Juha Helppi

Number one on Finland’s all-time money list for live tournament earnings, Juha Helppi is a veteran of the live poker scene with over $7,000,000 in winnings.

Number one on Finland’s all-time money list for live tournament earnings, Juha Helppi is a veteran of the live poker scene with over $7,000,000 in winnings. His first recorded tournament cash was over fifteen years ago back in 2001 and he has continued to maintain relevant and succeed in the world of tournament poker ever since. 

 Working as a croupier and surrounded by cards on a daily basis, getting into poker was a natural progression for Helppi. After beginning his career online and citing the classic poker strategy book Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players as a big help in his improvement, he won his first live tournament way back in 2002 – the $300 No Limit Hold’em Main Event WPT stop at Palm Beach for $50,000. Throughout his lengthy career, he has won a total of seven EPT titles including a $254,598 score at the 2009 Deauville €20,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event. To claim the title, he got past two experienced French poker pros in Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier and Jean-Noel Thorel. He also won the PartyPoker Premier League back in 2007 for $125,000 where he conquered long-time tournament specialist Phil Hellmuth to seize the top-prize.

Unluckily for Helppi, a WSOP bracelet has always eluded him. He came within touching distance of one back in 2006 when he finished second in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event – losing out to Phil Hellmuth on this occasion. Being teased by the trophy is something that has happened on multiple occasions throughout Helppi’s career; he has finished in second place in two different EPT high roller events and also in a WSOPE €1,500 Pot Limit Omaha event back in 2013.

In arguably the most unique poker tournament to ever take place, Helppi was crowned the champion of the first-ever underwater poker tournament at Interpoker’s Extreme Poker event back in 2005. Battling against pro players such as Phil Laak as well as stingrays and other underwater disturbances, winning a tournament in such adverse conditions is certainly a tough challenge.

Helppi is known for being an outspoken and entertaining presence at the poker table. He had an amusing back and forth with Tony G – the undisputed king of table-talk – at the PartyPoker Premier League series. In a hand featuring betting in the dark and a huge over-bet raise, the duo made for some exciting poker action (see it here).

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