Juha Helppi

Juha Helppi is a Finnish professional poker player from Helsinki, Finland.

Before getting into poker, Juha was a high-level paintball player and his paintball team was the national champions of Finland 5 times - twice while Juha was the team captain. And, like other professional poker players, he played Magic: The Gathering successfully for several years when he was younger.

Born in 1977 in Turku, Finland, Juha didn't start playing poker until he was 21. He was working at a job as a casino dealer (although not in poker), when his friends introduced him to the different variations of poker, including internet poker. He started playing online in 1998, when the games were mainly limit holdem since no-limit holdem hadnt become popular yet.

He improved his skills after reading "Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players" by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth. Within a short amount of time, he was a winning player on the Internet (at Paradise Poker) and in live cash games. He then started playing in live tournaments and in 2001 and managed a third-place finish at the Helsinki Freezeout hold'em event.

Most people know Juha from his appearances on the World Poker Tour episodes in Aruba where he won the amateur tournament after going heads up against his friend Anssi Tuulivirda from Finland and then knocking out Kathy Liebert (Leibert was technically a professional player but qualified for the tournament online). He then went on to play, and beat, Phil Gordon who was the winner of the professional tournament and a huge favorite. The heads up duel between Gordon and Juha was interesting because Juha outplayed Gordon so well. Whenever Gordon tried to make a move on Juha, Juha reraise him - even when he had nothing.

Juha won the battle, but since this was before the WPT became popular, his prize for 1st place was only $50,000, which is far less than the seven-figure prizes of today. Along with his prize, he won a seat in the WPT Battle of Champions later that season, where he came in fourth. After winning the WPT Aruba Poker Classic, he took a year off from work and decided to try going pro. Even though his mom wasnt happy about it at the time, she is OK with it now, since he has been cashing in tournaments all over the world, making him an international poker star.

In 2003, he cashed in two WSOP events, including a fourth place finish in the $2,000 no-limit hold'em event. He also finished in second place finish at the 2004 Monte Carlo Millions main event for $200,000 and made another WPT final table at the 2005 Grand Prix de Paris where he finished in second place to Roland de Wolfe for over $300,000.

At the 2006 WSOP, Juha cashed in three events and almost won his first bracelet when he finished in second place in the $1,000 no-limit hold'em event to Phil Helmuth. Juha won $ 331,144 while Helmuth won his 10th bracelet.

Juha has been involved in a few unique tournaments over the past few years, including an underwater event and a tournament on ice. At the InterPoker.com Extreme Poker Challenge, Juha played in the Deep Water Series of Poker, an event where six players went down to the bottom of the Caribbean to play poker under water. Helppi, who was sponsored by InterPoker.com, was joined by fellow pros Phil Laak and Kenna James. The players were out of the game if they busted out, ran out of air or had to surface. Despite the fact that his mask was filling with water, Juha outlasted them all and won the first-ever Extreme Poker Challenge. As the winner, Juha got to pick the location of the next Extreme Challenge. He chose the Arctic Ice Shelf in Kemi, Finland, his home country. In March 2006, Juha, Robert Varkonyi, and four online players who qualified on InterPoker.com, played in below-zero weather on the ice shelf. After taking a bad beat early in the game, Varkonyi gave up his coat and played in just a t-shirt in order to buy back into the game. He eneded up making a comeback and won the game, with Juha finishing in second.

In 2009, Juha won over $250,000 with a 1st place at the EPT No Limit Hold'em event and $250,000 in the $20,000 Full Tilt Poker Million VIII.

Juha is an Interpoker pro. As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $2,400,000.


Log in to post comments
or Register

Juha is the man. Deserved to win that Grand de Paris WPT event. The other guy just got lucky. Good luck and keep up the good work.

Bender on July 29, 2006

Keep going, You are the best.

a fan on August 14, 2005

this guy sucks balls, does not deserve his own page.

Unregistered on August 11, 2005

ill be baaaack

Unregistered on August 3, 2005

let me see the nine millimeter handgun and also the 50 caliber machine gun

Unregistered on August 3, 2005

i must break you ..im the swedish paintball terminator

Unregistered on July 19, 2005

I agree JuhaFan, he played well. But i think Gordon actually played pretty poorly as well. He was quite aggressive early holding junk hands while Juha actually had better hands a lot of the time so could raise him out. For example, when Juha had KA and the flop included an ace, Gordon acted first and bet it out representing an ace and Juha immediately went all-in so Gordon HAD to fold with nothing but a low percentage inside str8 draw (holding 6-8o). I think Gordon thought he could intimidate the "amateur" with aggressive heads-up play but it just didnt work. Juha probably even sensed this and raised him when he had nothing himself to put him to the test. But overall, Juha is a good poker player.

