JENS KYLLONEN WINS $25K BUY-IN POT-LIMIT OMAHA HIGH-ROLLER CHAMPIONSHIP

Finnish PLO specialist collects $1,127,035 top prize in Event #62

Kyllonen becomes third WSOP gold bracelet winner in history from Finland

TommyLe fights tough battle, but finishes as runner up

 

MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION

Name:  Jens Kyllonen
Birthplace:  Helsinki, Finland
Age:  26
Current Residence:   Helsinki, Finland
Marital Status:  Single
Children:  None
Profession:  Professional Poker Player (online)
Number of WSOP Cashes:  3
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances:  1
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament):  1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 113th (2011)
Total WSOP Earnings:  $1,200,035
Personal Facts:  Plays Pot-Limit Omaha online for high stakes

 

Winner’s Quote:

“I don’t want to get into other people’s mistakes at the table in this tournament, but online I play against tougher opposition.”

Jens Kyllonen is the newest member of poker’s gold bracelet club.

The 26-year-old professional poker player from Helsinki, Finland won the $25,000 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha High-Roller tournament, which was played over four days and three nights and concluded on the ESPN main stage at the Rio in Las Vegas.  Due in large measure to a fierce back and forth battle during the later stages of the competition, the tournament extended longer than expected.

Kyllonen collected a whopping $1,127,035 in prize money, making this the biggest win of his career -- barely.  He’s been playing in the highest-stakes cash games for the past six years.  In fact, he’s even won (and lost) seven figures within a single day.   

“I can’t remember having a rush like I had today,” Kyllonen said shortly after his victory.  “I had some big wins online and back in 2011 I won a million in a single day.  But other than that, this is the biggest one.”

Despite his well-deserved reputation as a PLO master, this was only his third time to cash in a WSOP event.  He arrived in Las Vegas to play in this event only a day before the tourney started, making this the only tournament he’s entered this year.  Hence, Kyllonen stands at a perfect 1 for 1 in the events he’s entered. 

With his victory, Kyllonen became the third gold bracelet winner from Finland, following in the footsteps of Jani Vilmunen and Ville Wahlbeck.  Both previous wins came in 2009.  It was no surprise that the latest win for the Finns came in a game where they are particularly known for their proficiency, especially in online circles.

“I think PLO has more action.  You can make more hands with four cards,” Kyllonen said.  “I also think it’s easier to get lucky in this game.”

Kyllonen won his victory by coming out on top at a final table which included a formidable lineup of experienced foes.  High Roller events tend to attract many of the most successful poker players to the pressure-filled arena, and this one-- with a million-dollar prize plus the added incentive of a gold bracelet dangling in front of the winner -- attracted both cash game and tournament professionals, such as Kyllonen and others.  Two gold bracelet winners were seated among the final nine – including Ryan D’Angelo and Robert Mizrachi.

When three finalists returned on Day Four, they were in a virtual dead heat at about 7M in chips each.  It was anyone’s tournament to win (or lose) and given the deep stacks everyone expected a long battle.  They weren’t disappointed.  The added day lasted another four hours.

After about an hour of the final day, Dan Smith was finally knocked out in third place.  That left Kyllonen to face Tommy Le heads up for what would be either player’s first gold bracelet.  When the duel began, the Finn enjoyed nearly a 2 to 1 chip advantage.  That set into motion a nearly three-hour grind where both players had the chip lead at various stages.  However, Kyllonen seized command late with a couple of big pots and the closed the victory in front of a packed gallery of spectators who were evenly split between the Finn and the American.

After Kyllonen won a huge pot when he flopped quad-aces, the closing moment came a short time later when Kyllonen scooped the final pot of the tournament, against Le who finished as the runner up.  This was Le’s second final table appearance of the summer, after coming in fifth place in a previous event.  His consolation prize amounted to $696,558.

