Articles Misc


YLE will deliver live coverage of X Games Norway 2017 on YLE2 and will stream all event coverage live on, as well as live and on demand coverage on across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Fans can watch the action live on YLE2 from Wednesday March 8. Check local listings for more information. All the action will also be available on ESPN Select – the new channel from ESPN Player which features live events from a wide range of sports. Events will be available live and on demand, allowing fans to watch the action at a time that suits them.

As the world’s premier action sports competition returns to Norway on March 8-11, the event features top athletes competing in eight different disciplines over four days for the second time. Taking place at the Hafjell ski resort, the winter games includes snowboard, ski and snowmobile events, with more than 70 competitors, among them several Olympians.

After successful competitions at X Games Oslo 2016, X Games will host Women’s Ski and Snowboard Big Air finals for the second time in Norway. The Norway X Games will also feature Snowboard and Ski Big Air (Men and Women) and – new to the event – Snowboard and Ski Slopestyle (Men and Women).


The biggest names in winter sports are set to take part in the games – including Norwegian X Games medalists Stale Sandbech, Markus Kleveland, Silje Norendal, Johanne Killi and Øystein Braaten. The world’s top ski and snowboard athletes will compete, including six-time X Games gold medalist Mark McMorris, 12-time X Games medalist Jamie Anderson, two-time defending Ski Slopestyle gold medalist and Big Air silver medalist Kelly Sildaru and X Games Oslo 2016 Ski Big Air gold medalist Henrik Harlaut. For the full list of invited athletes, please visit

Two Finnish riders received invites to compete at X Games Norway 2017 – Snowboarders Enni Rukajarvi and Roope Tonteri. A two-time medalist, Rukajarvi holds the distinction of being the first rookie to win Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle and the first female Finnish athlete to medal at an X Games event. Tonteri competed in the Big Air event in Oslo 2016 with a 13th place finish. He competes on the Air + Style tour and earned a big win at the FIS World Cup Big Air event in November.

Articles Features Misc Music

Eurovision 2017 Predictions: Shock, Controversy, and Politics

If anyone tells you that it’s impossible to predict a Eurovision contest – they’re wrong. As we’ve seen throughout the 61-year history of the show, the one thing that you can always count on is for the unexpected to happen.

The guaranteed excitement that comes hand in hand with that volatility is what makes Eurovision one of the most exciting events of the year to follow. In fact, the tension surrounding who will win is so high, that it’s actually one of the most frequently wagered contests on the entire calendar.

A lot of people use the ease of placing bets on online gaming sites to take a shot at predicting the winner. And even if you aren’t sure about the outcome, placing a wager on your favorite artist is just a fun way to show your support. Gambling at can make the betting experience even better, because it offers you a whole range of other betting opportunities that add even more action to the event.

Who is the favorite to win Eurovision 2017?

Given the thrilling and controversial finish to last year’s contest, it’s safe to say that politics will once again be playing a role. Remember, Ukraine will be hosting Eurovision 2017 just one year after Ukrainian singer Jamala took down the title with a song that many believe was anti-Russian. It’s widely expected that the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia will have consequences in this year’s voting as well.

The shifting musical tastes is another important factor to consider when trying to predict the winner. Although music with a more contemporary sound does occasionally win, oftentimes something fresh and different will come out on top – like when heavy metal band Lordi took down the title in 2006 for Finland.

Another factor to consider is the televoting rules, which seem to have been controversial in one way or the other ever since their introduction in 2009. The jury/televote ratio has always been 50/50, but this year the Eurovision Broadcasting Union (EBU) has reserved the right set the ratio at its own discretion. This is another reaction to the huge disparity in national voting that many see as being politically motivated rather than about the quality of the performances.

So who is the favorite? You can never be completely sure, but given the fact that Eurovision is watched by over 200 million people and has developed a bit of a cult following in Europe, the stakes will be very high for the contestants. In the end, whoever brings the right combination of talent/song choice, is able to win over both the jury and crowd, and can steer clear of politics will take down the title.

