Juha Helppi Finally Does It: Finnish Poker Hero Claims First Bracelet in $10K Limit!
After a grueling thirteen hours on the final day of Event #72: $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship , Finnish poker legend Juha Helppi finally claimed his first WSOP bracelet and the first-place prize of $306,622 that came with it. Helppi played Mike Lancaster heads-up for a long four hours to come out victorious in the end. The 50th Annual World Series of Poker edition of this tournament attracted 118 entries which beat last year’s number.
"Finally getting that bracelet that I’ve been looking for, like for 16 years, it’s amazing."
This is not Helppi’s biggest win ever, but the bracelet does mean the most to him: “I’ve been close to winning a bracelet many times, that’s why it was so exciting because it happened to me many times in the past. Finally getting that bracelet that I’ve been looking for, like for 16 years, it’s amazing.”
Helppi has come close many times indeed, finishing in second place three times, third once, fourth once, and fifth once at the WSOP. The most recent deep run was last year in Event #70: $3,000 Limit Hold’em 6-Handed where he lost out to Yaser Al-Keliddar. Helppi built his bankroll by playing Limit Hold’em and has a lot of heads-up experience, and this time it paid off.
Helppi already collected just over a million in cashes during the WSOP events, and even though he added a chunk to it now, he’s already got his sights set on the Main Event: “I’m playing it tomorrow, so I don’t have much time to rest. But maybe a new bracelet will be coming!”
Event #72: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship Final Table Results
|2||Mike Lancaster||United States||$189,505|
|3||Tommy Hang||United States||$133,718|
|4||Anthony Marsico||United States||$96,272|
|5||Kevin Song||United States||$70,750|
|6||Josh Arieh||United States||$53,095|
|7||Kyle Ray||United States||$40,709|
|8||Qinghai Pan||United States||$31,902|
|9||Robert Como||United States||$25,566|
The day started with fifteen players in their seats, and it didn’t even take ten minutes before the first player was sent to the payout desk. Spain’s Raul Paez was the first to go when he got all his chips in with pocket treys on the jack-seven-five flop and was called by Josh Arieh who held pocket kings. Arieh stayed ahead to claim Paez’s chips in the end.
Day 1 chip leader Andrew Brown started the day as the absolute short stack and couldn’t find a way to build his stack up as he was eliminated in thirteenth place.
Eli Elezra wouldn’t be adding another bracelet to his collection of four as Lancaster took him out. John Racener wasn’t going to win a second bracelet either as he too fell victim to Lancaster. Jerry Robinson ended up the final table bubble boy when Helppi eliminated him in tenth place.
The final table was almost an all-American fairy tale except for the lone Finnish player in Helppi who ended up beating them all. Helppi went into the final table second in chips and stayed near the top for most of the almost twelve hours it lasted.
"I’ve been close to winning a bracelet many times, that’s why it was so exciting"
It went from nine to six in a span of thirty minutes with Robert Como, Qinghai Pan, and Kyle Ray busting in that order.
It would take another eighty minutes of six-handed play before Josh Arieh was ousted with pocket sevens. Lancaster had king-queen on the queen-six-ten flop and held throughout the board to take Arieh down in sixth place.
Forty minutes later, Kevin Song was done for the night as he wasn’t going to claim his second WSOP bracelet in this event. Both him and Lancaster had flopped a pair of kings, but Lancaster was ahead with the ace-kicker and stayed ahead.
The four remaining players played two more hours before they all went on dinner break with Lancaster in the lead. Fifteen minutes after returning, Anthony Marsico ran out of chips when he was up against Helppi with ace-six while Helppi had ace-king. No help on the board and Marsico was sent to the payout desk to collect his second ever WSOP cash.
Tommy Hang had the most prominent and loudest rail of all which also included Chino Rheem and JC Tran during the breaks of the Main Event. After hanging on with a short stack for hours, though, Hang required help when almost all went in preflop with ace-ten. Helppi held ace-eight, and they both made a flush on the river with Helppi holding the nuts with the ace of spades.
"I caught a few of his bluffs, and I was able to do some correct moves and get some extra value when I had a hand. So in the end, I think I deserved it."
Heads-up the chips kept flying back and forth, both claiming the chip lead at certain points throughout the long battle. In the end, Helppi managed to grind it out and claim the win. “I think I’ve played the heads-up well; he was a good player. I caught a few of his bluffs, and I was able to do some correct moves and get some extra value when I had a hand. So in the end, I think I deserved it.”
“My rail helped me so much, it helped me through the bad times, it helped me play my A-game,” Helppi added at the end while his rail was still celebrating, drinking, and chatting in an empty Amazon room in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.
You can read the full reporting from this event in the Event #72: $10,000 Limit Hold'em Championship Live Reporting pages. Want to watch the WSOP Final Tables live? Sign up for PokerGO.com!
