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PokerHeaven player wins Helsinki Freezeout

17 Jan 2008

INLAND -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- player Juha-Rauno Lampila has won the first major European tournament of 2008 - the Helsinki Freezeout. Lampila managed to hold off an extremely strong field of 200 players to take the title, a cheque for €160,825 and a place in the top 5 of the latest European Rankings.

After building a big stack early on, Lampila managed to stay with the chip leaders throughout the two day event, with the turning point arriving when the field had been reduced to the final 10 players. Fellow qualifier Jarmo Härmä moved all in under the gun for 80k, Antti Meriläinen called, and JR Lampila moved in for a total of 220k with pocket 10's. Meriläinen pondered the call for what seemed an eternity, but folded showing AK. The river brought an Ace meaning that had Meriläinen made the call, Lampila would have bowed out of the tournament in 9th place.

After claiming the biggest win of his career, an ecstatic Lampila added: 'This was a great victory. It was my second visit to the Helsinki Freezeout and after making the final table last year; to go on and win was a special moment. These events (including the Midnight Sun tournament) have been very good for me."

To celebrate his battling victory, Poker Heaven will buy Juha-Rauno into the Midnight Sun event which takes place at the Grand Casino, Helsinki in June, giving him a chance to become the first player in Finnish poker history to win back-to-back titles.

Alongside Lampila and Härmä, a very strong 'Team Poker Heaven' made up almost 10% of the entire field in Helsinki and included players such as Mika Paasonen, who won over €300,000 at the 2007 EPT event in Barcelona. Many of these players, including Lampila, qualified for the event through the 'Rake your way to Helsinki' promotion which ran on

On the eve of the Helsinki Freezeout main event, Poker Heaven hosted an 'invitation only' €8000 Freeroll at the exclusive Royal Onnela nightclub. The tournament gave Poker Heaven's Finnish VIP players a chance to battle it out with Finnish celebrities, including former NHL legend Esa Tikkanen, Jukka Hilden and Jarno Laasala from 'The Dudesons' and, film star Jasper Pääkkönen - with the top three players each receiving a main event ticket.

40 players took part in this exclusive event and after over 5 hours of play, Tuomas Eskelinen, Pasi Kangaskokko and TV star Sami Hernesaho booked their seats at the Freezeout. Unfortunately, celebrities Jukka Hilden and Esa Tikkanen were the first two players eliminated but both said they will be back for Poker Heaven's Midnight Sun freeroll in June.

Poker Heaven's VIP Manager Josh Thomas said: 'As part of our continuing commitment to the Finnish poker market, Poker Heaven were delighted to be able to send such a strong team of players to this year's Freezeout, and we are obviously very proud of being associated with the eventual winner JR Lampila. With only 5 months until the Midnight Sun tournament, Poker Heaven will be the first place to book your seat in Helsinki, with promotions starting as early as February. After the success and popularity of the live Freeroll - we plan to hold a bigger and better event in June!'

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