Articles Blogs FREE! Blog Misc

Helsinki celebrating New Year and the beginning of the 100th anniversary celebrations!

Articles Misc

Helsinki Sauna Day on 29 October

Over 30 saunas throughout Helsinki have signed up for the event, including saunas in private homes, residential saunas in apartment buildings, rooftop saunas at hotels, and even tent and portable saunas. Helsinki’s new sauna culture will also be represented by Löyly and Allas Sea Pool.

“Locals have been very enthusiastic about opening up their saunas for others to enjoy. The first Helsinki Sauna Day proved the popularity of sauna gatherings, especially during the cold time of the year,” says Jaakko Blomberg of the social innovations group Yhteismaa ry, the organiser of the event.

In March the event attracted large numbers of locals and visitors who were keen to try different saunas. Some of the sauna sessions for the forthcoming event in October are already fully booked, but there are also several saunas participating that do not require bookings in advance.

“Helsinki Sauna Day has attracted a lot of attention outside Finland, so we expect many sauna fans to visit Helsinki especially for this event,” Blomberg says.

“Sauna marathons are also popular during Helsinki Sauna Day, when you can hop from one sauna to the next from morning till night,” Blomberg adds.

The sauna has traditionally been a social gathering place among Finns, yet most of the saunas in Helsinki these days are in private use only. Many people would also like to enjoy a sauna more often if they had the chance.

Helsinki Sauna Day is representative of Helsinki’s communal urban culture. It also offers visitors the chance to try a truly local experience – a combination of excitement and peace that is unique to Helsinki

“Our city is made up of shared experiences. It’s been great to see how enthusiastic locals have been about taking part in this new event – not just as sauna-goers but also by offering their own saunas for others to enjoy. Local residents deserve a big thank you for this!” says Tia Hallanoro, Marketing Communications Director at Visit Helsinki.

Articles Misc

Come and have fun online!

Stepping in a casino is always an amazing experience. You can pass in a few seconds from suffering heavy rain over your head to a world of glamour with smart adventurous people, beautiful women and the excitement to gamble for a big win. In the end, is not life just a continuous gamble?

The most clear example is a poker table, where everybody famous or not are equal against each others, just having their chips, cards and wits to compete among each other. You may find yourself surprised to find that for example the World Champion of Football Table, Billy Pappas, made the final table in the World Series of Poker main event in 2014, ending 5th. Who could imagine that the same guy that could put you into shame playing foosball at a bar at night can be also one of the best poker players in the world? Pappas has been considered for the past decade one of the best football table players all over the world, being his favourite table to compete the American Tornado, and partnering often in doubles competition with another legend of this funny sport: Tony Spredeman.

And that is the beauty of the casinos, you can be a hardworking person during the day but when you come in, it is about your attitude and your smartness when playing the game what makes the difference. In the end gambling is just the ultimate challenge for a person that tries to improve every day. There are no bosses breathing on your neck and telling you what to do, you are responsible of your actions and decisions. And if you do not feel like playing, well, you can just always chill out, observe the interesting atmosphere and array of characters around you and wait until you feel the luck gathering again around you.

However, not everybody has the free time or the opportunity to go to a real casino or visit Vegas for a weekend escape. Thanks to the new online era, this is not a problem anymore if you want to test your luck, your ability and your skills against both software controlled games or other real opponents that play online all over the world. You just need a computer or a smart phone or tablet and Internet connection, and a world of entertainment, challenge and potential victory opens in front of your eyes. One of the best sites if you want to give a try to online gaming is Online Casino Ireland that provides a very nice and comprehensive guide into the world of online casino sites.

Enjoy the fun, play smart and decide what are your limits in the amount of time and money you want to dedicate to gaming. What other hobbies can provide you both entertainment and the opportunity to leave with your pockets more full of profits?

Articles Concerts Misc Music

Mustasch on Tour!