“The heads-up match took much longer than I expected,” Kyllonen said afterward.  “That’s PLO when you play short-handed.  Situations can change so fast.  You can play your best, but you can’t help it.  You have to win the all-ins.”

Kyllonen is one of many outstanding players from Finland.  However, when it comes to Pot-Limit Omaha, he might be the best.  Kyllonen has made news over the years and was even a target of cheaters who once tried to bug his computer in an effort to see his cards while playing online.  The thievery was found out, and Kyllonen has since become an outspoken advocate of security measures warning players, especially high-stakes players, to protect themselves.

This tourney attracted 184 entrants which created a prize pool totaling $4,370,000.  The top 28 finishers collected prize money.

Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:

 

Second Place:  Tommy Le, from Tustin, CA came close to what would have been a first WSOP victory.  He had the chip lead at various stages but wasn’t able to close out the win.  Still, Le pocketed a very nice $696,558 prize.  This was one of many cashes at the WSOP.  This was his third final table of the ’16 series – coming in 2nd, 3rd and 5th.

 

Third Place:  Dan Smith, from Las Vegas, NV came in third place in what was his 24th time to cash.  He’s now pocketed nearly $2 million have collecting $487,361 for this deep run.  Smith now has four 3rd-place finishes at the WSOP – including three in the last two years.

 

Fourth Place:  Ryan D’Angelo, from Binghamton, NY was aiming for a second gold bracelet of the summer after winning the $1,500 Deuce-to-Seven tourney during opening week.  This marked his seventh cash in 2016, and 26th in-the-money finish overall at the series.  D’Angelo picked up another $347,641 and crossed the $1 million mark in career earnings.

 

Fifth Place:  Veselin Karakitukov came in fifth place, which paid a cool $252,909.  The poker player from Plovdiv, Bulgaria also cashed in a previous PLO event this year.

 

Sixth Place:  Dmitry Savelyev, from San Bruno, CA added $187,724 to his winnings by coming in sixth.  He came in second in an earlier event this year and has now cashes seven times in WSOP events.

 

Seventh Place:  Ludovic Geilich, from Glasgow, Scotland came in seventh.  He pocketed $142,227 in his fourth series cash.

 

Eighth Place:  Sean Winter, from Jacksonville, FL finished in eighth place, which paid $110,035.  This was Winter’s second final table appearance in a Pot-Limit Omaha tournament at this year’s series.  He previously finished in eighth place in the $3K buy-in version of this tourney.

 

Ninth Place:  Robert Mizrachi, from Hollywood, FL continued to astound with yet another deep run in a tough and prestigious tournament.  This marked his ninth cash at the 2016 series.  Mizrachi won his fourth gold bracelet opening week and now has added another $86,969 to his poker bankroll.

 

This was the 62nd official event on this year’s schedule.  This leaves 7 gold bracelet events still to go at the 2016 WSOP.

 

OTHER NOTABLE IN-THE MONEY FINISHERS: 

 

Robert Mizrachi’s ninth-place finish was made more interesting by his brother Michael Mizrachi coming in 12th place in this event.  The Mizrachi’s have appeared at a final table once before, at the 2007 Poker Players Championship.  They almost repeated that feat again here.

 

Other gold bracelet winners who finished in-the-money included – Paul Volpe (13th) and Chris Lee (15th).

 

EVENT DIRECT LINKS:

For this event’s official final results (listing all players who finished in-the-money), please visit:

http://www.wsop.com/tournaments/results.asp?grid=1232&tid=14962

For Jens Kyllonen’s official player profile page, please visit:

http://www.wsop.com/players/playerprofile.asp?playerID=128581

For the live reporting logs for this event, please visit:

http://www.wsop.com/tournaments/updates.asp?grid=1232&tid=14962

To access licensed images from this all other 2016 WSOP gold bracelet events, please visit: 

www.pokerphotoarchive.com

For the live stream archive of this event, please visit:

http://www.wsop.com/videos/?vcat=2

(Note: Will appear 48 hours after event concludes)