Pro bowler Mika Koivuniemi wins his 3rd major and collects USD 250,000 in prize money in Las Vegas
Professional ten-pin bowler Mika Koivuniemi glowed with indescribable joy after winning an important tournament victory on Saturday. Koivuniemi took the USD 250,000 (EUR 185,000) first prize in the Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas.
“This is absolutely fantastic. The last couple of years have not been easy financially”, Koivuniemi said, referring to the funds that he lost in a pyramid scheme scam.
Koivuniemi does not like to talk about the lost money, but the sum was substantial. The prize money from Las Vegas will come in handy.
“This gives me a chance to continue bowling in the future and provides subsistence to my family”, Koivuniemi commented via telephone from Las Vegas.
Koivuniemi made it to the four-man final and faced Andres Gomez of Colombia in the first round. Gomez looked like taking the Finn out until the last frame, when Koivuniemi overtook him with a final score of 224-220.
In the end Gomez finished 4th and received a decent USD 40,000 compensation for his efforts.
“Many times I have said that the other guys always have better luck in TV finals. For once my luck turned this time with handsome rewards”, Koivuniemi said.
in his second match, Koivuniemi threw the weirdest series of his career. He finished with 299 points, just one point shy of a perfect game, whereas his American opponent Tom Daugherty scored no more than a novice-like hundred points.
“I would have been the first player ever to have scored 300 points in two TV finals, but that does not matter. The main thing was that I played a good game in the final”, said Koivuniemi, who scored a perfect 300 points in anther televised final in 2003.
“Still, the fact that I beat my opponent by 199 points in a TV final surely must be a record that will never be broken.”
In the final round, Koivuniemi scored ten strikes on 12 tries and beat Tom Smallwood fairly comfortably, 269-207. Smallwood’s second prize was a decent USD 100,000.
The million-dollar tournament held in the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas has the highest prize money of all the events on the PBA tour. The national ABC television channel aired the games live.
Koivuniemi’s season continues in Dublin, on the outskirts of San Francisco. Then after a week of rest, he will attend a Masters tournament in Reno and after that the US Open in New Jersey.
Earlier this month Koivuniemi even had time to travel to Finland to win the Ballmaster Open in Helsinki’s Tali Sports Park.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Mika Koivuniemi repeats his Ballmaster victory in bowling (10.1.2011)
Mika Koivuniemi (Wikipedia)