Mustasch are starting their European tour this wednesday at Bastard Club in Osnabrück followed by many big summer festivals as Nordic Noise Festival (DK), Peace & Love (Swe) and Jurassic Rock (FI).

Upcoming Tour Dates:

04-May-2016 Wed Osnabrück (DE) Bastard Club
05-May-2016 Thu Karlsruhe (DE) Substage
06-May-2016 Fri Dresden (DE) Beatpol
07-May-2016 Sat Frankfurt (DE) Das Bett
09-May-2016 Mon Hannover (DE) Faust
10-May-2016 Tue Wien (AT) Chelsea
11-May-2016 Wed Dornbirn (AT)
12-May-2016 Thu Dortmund (DE) FZW Club
13-May-2016 Fri Kiel (DE) Die Pumpe
14-May-2016 Sat Copenhagen (DK) Nordic Noise Festival
21-May-2016 Sat Finland Helsinki (FI) Radio Rock Risteily XIX
10-11 Jun-2016 Fri Germany Loreley, St. Goarshausen (DE) RockFels Festival
07-Jul-2016 Thu Sweden Borås (SE) Sommartorsdagarna
07-09 Jul-2016 Fri Sweden Borlänge (SE) Peace & Love
16-Jul-2016 Sat Estonia Haapsalu (EE) American Beauty Car Show
22-Jul-2016 Fri Sweden Stockholm (SE) Kungsträdgården, Putte i Parken
05-Aug-2016 Fri Sweden Rejmyre (SE) Skogsröjet
06-Aug-2016 Sat Finland Mikkeli (FI) Jurassic Rock

with more to be added…

Art Articles Exhibitions Misc

Two new temporary exhibitions in Pärnu Muuseum (Estonia)

Two new temporary exhibitions in Pärnu Muuseum (Estonia):

„Resort Fashion”

From April 29th to August 31st

The resort fashion started to develop in bathing places of late 18th century France and England. A necessity for light and athletic clothing emerged from the development of resorts and the changing traditions and lifestyles. The first resort collections or cruise collections were developed by Jean Patou, Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli during the 1920s.

Resort fashion in Baltic states developed in the context of common European trends until the end of WWII. The ideology of communism and Soviet-type economic planning influenced and controlled all aspects of life, including fashion. Clothing is an eloquent historical evidence – it tells not only about the personality of the wearer, but also about the times – ideas, events, prejudices and achievements, about ideals which the society establishes in a certain point in time, and the dreams, hopes, expectations, and people’s views on beauty.

The exposition „Resort Fashion” acquaints with the fashion of clothing and accessories in resorts from the end of the 19th century until the 1990s. The stocks of Jurmala- and Pärnu Museums and private clothing collection of Ainars Radovics has been used in the exposition.

„People, Streets, Houses”

From April 29th to June 26th

The exhibition is made possible with the cooperation of Jurmala Society of History , Jurmala City museum ( Latvia), Sopot Museum (Poland), The Institue of the History of Architecture in St. Petersburg (Russia), Hanko Museum (Finland), Birstonas Museum (Lithuania) and Pärnu Museum (Estonia) . The exhibition is part of the project “The Northern Stars on the sea coast – the cultural heritage of the Baltic resorts”, and is financially supported by the Northern and Baltic States Mobility program “The Culture”. The exhibition intoduces the influence of resorts on architecture and everyday life in baltic cities.

Ticket price for temporary exhibitions:

– adult: 3€

– children: free

– pupils: 1€

– 2 adults + 2 children: 7€

– concession (ISIC card, pensionners, students) : 2

Pärnu Museum´s permanent exhibition is also open during summer time.

It provides an overview of 11,000 years of history in Pärnu County through exhibits and displays that introduce the life and conditions of the various eras. The main exhibit shows local developments from Neolithic times right up to the late 1980s, and includes a mini-cinema showing archival films. The institution’s pride and joy is the so-called ‘Stone Age Madonna’. At around 8,000 years old, it is the oldest known human-shaped sculpture in the Baltic Sea area. Other star attractions include a fragment of a 14th-century merchant ship and a glass floor that lets you look down onto archaeological remnants of one of the town’s historic gates.

