dwan, Phil OMGClayAiken Galfond and others legends of the game, it’s strange to see his biggest single pot was barely over the $100k mark…and in NLHE

The reason is fairly simple, however, as LokoIsBack had a habit of buying in for the bare minimum – an understandable ploy when you’re up against the ultimate beasts of the game in its heyday, but also a way to miss out on value when you get the better of them.

It seems to have worked out pretty well for the Finnish player though, a hit-and-run profit of $2,002,341 one of the best years in online nosebleed history.

Moving on to his PokerStars alter ego, bernard-bb, and we see an almost identical profile. A few more hands and months, a little less profit, but nevertheless an incredible graph…

Looking a little more closely, we see the post-Black Friday switch to PokerStars took a little time to get up-and-running for Koskinen, but when it did there was little stopping him from beasting the red spade site as well…

This time it was PLO and much bigger pots that topped his individual money-making charts, still with his short-buy tactics…

With a profit of $1488,484 over the course of 123k hands, that’s a $12 profit per hand – a number most pros at any level would kill for. To do it at the nosebleeds puts Koskinen right up there with the game’s legends.

Before we leave the hugely-successful but short-lived career of the Finn behind, there’s the no small matter of his live tournament career – Koskinen posting $905,855 in tournament earnings.

That included three 6-figure scores, all of them played in his native Finland, which again keeps his name under the radar somewhat.

So, there you have it – one of the biggest online crushers that nobody remembers…or your writer having a bad memory day? Answers on a postcard please!


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