9/26/09 – Playing against a field of 154 that included some of the top players on the planet, Finn tournament and Internet high stakes cash game player Jani "kiiski" Vilmunen took down the third event in the World Series of Poker Europe championship currently running for its third year in London when he beat Howard Lederer in the heads up of the GBP 5 000 buy-in Pot Limit Omaha competition.
The star-laden field generated a prize pool of GBP 770 000 for the event, in which players began with a 10 000 chip starting stack along with a 10 000 rebuy chip that was redeemable at any time during the first three levels.
By the end of the first day the field had dwindled to 36 players with Vilmunen convincingly in the lead, a position he was generally to hold through to the final table, where he started with a 2 to 1 chip lead over opponents Howard Lederer, Robert Williamson III, Ville Haavisto, Jeff Kimber, Dan Hindin, Aarno Kivelio, Roberto Romanello and Ross Boatman.
In the end it came down to a heads up between the 36-year-old Vilmunen and veteran pro Howard Lederer, which the Finn wrapped up with aggressive and skilful enthusiasm to claim the main prize of GBP 204 048 and his first WSOP bracelet.
The win cements both Vilmunen and a squad of similarly successful Finns as top exponents of the PLO game. Just a week ago, Vilmunen won the PokerStars WCOOP Pot Limit Omaha event, and last year he took down the PLO event at the Finnish Open Championships.
Commenting on his effective blend of patience and aggression, Vilmunen said learning to be patient had had an important impact on his game.
"I always play aggressively, but I had to keep my aggression level quite low," he said in a post-game interview. "That helped my game so much, because I was over-aggressive and that's why I didn't win tournaments before.
"Now I give my opponents the chance to make mistakes and before I didn't. I just tried to run over the table all the time."
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