Ticket price for permanent exhibition:

– adult: 4€

– children: free

– pupils: 2€

– 2 adults + 2 children: 10€

– concession (ISIC card, pensionners, students) : 3€

The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-6:30pm

Pärnu Museum
Aida 3, Pärnu 80010, Estonia
Tel: +372 44 33 231, +372 44 30 585


Articles Concerts Misc Music

Imagine Dragons live in concert in Helsinki at Hartwall Areena. 27.01.2016

Just a few years ago, if a rock band would introduce themselves to the audience playing in a big venue as coming from Las Vegas, Nevada, most of the people would have thought automatically of The Killers. But not anymore, Imagine Dragons, the young Americans from the city that never sleeps, have suffered a meteoric raise with just 2 studio albums released, Night Visions (2012) and Smoke + Mirrors (2015) that led them to appear in the capital of Finland for first time as show headers.

I was really curious to see them live also for first time ever, having heard so many good things about them, and not forgetting that if you are just a normal human being who watches movies, sees TV or play video games during the last 3 years, at some point you are going to recognize easily their 4 or 5 biggest hits once they start being played.

Imagine Dragons

As other compromises did not allow me to check the opening band Rival Sons and just arrived to Hartwall Areena a few minutes before Imagine Dragons started, I cannot give an opinion about them. Around 15 minutes after 21 Imagine Dragons stepped onto the stage and from there on that was madness coming out of the throats of hundreds of fans that would turn crazy on every movement or wink that Dan Reynolds would dedicate them on stage.

The venue had around 3/4 of capacity fulfilled, which is not bad taking into account that the concert took place a Wednesday and the weather in Helsinki did not really invite to go out. As I said, a lot of female teenage fans among the audience, but also audience pretty mixed with all kind of ages and looks. I even saw myself sitting close to me an old couple in their sixties that were really thrilled with every song. And that seems to be the strong point of Imagine Dragons, although sometimes they may sound too edulcorated (there were moments in the show when I was really thinking that they sound as some kind of Black Keys for teens) and aimed at young fans, they do not overdo it and they have the enough amount of good doses of rock to reach a wider audience. The vibe is always positive, soft indie rock with touches of funk, electronic music, ska… Listening to them live automatically transports you mentally to a warmer place, like watching a sunset during a beach party.

Undoubtedly their vocalist Dan Reynolds is the one where most of the eyes are focused on. Dan looks in general like a good boy with a touch of hipster mischief, the kind of pal that you could share a smoke in the terrace of a bar or accept as the new girlfriend of your sister. But the same with their style, the band does not overdo that “cool pose” and that is something that makes the difference. They really seem honestly flattered with the chance given to play for bigger audiences, they are humble and grateful in their interaction with the public (Dan commented that “he was blushing” when some female shouted a spicy comment at him in the middle of the show) and they had the small detail after the show to stay a couple of minutes throwing guitar picks, drum sticks and greeting goodbye to the audience, small details that make the difference.

Imagine Dragons

About the concert itself, the scenography was decent but nothing mind-blowing, the quality of the sound was ok taking into account that Hartwall Areena does not have the best acoustic eve for live shows and although I got a bit cold at the beginning, once they started to play hits like It’s time, I found myself rising from my seat dancing with the rest of the crowd. The big fireworks came at the end of the show when they linked anthems such as Demons, On Top of the World, I bet my Life and Radiactive with a very fun cherry on top of the cream as all the members were switching position onstage while hammering mercilessly big drums.

Things to improve? Maybe the setlist was a big short in general, and also the guitar solo Wayne Sermon did not provoke any special reaction on me (that could be cause once some months ago one sees a master as Joe Satriani, it is impossible then to measure with same standards). But all in all, I left the venue happily surprised and satisfied with a band that probably will have a lot to say in the indie rock scene during the last years. Not a bad plan to fight with positive energy and good music the gloomy cold weather of Helsinki.




