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"Poker for Stars" cruise - live updates

    • vhallee
      Joined: 30.09.2008 Posts: 1,539
      PokerStars is sending several of the best poker players in the world on a three day cruise. While on board, they will be playing cash games as well as tournaments and some of the names that will be on the cruise include:
      • Jens Kyllonen
      • Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies
      • Theo Jorgensen
      • Juha Helppi
      • Sami Kelopuro
      • Ville Wahlbeck
      Note: The list is not fully confirmed and it is therefore subject to change.

      The games they will be playing include No Limit Hold'em but also Pot Limit Omaha with limits going as high as €50/€100, so expect massive pots to build up. The games are expected to begin this evening at around 20:00 CET and we will provide you with live updates, so stay tuned!
  • 8 replies
    • taktfast
      Joined: 21.07.2011 Posts: 1,532
      Hi there!

      I'm working in the editorial team for the Swedish bransch of, and I'm right now on the cruising ship heading for Saint Petersburg.

      PokerStars had a press conference just an hour ago where they had an introduction of what was to be expected from this cruise. It is basically going to be a celebrity Pro-Am tournament, where Finnish celebrities are teamed up with Poker Pro's, playing in a €10k Winner takes all tournament

      There's no list of poker players available yet, but we've seen Jeff Sarwer lurking around the press conference as well as Theo Jørgensen and Ville Wahlbeck. We will update the list of players once we know!

      When the game gets going later on we will be here with updates and lots and lots of pictures of the event, and hopefully some juicy pots from the cash game, which is rumored to be up to €50/€100 PLO.

      More information to follow!

    • taktfast
      Joined: 21.07.2011 Posts: 1,532
      MikkoMi, from the Finnish divison of, and me just finished our dinner together with the players and staff of, and headed to the tournament and cash game area.

      Bad News
      Unfortunately I have bad news.

      Since the boat will be travelling through international water, just between Estonia, Finland, and Russia, there's not going to be any good coverage to bring us Internet. The staff told us that it will be "sketchy at best", and event tried to refer us to a hotel once we get to Saint Petersburg.

      Even worse it that there's no internet connection in the tournament area. Instead we have to walk down three flight of stairs to be able to connect to the "sketch at best" internet and hopefully be able to bring you some updates.

      This is of course bad news. We won't be able to bring you a live coverage from the juicy cash game as we had planned. We will however do our best to get every juicy pot and run down as often as possible to bring you the details.

      Celebrity Tournament
      Right now there's a celebrity tournament going on in the poker area. It is a €10k event, winner takes all, with local celebrities from Finland, as well as qualifiers. Accompanied with poker professionals from all over the world and online qualifiers.

      As we mentioned earlier we have Ville Wahlbeck, Jeff Sarwer and Theo Jørgensen in the tournament, as well as skilled Finnish poker players like Ilari Tahkokallio.

      The tournament is in the format "Pro-Am", which means that a professional has been teamed up with an amateur. With blind levels of 20 minutes, they are to play 10 minutes each, and the tournament director announces when the switch should be made.

      The teams are as follows:
      • Ilari Tahkokallio - Satellite Winner
      • Juha Lauttamus - Henri Vähäkainu
      • Theo Jørgensen - Tommi Nikunen
      • Ilkka Koskinen - Satellite Winner
      • Joni Jouhkimainen - Jethro Rostedt
      • Jukka Ylitalo - Kim Herold
      • Jeff Sarwer - Jussi Ahde
      • Ville Wahlbeck - Mehdi Younes

      Later on, as the night progresses, we will hopefully see some more players and more international names making their entry onto the stage.

      Ville Wahlbeck

      [I]Theo Jørgensen[/i]

    • MikkoMi
      Joined: 24.02.2011 Posts: 3,960
      The first cash games are starting at €5/10 PLO. The table was quickly filled with the young guns of Finnish poker scene.

      So far we can confirm the following players participating in the event

      • Theo Jørgensen
      • Ville Wahlbeck
      • Jeff Sarwer
      • Ilari Tahkokallio

      On top of this several Finnish pros who are full of spirit to gamble this weekend. Sounds a bit scary to me to be honest... :)

      Unfortunately there is no sign of Ziigmund and Jens yet who were rumoured to take part in the event.

      As you know the boat stops tomorrow in St. Petersburg and therefore allowing opportunity for Russian players to join the event.

      Regarding the pro-am tournament only one team has busted out so far when Finnish real-estate mogul Jethro Rostedt and his "young padawan" Joni Jouhkimainen were unlucky to go out with straight against a full house.
    • taktfast
      Joined: 21.07.2011 Posts: 1,532
      Let there be cash games!

      The players seems to have quite fun at the tables, and they are joking and laughing in between the hands. Since the structure already is really quick, this means that they don't have a lot of time to actually play. Right now I think they're down to around 5-6 hands/level.

