Juha HelppiSun, 15 Jun 2008 18:40
A poker biography of Juha Helppi.
Name - Juha Helppi
Born - 1977, Turku, FinlandPoker Room - Inter Poker
Born on March 1977, Juha Helppi is a proud Finish poker pro from Helsinki. Before becoming a poker player, Helppi was an excellent paintball player and a soccer enthusiast. His first exposure to the risky environment of poker was when he worked as a card dealer in a casino. He started playing poker at 21, when he learned from a couple of his good friends that he can play online poker. He first tried playing on ParadisePoker.com, though he admits that he learned several poker techniques through the book, Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players. After reading the poker guide book written by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth, he soon started finishing tables after tables.
It is not surprising if Juha Helppi, or the Finish Flash, easily penetrated the poker league for he has been a good card player. He successfully played Magic: The Gathering for a few years when he was younger. He created a name in the poker scene when he outwitted Kathy Liebert in the first ever World Poker Tour (WPT) happened in Aruba. He bested Liebert to play for the heads-up challenge and face poker pro Phil "Tiltboy" Gordon. After that match up, he made two more final tables on WPT . He ranked 4th in the Battle of the Champions Season 1, and he placed 2nd in the Grand Prix de Paris in 2005 where Roland De Wolfe of England finished 1st place. In addition to Helppi's poker record, he also made it to the money of five events of World Series of Poker (WSOP).
One of the highlights in Helppi's career is when he played against "Cowboy" Kenna James and Phil "The Unabomber" Laak in the world's first underwater poker tournament. Juha Helppi won the said competition and took home the Caribbean Poker Classic Extreme Poker bracelet. The bracelet was made from authentic Caribbean beads and seashells, and it was given to him on November 29, 2005 during the Interpoker.com awards ceremony. According to Helppi, the underwater tournament was among the challenging games that he has ever faced. He was tested not only by the two great poker icons James and Laak, but he also had to overcome the water leaking into his mask and the stingrays underwater. Being the 2005 winner of the extreme poker tournament, he was given the honor to pick the location for the 2006 tournament. He chose to play on the frozen Gulf of Bothnia in Kemi, Finland where he placed 2nd to Robert Varkonyi, also a previous WSOP champ.
In 2003, Juha Helppi was awarded Rookie of the Year in the European Poker Awards. Although he is still quite new in the league, Helppi believes that his former career as a paintball player helps him a lot in staying longer on poker tables. As an ex-paintball captain, he is used to planning different games and using various strategies to beat his opponents. People can see Helppi on poker tables with an expressionless behavior or "poker face". This "kid with the purple glasses" has total winnings of more than $1,400,000 from his live tournaments.