It’s Time

Forever Young
(Alphaville cover)


Hopeless Opus/Polaroid

Guitar Solo

I’m So Sorry


The River

Bleeding Out / Warriors / Amsterdam / Tiptoe / It Comes Back To You / Smoke and Mirrors


Drum Solo

On Top of the World

I Bet My Life

Friction / Radioactive


The Fall

Antonio's blog Articles Blogs Misc

“Choke”, probably the best documentary on MMA ever made

Nowadays Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a well recognized sport that provokes admirationa nd moves a good amount of money and fans around the world. Right at my office we can have a discussion with my co-workers about Ronda Rousey´s defeat or Emelianenko coming back from retirement like if we would be talking about the latest football match. UFC is a big organization in USA, you can see reality shows in TV channels where future fighters are getting prepared to go pro, the fighters are multidisciplinary athletes that can both perform great standing up, kicking, punching or going to the ground and working on submission techniques…

But if we take a look back not so many years ago, mixed martial arts were pretty much unknown to the great sports public and most of people who had heard about it would consider it a brutal activity done by some crazy violent people. The Gracie family was one of the pioneers to expand MMA to the big audience, and at the same time promote their Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu style, and Rickson Gracie was the jewel of the crown for the family, never officially defeated in any fight before.

What “Choke”, a documentary shot during a Vale Tudo fighting tournament in Japan in 1995 and released in 1999, shows is a period where mixed martial arts was growing and in development, where the fighters were still not so well rounded in multiple disciplines but were more defending their different styles of fighting and where you could see a more brutal way of fighting than nowadays, where the rules are much more measured. At that time, pretty much everything except of hitting the genitals of the opponent would be allowed between fighters.

“Choke” counts with a wide array of memorable moments for the spectator. Apart from the usual and a bit boring ranting from Gracie family members always self promoting their style, you see the real Rickson gracie backstage between fights. The documentary revolves about his figure: masculine, handsome, dominant. But he also shows that outside that facade, he is also like the rest of the fighter human, nevous before a fight, sometimes humble, sometimes big-mouthed.

As some mythical scenes and moments to remember we can see Rickson godalike enjoying the energy of the freezing water under a cascade in a Japanese river, his umbelievable training and movement of his abdominal muscles like they would not belong to his body (maybe you remember to have watched exactly the same if you saw “The Hulk” movie with Edward Norton training with Rickson in Brazil), the recognition in front of the camera of holding the rule not to have sex with his wife 2 weeks prior a fight, the moment at the fighting venue when he surprises his brothers telling he literally needs to take a crap seconds before having to go to the arena to fight, Rickson throwing Yamamoto during his first fight out of the ring noticeably pissed off at him for holding on the ropes all the time, his cat flip on the air during his fight with Kimura (his son Rockson, sadly deceased years after this documentary on a motorbike accident, commenting in the dressng room that he saw him flying like Superman) the moment before the final of the the fight when suddenly he says he wants next time to get a belt as a champion instead of a trophy…

Choke Rickson Gracie

The show however gets partially stolen from Rickson by the other finalist of the fighting tournament, the small but brave Japanese Yuki Nakai. A small wrestling specialist that subsequently will lose the vision in one eye due to his fight with Gerard Geordeau (who will pass to the history as one of the dirtiest MMA fighters ever stepping onto a ring) who soccer kicked him on the head and gouged on his right eye. Nakai shows a total lack of concert about his own health, and as a true samurai, challenges guys double his size. He also became a legend by hiding for years that this tournament provoked him to be blind in one eye for the rest of his life just to protect the reputation of mixed martial arts. On favour of Rickson Gracie, we have to say that he avoided as much as possible punching Nakai on the face and moved the fight just to a grappling match.

