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Juha Helppi Wins the 2018 OlyBet Kings of Tallinn Main Event

Juha Helppi

Finnish poker legend Juha Helppi outlasted a field of 268 players to win the 2018 OlyBet Kings of Tallinn €1,100 Main Event for €62,000.

The win caps off a huge week where he won more than six-digits when taking into account playing high-limit €50/€100 pot-limit Omaha with double straddles against Patrik Antonius, Theo Jorgensen, Ville Wahlbeck, Jani Vilmunen, Kings of Tallinn High Roller Winner Ellis Parssinen, and others.

Helppi now has almost $7.2 million in career live cashes after the win, only second in Finland to Antonius' $7.3 million. Despite his impressive poker resume, this is only Helppi's second live tournament win with at least 200 players in his two-decade poker career.

2018 Kings of Tallinn Main Event Final Table Results

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize
1Juha HelppiFinland€62,000
2Arto Ilmari LoikkanenFinland€41,000
3Arunas GarunkstisLithuania€25,000
4Vincas TamasauskasLithuania€19,800
5Totti Matias ArusuoFinland€15,200
6Shahin Shirazi NejadSweden€10,800
7Arto Antero LehtonenFinland€8,500
8Quang Thanh DoanFinland€6,200
9Silver NommikEstonia€5,200

The tournament was a deep-stacked affair with players starting off with 30,000 in chips and blinds increasing every 60 minutes. Players were permitted to re-enter up until the start of Day 2. By the end of the second day, the field was trimmed down to 60 players. The money bubble was reached on Day 3, and the field was trimmed down to 24 players to begin Day 4. The final table was reached on Day 4 as just nine players remained after a relatively short penultimate day.

While the pot was already fairly large, Arosou made an amazing laydown.

The final table began with Finland's Totti Matias Arusuo in the lead and Helppi on his tail in second place.

Estonia's Silver Nommik, the only player remaining from the home country, entered the table as the short-stack and was unable to move up the ladder taking ninth place for €5,200. He jammed five-three suited and didn't get there against the ace-jack held by Lithuania's Arunas Garunkstis.

Finland's Quang Thanh Doan was the next to go in eighth place for €6,200 after he jammed his short-stack on the button with queen-ten and couldn't get there against Helppi's ace-jack.

Shortly after, Finland's Arto Antero Lehtonen hit the rail in seventh place for €8,500 when he flopped top two pair with jack-nine only to run into the set of Arosuo with pocket nines.

Helppi then grabbed the lead from Arosuo and never looked back. He flopped top-set with pocket queens against Arosou's middle set with pocket eights. While the pot was already fairly large, Arosou made an amazing laydown when Helppi was all-in on the river to save him many valuable chips.

Sweden's Shahin Shirazi Nejad, who entered the final table short on chips, was eliminated in sixth place for €10,800 after he flopped top pair with king-queen and was unable to find the help he needed on the turn and river against the pocket aces held by Arto Ilmari Loikkanen.

Arosou got low on chips after his pocket aces were cracked by the jack-ten suited held by Garunkstis. He was then eliminated in fifth place for €15,200 when his king-queen was unable to out flip Helppi's eights.

Lithuania's Vincas Tamasauskas got low on chips after losing a crucial flip to Loikkanen when his ace-king couldn't improve against his opponent's pocket eights. Loikkanen then took the rest of the Lithuanian's chip when his king-three held against nine-six sending Tamasauskas on the rail in fourth place for €19,800. Tamasauskas took seventh place in last year's Main Event and shared before the final table began that anything less than a win would be a "total disaster." However, after hitting the rail, he was in good spirits and seemed pleased with his overall performance.

Helppi had more than a two-to-one chip advantage and slightly extended it before the final hand took place.

Garunkstis hit the showers next, going out in third place for €25,000. The Lithuanian was low on chips after he called a bet against Helppi's flush and then got the rest of his chips in with jack-nine against ten-seven. Garunkstis was safe on the flop, but a ten hit the turn, and the river was of no help.

This left Helppi and fellow Finn Loikkanen heads-up for the title. Helppi had more than a two-to-one chip advantage and slightly extended it before the final hand took place.

Helppi opened with ace-queen and Loikkanen three-bet with ace-ten. Helppi four-bet all-in and his opponent called. The board ran out with nothing but blanks and Loikkanen was eliminated in second place for €41,000. Helppi claimed the title and began 2018 with a bang.

Juha Helppi

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