In this Series
- 1 Aria Dealer Nicholas Haynes Wins WSOP $500 Casino Employees Event
- 2 Brian Green Cracks Kings, Beats Imsirovic, Wins First WSOP Bracelet
- 3 Derek McMaster Wins 2019 WSOP Event #4: $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better for $228,228
- 4 Yong 'LuckySpewy1' Kwon Wins WSOP Online Bracelet, Hellmuth Fifth for First Summer Cash
- 5 Dan Zack Claims First Bracelet After Fantastic Comeback in WSOP $2,500 Limit Mixed Triple Draw
- 6 Ben Heath Wins His First Bracelet - Conquers WSOP $50,000 High Roller for $1.48 Million
- 7 Yuval Bronshtein Wins First Bracelet After 10 WSOP Final Table Apperances
- 8 Daniel Strelitz Claims First WSOP Bracelet and $442,385 in Event #11: $5,000 NLHE
- 9 Scott Clements Wins Event #10: $1,500 Dealers Choice ($144,957)
- 10 Jeremy Pekarek Wins Event #9: $600 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack for First Gold Bracelet
- 11 Daniel Park Wins Event #12: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Super Turbo Bounty for $226,243
- 12 Alex Epstein Wins Event #8: $10,000 Short Deck for $296,277
- 13 Femi Fashakin Wins Largest-Ever Poker Tournament; BIG 50 Triumph Earns Him $1,147,449
- 14 Isaac Baron Captures Long-Awaited WSOP Bracelet in Event #16: $1,500 NLH 6-Handed
- 15 Backed by Insane Rail, Murilo Souza Wins $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. ($207,003)
- 16 Sean Swingruber Defeats Ben Yu, Wins First WSOP Bracelet in $10,000 Heads-Up
- 17 Brett Apter Wins First Bracelet in Event #17: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Shootout
- 18 Frankie O'Dell Wins His Third WSOP Omaha Hi-Lo in $10K Championship Event
- 19 Galfond, Bleznick, Zamani Fall Short as Josh "loofa" Pollock Wins Second Bracelet in $600 Online PLO Event
- 20 Eli Elezra Wins Fourth WSOP Bracelet and $93,766 in Event #20: $1,500 Seven Card Stud
- 21 Expecting Father Jorden Fox Conquers Event #22: $1,000 Double Stack to Win $420,693
- 22 Former Main Event Champ Jim Bechtel Wins $10K 2-7 Single-Draw for $253,817
- 23 Rami Boukai Wins 2019 WSOP Event #23: $1,500 8-Game Mix for $177,294
- 24 John Gorsuch Rebounds from 2 Bigs to Win 2019 WSOP Millionaire Maker for $1,344,930
- 25 Andrew Donabedian Turns $600 Into $205,605 Payday at 2019 WSOP
- 26 Michael Mizrachi Wins His Fifth Bracelet!
- 27 Stephen Song Battles To Capture First Bracelet and $341,854 in Event #28: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
- 28 "Silent Assassin" Thomas Cazayous Wins the WSOP $3K Six-Max for $414,766
- 29 Greg Mueller Wins His Third Bracelet, Takes Down WSOP $10,000 H.O.R.S.E.
- 30 Luis Zedan Wins 2019 WSOP Event #30: $1K PLO for $236,673; Will Donate 35% to Charity
- 31 Roman Korenev Wins 2019 WSOP Event #26 for $477,401 After "Marathon" Battle
- 32 Australian Robert Campbell Wins Maiden WSOP Bracelet in $1,500 Limit 2-7
- 33 Upeshka "gomezhamburg" De Silva Wins His Third Bracelet in WSOP Online Event
- 34 Howard Mash Wins First Bracelet and $662,594 in WSOP Seniors Championship
- 35 Adam Friedman Goes Back-to-Back in WSOP $10,000 Dealer's Choice Championship
- 36 David Lambard Claims First WSOP Bracelet in Event #36: $3,000 NLH Shootout
- 37 Salt Lake's Robert Mitchell Wins Event #37: $800 No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack ($297,537)
- 38 Joseph Cheong Breaks Through, Wins $1K Double Stack for $687,782
- 39 Ismael Bojang Wins WSOP Gold Bracelet and $298,507 in 10th 2019 WSOP Cash
- 40 Hennigan Wins Sixth Bracelet in $10,000 Seven Card Stud, Negreanu Second
- 41 Dan 'centrfieldr' Lupo Wins $500 WSOP.com ONLINE No-Limit Hold'em Deepstack for $145,274
- 42 Aristeidis Moschonas Turns Chip-and-a-Chair into Event #42: $600 Mixed NLH/PLO Deepstack Win
- 43 Michael Blake Wins Event #39: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold'em, Shulman Second
- 44 Loren Klein Wins 4th Bracelet in 4 Years; Claims $127,808 in Event #43: $2,500 Mixed Big Bet
- 45 Asi Moshe Captures Third WSOP Bracelet in $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty
- 46 Stephen Chidwick Captures First WSOP Bracelet in Event #45: $25K PLO High Roller for $1,618,417
- 47 Ari Engel Wins His First WSOP Bracelet and $427,399 in Event #48: $2,500 No-Limit Hold'em
- 48 Luke Schwartz Latest To Win First Bracelet, Triumphs in $10K 2-7 Championship
- 49 South Korea's Jiyoung Kim Wins 2019 WSOP Ladies Championship for $167,308
- 50 Jason "TheBigGift" Gooch Does It; Wins $1,000 WSOP.com Online Event!