The documentary is not the best technically shot, neither has the best structure or dialogues. But nowadays you cannot deny is an instant classic to understand the roots of MMA sport. And the best is that is fully available for free in Youtube to watch. Enjoy:

Articles Concerts Features Misc Music

London Rockers Reverted Announce Intimate Launch Show

London based hard rockers Reverted have announced a very intimate release show for their upcoming new record “Stripping The Worms”; an acoustic re-recording of their debut record “Sputter The Worms”, on November 3rd.

The band are set to appear at the legendary Shaka Zulu, a lush African themed bar and restaurant in Camden Town, where they’ll be premiering their new video “Time” and performing live renditions from “Stripping The Worms”.

Vocalist Tony Vega had this to say on the record and its launch:

“Stripping The Worms” is, for us, an intimate voyage of sorts. We aimed to preserve crucial elements of the songs while giving way to new gripping and exciting structures.


Fans can check out the band’s open invitation and choice clips from “Stripping The Worms” here –

Completed by guitarist Danny Ruiz, drummer Ozzy Preciado and bassist Luis Lopez; Reverted formed in 2010 and quickly set to work putting together their debut EP “Tolerance” in 2011. They followed “Tolerance” up with the successful “Sputter The Worms” in 2012, which elevated the band to higher levels; selling thousands of copies independently and scoring the band coverage in Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Powerplay Magazine. The band also gained airplay on Total Rock and countless other stations across the UK, Europe and the US with the single “Die My Saint”.

The video for “Die My Saint”, their first music video, was released later that year with appearance on national TV such as Scuzz, Kerrang & MTV. The clip captured both the band’s explosive energy and their commitment to storytelling. In 2013 the band began working with acclaimed producer Pedro Caparros (Breed 77, The Answer) on their latest record “Stripping The Worms”; an acoustic re-imagining of “Sputter The Worms”.

Alongside their incredibly output, the band have secured support slots with American Head Charge, Evile, Fozzy, Kill Devil Hill and countless others. Not content with ruling the London scene, the quartet are set to hit the road throughout 2016 with tours in Central & South America, and Europe before heading home for a headline UK tour.

With a new album in tow and an insatiable hunger to hit the road, Reverted are looking to end 2015 with a band and lead a trail of fire through 2016. Book your ticket for November 3rd now, before they sell out!

Articles Concerts Misc Music

Raging Speedhorn Announce Support For Winter UK Tour

UK Sludge legends Raging Speedhorn have announced Ten Foot Wizard & Telepathy as the support acts on their upcoming UK tour this November!

The band are set to embark on a six date UK tour in support of their upcoming, as yet untitled, new record which is set for release in early 2016. Their first release since 2007’s “Before The Sea Was Built” and their first to feature new guitarist Jim Palmer.

The dates for the tour are:

Thu, 26 Nov 2015 – The Globe, Cardiff
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 – The Underworld, London (Support acts – Gurt, Ten Foot Wizard & Telepathy)
Sat, 28 Nov 2015 – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 – The Corporation, Sheffield
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 – Star & Garter, Manchester
Tue, 1 Dec 2015 – The Exchange, Bristol


The band, who launched a Pledge campaign earlier this year for their new record, have recently announced that fans participating in the Pledge will received a free live EP as a thank you.

Fans wanting to contribute to the Pledge can do so here –

Raging Speedhorn formed in 1998 and went on to release four records, the most successful being their second release “We Will Be Dead Tomorrow”, recorded by Billy Graziadei & Danny Schuler of Biohazard fame. The band achieved chart success with ‘The Gush’ in 2001, toured continuously with acts like Slipknot, Ill Nino, Rammstein and Will Haven, and performed at countless festivals across the globe, including main stage at the inaugural Download Festival in 2004. They split in 2008 following the release of their last record “Before The Sea Was Built” and a subsequent tour of Japan.

