WSOP: Juha Helppi Wins $5,000 PLO Championship, Second Bracelet

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Juha Helppi won his second career World Series of Poker bracelet after taking down the $5,000 PLO Championship on GGPoker. (WPT photo)

At the 2019 World Series of Poker, Finland’s Juha Helppi beat out 117 other players to win the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship to erase his name from the Best Players Without a Bracelet list. On Tuesday, the Finnish pro added a second bracelet after beating a star-studded field in the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Championship on GGPoker.

The event drew 328 total entries for a $1,558,000 prize pool. The event played as a Six Max until the final table which was played nine-handed.

Just a few minutes after the final table began, Jens Kyllonen raised to 120,000 from the small blind and Alex Difelice defended from the big. The flop came 9h8h4c and Kyllonen bet 240,000 and then called when Difelice moved all in for 303,518. Difelice showed AsQd9s4h while Kyllonen tabled AhTh7c6s. The Jc turn gave Kyllonen a straight. The Qs river eliminated Difelice in ninth place.

A few minutes later, Kyllonen had himself another victim. Marija Andrijasevic raised to 116,000 from UTG+1 and Kyllonen re-raised to 408,000 forcing Andrijasevic to call off the last 16,326 of his stack. Andrijasevic had JhTh5h4d while Kyllonen had AhQhJsTh. The 8c6h2c flop left Kyllonen in front but gave Andrijasevic a gutshot straight draw. The Kc turn changed nothing and the Th river gave both players a pair of tens but Kyllonen had Andrijasevic Andrijasevic out-kicked to eliminate him in eighth.

Mike Watson gave Kyllonen a break from doing the heavy lifting. Sergi Reixach raised to 140,000 from UTG and Watson called from the big blind. The flop came Ts8h5d and Watson bet 300,000 before Reixach moved all in for 360,000. Watson called and and showed Qc9d8d2c while Reixach was ahead with AcKcKh8c. Watson moved ahead on the Qh turn and Reixach was out in seventh after the 7c completed the board.

Kyllonen and Yuri Dzivielevski tangled in a pot a few minutes later that saw the former #1-ranked Dzivielevski hit the rail. From the button, Kyllonen raised to 100,000 and Dzivielevski re-raised to 340,000 from the small blind. Kyllonen responded by re-raising to 580,000 and Dzivielevski called all in. Kyllonen showed AdKsTs9h while Dzivielevski showed AcAhKd3d. The Td7s3d flop gave Kyllonen a pair of tens and the 9d turn improved him to the best hand with two pair. The 4s river offered no saving grace for Dzivielevski and he was out in sixth.

Despite being responsible for most of the final table bustouts, Kyllonen was next to go. Belarmino De Souza raised to 150,000 from the small blind and Kyllonen called. The flop came As8h6d De Souza bet 360,000 before Kyllonen moved all in for 440,248. De Souza called and showed Tc8d7s3s which put him ahead of Kyllonen’s Kc7c6s5c. The turn was the Kh to give Kyllonen some life but the 9c river completed a ten-high straight for De Souza to eliminate Kyllonen in fifth place.

Four-handed play lasted nearly an hour before one of the most highly decorated players at the final table was eliminated. Jesus Cortes raised to 200,000 on the button before Mike Watson raised to 700,000 and Cortes called. After the KsKc6h flop, Watson moved all in for 1,200,000 and Cortes called and showed AhKhJd6d. Watson was behind with AdTdTs7s but caught the Qd on the turn to make Broadway. Cortes made a full house on the 6s river to eliminate Watson in fourth.

De Souza lasted only five more minutes. Helppi raised to 240,000 from the button before De Souza re-raised to 780,000 from the small blind. Helppi re-raised and De Souza called all in. De Souza showed QdQh6s2h and Helppi held AsQcQs5s. The board ran out Kc9d4s8dAd to give Helppi a pair of aces on the river to bust De Souza in third place.

Heads-up play began with Cortes holding a slight chip lead over Helppi. Helppi worked his way into the chip lead before putting a wrap on the second WSOP bracelet win of his career. Cortes called from the button and Helppi checked. After the Th9s5d flop, Helppi checked, Cortes bet 320,000 and Helppi clicked back a raise to 1,280,000. Cortes called off the last of his stack and showed 9h7s5s3d for two pair but Helppi was in full control with TcTs7d3h. The turn was the Kd and the Kc completed the board to eliminate Cortes and award Helppi the bracelet and $290,285.58.

Final Table Payouts

  1. Juha Helppi – $290,286
  2. Jesus Cortes – $213,270
  3. Belarmino de Souza – $156,688
  4. Mike Watson – $115,117
  5. Jens Kyllonen – $84,576
  6. Yuri Dzivielevski – $62,137
  7. Sergi Reixach – $45,651
  8. Marija Andrijasevic – $33,540
  9. Alex Difelice – $24,641