Jani Vilmunen Wins WSOP Europe's £5,000 PLO Event

Jani “kiiski” Vilmunen has won the WSOPE £5,000 PLO Event after overcoming a huge chip disadvantage against Howard Lederer in heads-up play. The 36 year old Finn now collects his first WSOP bracelet as well as the £204,048 first-place prize.
Howard Lederer has been on form at this year’s WSOPE and with a 2,500,000 chip advantage to Vilmunen’s 400,000, presented a major obstacle to the young Finn. Despite being the underdog Vilumen remained confident throughout and said:
“When I had just 400,000 the game was not good. I could not concentrate. I made some big mistakes. I made two calls that I would not make normally. I felt bad when I made calls I should not make….But when I was at 400,000 I still thought I was going to win this.”
Vilmunen said he believes much of his recent successes in PLO tournaments is a result of patience. Fresh from winning the PokerStars WCOOP $2,100 Six-Max Pot-Limit Omaha event a week earlier and the €1,000 PLO Finnish Open Championships in August 2008 he explained:
“I always play aggressively, but I had to keep my aggression level quite low. 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.”
Vilmunen’s win confirms Finland’s status as a producer of world class PLO players such as  Ilari “ziigmund” Sahamies, Patrik Antonius and Sami “LarsLuzak” Kelopuro. Also three players out of the remaining five in WSOPE Event 3 were Finnish with Aarno Kivelio coming third and Ville Haavisto fifth. Vilmunen said he believes part of his country’s success was due to its ‘crazy people’ who are drawn to fast action:
“There are great rally drivers and formula one race car drivers from Finland and maybe the fact that this is a fast game as well excites us, I don’t know,” he said.

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