- 51 Brazil's Yuri Martins Dzivielevski Captures First Bracelet and $213,750!
- 52 WCOOP Winner Jonas Lauck Secures First WSOP Bracelet and $260,335 in $1,500 Turbo Bounty
- 53 Santiago Soriano Wins $371,203 and First Bracelet in the WSOP $800 Deepstack
- 54 Dash Dudley Wins Event #52: $10,000 PLO Championship ($1,086,967)
- 55 Kevin Gerhart Dominates $1,500 Razz Final Table to Win First WSOP Bracelet and $119,054
- 56 Another Day, Another Millionaire; Kainalu McCue-Unciano Wins the WSOP Monster Stack
- 57 Israel's Team Geiger Wins WSOP $1,000 Tag Team Event
- 58 Joe Foresman Wins 2019 WSOP $600 Deepstack Championship for Nearly $400K
- 59 Anthony Zinno Wins 2019 WSOP $1,500 PLO Hi-Lo for 2nd Career Bracelet; Aims for POY
- 60 Phil Hui's Dream Comes True as He Conquers $50K Poker Players Championship for $1,099,311
- 61 Scott Seiver Wins $10,000 Razz Championship for Third WSOP Bracelet
- 62 Anatolii Zyrin Denies Yueqi Zhu Title Defense to Win WSOP $1,500 Omaha Mix Title
- 63 Sejin Park Claims First-Ever Open Event Bracelet for South Korea; Wins 2019 WSOP Colossus for $451,272
- 64 Nicholas "Illari" Baris Wins $303,739 in Massive WSOP.com ONLINE Championship
- 65 Nick Schulman Wins Third Bracelet in Event #65: $10,000 PLO8 or Better Championship
- 66 David “ODB” Baker Steamrolls $1,500 Limit Hold’em to Capture 2nd WSOP Gold Bracelet
- 67 Robert Campbell Wins His Second Bracelet of the Summer in $10K Stud Hi-Lo, Grabs POY Lead
- 68 French Pro Jeremy Saderne Wins 2019 WSOP Mini Main Event ($628,654)
- 69 From Working at In-N-Out Burger to Crushing Poker; Rick Alvarado Triumphs in WSOP Crazy Eights for $888,888
- 70 Brandon "DrOctagon" Adams Wins WSOP.com ONLINE High Roller for $411,560
- 71 High Roller Joao Vieira Wins First Bracelet and $758,011 in $5,000 6-Max
- 72 Juha Helppi Finally Does It: Finnish Poker Hero Claims First Bracelet in $10K Limit!
- 73 Susan Faber Wins First Bracelet in Event #71: $500 Salute to Warriors No-Limit Hold'em
- 74 Shawn "bucky21" Buchanan Wins His First Bracelets, Takes Down $800 WSOP.com ONLINE 6-Max ($223,119)
- 75 Danny Tang Wins $50,000 Final Fifty for $1,608,406: "I Want to go Down in the History Books"
- 76 Tu Dao Wins WSOP $3,000 Limit Hold'em 6-Max for $133,189
- 77 James Anderson Wins 2019 WSOP Little One for One Drop for $690,686
- 78 Denmark's Maximilian Klostermeier Wins First Bracelet in Event #78: $1,500 PLO Bounty
- 79 Shankar Pillai Takes Down 2019 WSOP $1,500 Bracelet Winners Only Event
- 80 Ivan Deyra's Dream Comes True; Wins Event #79: $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em ($380,090)
- 81 Boyhood Dream Achieved: Jerry Odeen Wins WSOP Bracelet for $304,793
- 82 Keith Tilston Wins 2019 WSOP $100K High Roller; Negreanu Finishes as Runner-Up
- 83 Tom Koral Wins Second Bracelet in Event #82: $1,500 NLH Double Stack ($530,164)
- 84 Taylor "Galactar" Paur Wins his Second Bracelet in $500 WSOP.com ONLINE Summer Saver
- 85 Abhinav Iyer Takes Down The Closer to Win His First Bracelet and $565,346
- 86 Alan Sternberg Wins $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed for First WSOP Bracelet
- 87 Carl Shaw Defeats Tony Dunst to Claim First Bracelet & $606,562, Hellmuth Sixth
- 88 Anuj Agarwal Wins $10K 6-Max on Last Day of 2019 WSOP ($630,747)
- 89 Denis Strebkov Wins His First Bracelet and $206,173 Top-Prize in $3k H.O.R.S.E.
- 90 Hossein Ensan Wins the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event for $10,000,000