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After 16 Years, Juha Helppi Picks Up First Career World Series Of Poker Bracelet

Finnish Poker Pro Earns $306,622 For Winning The $10,000 Limit Hold'em Event


While day 1B of the 2019 World Series of Poker main event bagged up for the evening in the background, the final table of the $10,000 buy-in limit hold’em championship event was still being played out.

The tournament drew a field of 118, which was up slightly from the 114 that entered last year when Scott Seiver won the event. There was a total of $1,109,200 in the prize pool.

In the end, the title and the $306,622 first-place prize went to long-time grinder Juha Helppi. Helppi, who is second on Finland’s all-time money list behind Patrik Antonius with nearly $7.5 million in career earnings, picked up his first career bracelet with the win.

“Of course it feels great. I don’t feel that tired right now because it’s so exciting to play for a bracelet. I’ve been coming here since 2003,” Helppi told WSOP reporters. “This means a lot to me to win a bracelet. It’s such a long journey.”

Helppi’s previous best finish at the WSOP came back in 2006, when he finished second in a $1,000 no-limit hold’em event for $331,144. He also had a runner-up finish in the $3,000 six-max limit hold’em event last summer for $95,380, and finished third in that same event back in 2013 as well. It was his seventh final table-appearance overall.

Helppi battled heads-up opponent Mike Lancaster long into the night in a match that stretch on for five hours and finally concluded just after 3 a.m. local time. The final table also featured notables Tommy Hang (3rd), Kevin Song (5th), and Josh Arieh (6th).

This is Finland’s fourth bracelet winner ever. Helppi joins Jens Kyllonen, Ville Wahlbeck, and Jani Vilmunen, who each have one bracelet.

In addition to the money, Helppi also earned 600 Card Player Player of the Year points for his win. The POY is sponsored by Global Poker.

Other notables who finished in the money included John Racener (11th), Eli Elezra (12th), Andrew Brown (13th), James Obst (16th), and Tony G (18th).

Here is a look at the final table results.

Place Player Payout POY Points
1 Juha Helppi $306,622 600
2 Mike Lancaster $189,505 500
3 Tommy Hang $133,718 400
4 Anthony Marsico $96,272 300
5 Kevin Song $70,750 250
6 Josh Arieh $53,095 200
7 Kyle Ray $40,709 150
8 Qinghai Pan $31,902 100
9 Robert Como $25,566 50

For more coverage from the summer series, check out the 2019 WSOP landing page, complete with a full schedule, results, news, player interviews, and event recaps.