Observer on July 15, 2005

Juha IS one of the best poker players in the WPT, the way he beat Phil Gordon was fantastic!!!!!

JuhaFan on July 9, 2005

One of Scandinavias best players. Juha, Gus and Martin de Knijff is my Top 3!

Wake on June 11, 2005

I dont know what i was thinkin playin heads up with u in the wpt. i was raising crap like 6-8 off suite and u SHOULDVE folded ur K-A!! u arent a very good player if arent intimidated by my monster bets. Granted i had SFA but i still played it correctly! You suck!

Phil Gordon on May 15, 2005

yeah we do, that's why i'm a little shocked that swedes are better than us ;)

a poker Finn on April 10, 2005

Shouldn't all Fins be good poker players? Don't they have the same look on their face whether they've just broken their leg or won the lottery?

Vegas Mike on April 4, 2005

Juha´s a personal friend of mine (Paintball team pal) and I´m absolutely, positively sure he´s not arrogant or pompus smuck. (comment to the earliest comments in the string).- He´s very selfconfident and has a healthy selfconsciousness when he knows what he´s doing.. Sure, he may seem boring, because we Finns are usually very shy, untalkative and/or restrained in showing emotion/feelings <> compare this with probably the complete opposite of e.g. people in Latin America... Add to this the fact that we don´t speak English as our native tongue (language barrier in casual chit chat/small talk/expressions).

Howari on March 27, 2005

Juha continues to shine. He came third in L.A Poker Classic (WPT event). Results:1. Amir Vahedi 2. Jason Chan 3. Juha Helppi 4. Michael Sigel 5. Paul Darden 6. Peter Tran 7. Aram Zerounian 8. Jim LEster 9. Greg Hopkins 10. Steve Crockett. He got got 114k$ officially, but they sweetened the 3rd place to 200$k when the play was three-handed.

betpot on February 19, 2005

The best finnish player at the moment hands down. Hope we'll get to send a lot more great players out there during the next years.

HighFly on January 25, 2005

i think Juha helppi is the bedst!!! i love to see him play. you rocks man!! :D

Theis Leth jensen/Svenskeren/leth89 on January 7, 2005

I think he is very interesting to watch. My favourite player and not even pro :D

KitCat on January 5, 2005

Juha Helppi came second in Monte Carlo millions contest ([url]http://www.poker.com/monte-carlo-millions.htm[/url]) just recently. And in the smaller tournaments he seems to be constant final table player

chegue on December 21, 2004

Right, warwick. He's ranked 758th in the world. That certainly justifies a spot on this page. Tournament / Event Date Place Points Winnings 2004 The Fifth Annual Jack Binion World Poker OpenNo-Limit Texas Hold'em Final Day 1/12/04 4 240 $24,780

slvsc2 on December 1, 2004

This guy has done well in more than 1 big tourney,ive seen him play 300-600 as well so he must be o.k.

warwick on November 29, 2004

He shouldn't even have his bio listed here. His 15 minutes ended about a year ago. Thankfully, we're now used to people turning $20 into $1M so these flash-in-the-pans won't be celebrated as much.

slvsc2 on November 16, 2004

superb player

chimbba on September 21, 2004

That moneymaker stare is for the hot dog or donut vendor. dont get confused.

joepro on July 14, 2004

Best name ever! Great player too. His terminator look is awesome. Similar look to moneymaker's stare.

Joepro on July 13, 2004

guy goes to wsop looking like terminator, doesnt scare shit

flush80 on July 1, 2004

Juha is wild and does hot signs with his hands, an amazing pokerplayer!

Zjukov on June 25, 2004

Juha boring? Juha has no personality? Have any of you Juha bashers been to Finland? The only reason he says anything is because the game forces him! LOL ... En puhu suomea.

betterdeadthanred on June 24, 2004

Juha rocks!!!

Monte on June 20, 2004

i adore juha helppi u rock man

Filip on June 18, 2004

Juha rocks!!!!!!!!!!!! Battle of chapions mach was great, he just had bad luck. Terveiset lärssylle, juha rulettaa :D

suomalainen on June 12, 2004

Yeah, Juha rocks! I was amazed to see a Finn in Aruba & Battle of Champions. He played fucking well. :D I'm a fan. Terveiset Suomesta!

Läissy on June 4, 2004

Hey, does anyone know where he went to college? Was it perhaps UK in Lexington, KY?

PokrWatchr on May 27, 2004

Maybe some guys in here dont like him for his apperance but ive watched several of tournaments with him and he realy is one of the hottest players in the world right now.

SuperAK on May 24, 2004

None of you would stand a chance against Juha. He's a beautiful man and a hell-of-a poker player.

DUX on May 20, 2004

I dont know why, but I don't like this guy.