      But busts leads unconditionally to players seeking more action, and just a couple of minutes ago the first cash game table of the evening opened up. They will play a €5/€10 PLO game, and the best part of it all: There's no rake.

      Jeff Sarwer, formerly a chess prodigy, nowadays a well known face on the poker tournaments

      Ilari Takhokallio, runner up in EPT Berlin 2010
    • taktfast
      Joined: 21.07.2011 Posts: 1,532
      Time for some heads-up!

      When we came back to the table more than half of the field was already defeated. Infront of Ville Wahlbeck was a huge stack, showing that he has been doing what he does best: bossing around like a pro.

      With 3 players left it was time for the change, and the amateurs took the stage again. With the dominating chip stack of Ville there wasn't much else to do for small blind than shove all-in. Snap call from Mehdi Younes teamed up with Wahlbeck with J9o, which actually turned out to be the best hand all the way.

      Once heads-up the tournament director announced that it was time for the €10 000 bubble. The Satellite player wanted to know how much longer until the switch back to Ville again.

      "Seven minutes"
      "Oh... I will just play slow then"

      Still no sign of any other pros.

      Yes master… Mehdi Younes receives heads-up coaching from singer/model Kim Herold, unfortunately from the wrong team.
    • taktfast
      Joined: 21.07.2011 Posts: 1,532
      It is getting looser over here, said Theo Jørgensen, and was talking about his cash game at the PLO €25/€50 table.

      It is probably one of the sickest table one can be seated at. The Finnish Poker Players are renowned for their skill at Pot Limit Omaha, and this game really has them all.

      MikkoMi looked at me and said "If either one of these sat down at my table - I would be scared. This is a whole table full of them."

      At the table there's some fierce competition, with Theo Jørgensen being the only non-Finnish player, all the others are well known regulars at the casinos. There's Jyri Merivirta, Ilari Tahkokallio, Sampo Ryynänen, Juha Lauttamus, Jukka Ylitalo, Ilkka Koskinen and Ville Wahlbeck.

      Even though I can't pronounce a single one of the names, apart from Ville, the lineup looks as hard as the Russian winter.

      Unfortunately the cash game rail turned out to be a little disappointment. We've been trying to get our hands on the action, but haven't been able to follow the game at all. It is simple impossible considering we have to run 4 flights of stair.

      We will try to bring another update if anything interesting happens, but right now the game is everything but spectacular.

      There have been some rumors about some sick russians coming tomorrow, as Mikko hinted about earlier, but considering the turnout today we have to wait and see.

      So over and out!

      Kim Herold - well known in Finland, not known outside the borders.
    • taktfast
      Joined: 21.07.2011 Posts: 1,532
      Long time no sea

      (Sorry, I really need to make a bad pun when I get the chance).

      We're heading back from St. Petersburg after a day of walking the streets. It was an action packed guided tour. At least that's the impression I got from Mikko, since it was all in Finnish.

      At least the players who actually woke up at the ungodly hour of 10:30 got a good sightseeing of the most famous places in St. Petersburg.

      Jeff Sarwer in front of the Hermitage

      A lot of players where missing from the tour, and when we came back and talked to Ville Wahlbeck he provided us with the reason why: They had been playing for 20 hours of poker.

      Once the cash game tables died out at around 3 am (with some fun gambling) they decided to head up to one of the cabins to play some China Poker. Ville told us they probably played for another 8 hours and the game died out at 11 am.

      Since a lot of the players decided to sleep in, the cash games opened later that yesterday, but now we got a full set of games going.

      The stakes are still only €25/€50, but since there's almost always 4 people to the flop (and almost all-in preflop), there has been a couple of €20.000-pots.

      Theo Jørgensen was the first player to wait at the tables, and he was eager to get a €50/€100 table going. Apparently there is some russian players on the boat, so it might actually going to happen later on!

      Ville Wahlbeck in grinding mode again

    • taktfast
      Joined: 21.07.2011 Posts: 1,532
      The party is still raging!

      It's the last day of the cruise, and the players who've had enough of playing are trying to end the stacks of drinking vouchers still in the possession of the PokerStars representative.

      But to get a voucher you have to show your skill in the karaoke bar, and man, people have tried to prove their worth.

      In the cash game area the game is still raging. All the tables has shrunken to short handed tables, but they are getting pretty deep stack. At the table which earlier on had PLO €25/€50 is now a game of €50/€100 for the few brave ones still left in the game, among them: Theo Jørgensen, Ville Wahlbeck and Ilari Takhokallio.

      But once the stakes where raised - the spewiness was lowered.

      Some people are still trying to play huge pots, with Ville trying to convince Jørgen to straddle, just so Ville would be able to do a double straddle.

      From a quick glance at the rail, it doesn't seem like the average pot has increased. When it was a full ring table of €25/€50, it could easily be 4 guys on an all in with various draws (or high cards) at the flop. Now it's usually being taken down on later streets in a heads-up game.