SP. on May 10, 2004

Juha is poker "iceman" 8)

Juha Fan From Finland on May 2, 2004

Juha is absolutely the best and coolest guyin pokerworld.

truefan on March 14, 2004

one of the best? this guy is an arrogant, pompus smuck full of himself

cope on March 10, 2004

amazing player, will be one of the best

beener on February 27, 2004

Someone please slap that look off his face. LOL! He alright, not very exciting to watch though, I fall asleep almost everytime.

BillyTSlim on February 24, 2004

Are you Kirril's stunt double?

todd on February 12, 2004

no personality, but a solid player with good instinct.

rookie on February 12, 2004

Hands down, Juha is at least the third-best player from Spelki Finland!

Fin_it_2_Win_it on February 5, 2004

Famous Players

Alan Goehring
Alex Brenes
Allen Cunningham
Amarillo Slim
Amir Vahedi
An Tran
Andy Black
Andy Bloch
Annie Duke
Antonio Esfandiari
Barbara Enright
Barny Boatman
Barry Greenstein
Berry Johnston
Bobby Baldwin
Brad Daugherty
Carlos Mortensen
Chad Brown
Chip Jett
Chip Reese
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson
Chris Bigler
Chris Karagulleyan
Chris Moneymaker
Christer Johansson
Clonie Gowen
Crandell Addington
Cyndi Violette
Dan Harrington
Daniel Negreanu
Dave "Devilfish" Ulliot
David Benyamine
David Chiu
David Colclough
David Grey
David Pham
David Plastik
David Williams
Dewey Tomko
Doyle Brunson
Dutch Boyd
Eric Brenes
Eric Froehlich
Erica Schoenberg
Erick Lindgren
Erik Seidel
Eskimo Clark
Evelyn Ng
Farzad Bonyadi
Garry Bush
Gavin Smith
Greg Raymer
Gus Hansen
Harry Demetriou
Hasan Habib
Hon Le
Howard Lederer
Hoyt Corkins
Huck Seed
Humberto Brenes
Isabelle Mercier
Jason Lester
JC Tran
Jeff Madsen
Jeff Shulman
Jennifer Harman
Jesper HougaardNEW
Joe Awada
Joe Bartholdi
Joe Beevers
Joe Cada
John Bonetti
John Cernuto
John D'Agostino
John Hennigan
John Juanda
John Myung
John Phan
Johnny Chan
Jose Rosenkrantz
Joseph Hachem
Josh Arieh
Juha Helppi
Julian Gardner
Kassem "Freddy" Deeb
Kathy Liebert
Kenna James
Kirill Gerasimov
Layne Flack
Lee Watkinson
Liz Lieu
Marcel Luske
Marco Traniello
Mark Seif
Martin de Knijff
Matt Matros
Maureen Feduniak
Mel Judah
Men Nguyen
Michael Mizrachi
Mike Matusow
Mimi Tran
Oklahoma Johnny Hale
Patrik Antonius
Paul Darden
Paul Magriel
Paul Maxfield
Paul Phillips
Perry Friedman
Peter Costa
Phil Gordon
Phil Hellmuth
Phil Ivey
Phil Laak
Ram Vaswani
Robert Varkonyi
Robert Williamson
Ron Rose
Ross Boatman
Russ Hamilton
Russell Rosenblum
Sam Grizzle
Sammy Farha
Scott Fischman
Scotty Nguyen
Stan Goldstein
Steve Dannenmann
Stu Ungar
T.J. Cloutier
Ted Forrest
Thomas Keller
Thor Hansen
Tiffany Michelle
Tim Phan
Todd Brunson
Tony D
Tony G
Tony Ma
Vanessa Rousso
Young Phan

Poker Personalities

Brandi Hawbaker
Mike Sexton
Norman Chad
Shana Hiatt
Vince Van Patten
Wild Bill Hickok

Business & Industry

Anurag Dikshit
Barry Shulman
Benny Binion
Calvin Ayre
Lyle Berman
Matt Savage
Ruth Parasol
Vikrant Bhargava

Poker Groups

Hendon Mob
Team Bodog
Team FullTilt
Team PartyPoker
Team PokerStars
The Crew

Online Players

Brian Townsend


Andy Beal
Ben Affleck
Cindy Margolis
Gabe Kaplan
James Woods
Jennifer Tilly
Jerry Buss
Mimi Rogers
Norm MacDonald
Shannon Elizabeth
Tobey Maguire
Wil Wheaton

Poker Authors

Andy Glazer
David Sklansky
James McManus
Lee Jones
Lou Krieger
Mike Caro
Rolf Slotboom
Tom McEvoy
Vince Burgio

WPT Amateurs

Harley Hall
James Tippin
Randy Jensen

Fictional Players

Cincinnati Kid
Mike McDermott