Articles Blogs FREE! Blog Misc

Steven Tyler and the street musicians

The charismatic leader of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler, seems to enjoy surprising street musicians wherever he goes. If not so long time ago, you could have seen him in the heart of Helsinki replacing a street musician in a curious set of bottles (which you can still see nowadays played every day if you walked around Aleksanterinkatu street), there are other famous viral videos circulating in Youtube where he joins a couple of beautiful classic street musicians in the streets of Vilnius, the capital or Lithuania, or more recently, when he surprises another musician in Moscow and starts to sing his hit “I do not want to miss a thing“. Steven, what a legend both on stage and on the streets!!!

Articles Concerts Misc Music

Nordic Thrashers Dienamic Announce Japanese Tour

Norwegian thrashers Dienamic are heading to Japan for the second run of dates! The band are heading over to support their new record “Afterlife” which will be released in Japan on September 3rd.


The band are to play the following dates:

Sept 3rd – Flying Son, Sendai
Sept 4th – Tight Rope, Nagoya
Sept 5th – Wild Side, Tokyo
Sept 6th – Wild Side, Tokyo

Straight from the heart and right in your face! Dienamic has a super energetic and intense live show, with unique audience contact and a great atmosphere. The band first saw the light of day in 2010, and ever since the first live show following the release of their self titled EP they have been bringing it on the stage.

With over 60 live shows to date, they have become a bone crushing five piece metal act that will definitely leave a mark on the world. The band has already toured Japan, most of central and eastern Europe along with their home country Norway. This band is addicted to touring and get out there every chance they have!

Articles Misc

The Rise of the Finnish Poker Pro

Considering the size of Finland and the fact that the local casino and poker room scene is virtually non-existent, the fact that Finland is home to some of the most respected (and feared) poker players on the planet, says a great deal about the character and perhaps even the fierce competitiveness of Finns.


Poker history is filled with breakout players dating back to the early 1970’s, except in the case of Finnish players. The internet poker boom in the early part of the 2000’s gave birth to the Finnish pro. Universally the Finnish players brought a wildly aggressive style to the table. For some time, the other internet players referred to them as “fish” a poker term for weak, exploitable players. They also had a tendency to lump them all into the “Scandinavian” category. Those players soon learned (usually as they saw their chips being pushed to “fish”) that their read was totally incorrect and that the Finns, while technically Scandinavian, were in a category of their own.


Determining who the top players in the poker world are is a somewhat tricky problem. The only reliable and verifiable method is to rank players based on their tournament results. Tournament poker, however, is only a part of many players’ poker career. Finnish players have excelled in both.


Juha Helppi

Juha Helppi

Like many poker players, Helppi got his start in gambling as a dealer; unlike many of those professional players, Helppi was a croupier, not a poker dealer, in Helsinki. Prior to be introduced to poker by some friends, he was a champion paintball player. Like many other poker players around the world, he was also an avid Magic: The Gathering Player.


Many poker fans and players got their first introduction to Finnish players by Juha’s appearance on one of the first World Poker Tour broadcasts from Aruba. After winning his seat in the Aruba tournament, he bested a field of amateur players in Aruba, which earned him a seat in a single table tournament where he faced five professional players. His aggressive style earned Helppi his first major victory after he defeated poker pro Phil Gordon in heads-up competition.


His victory convinced him to try poker professionally, which has turned out to be a very good career decision. His tournament earnings are approaching $5.5 million.


Patrik Antonious

Patrik Antonius

Patrik Antonious’ is arguably the best-known Finnish poker player in the world. He came to poker after a career in professional tennis and, not surprisingly, modeling. While Antonius has tournament winnings which near $7 million, he is better known for his skill and aggression at the cash tables. He excels at both Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. He holds the title for winning the largest single pot in online poker history ($1.35 million). He plays in some of the largest cash games in the world in Macau. The combination of his skills, aggression, and good looks has also made his a regular on televised poker broadcasts around the world.


Ilari Sahamies

Ilari Sahamies

Like many Finnish players Ilari Sahamies, who is better known as “Ziigmund” in the poker world, was introduced to poker by playing at a friend’s house. In his case that friend was Patrik Antonious who he met while playing billiards. While Sahamies tournament earnings are “only” in the $1.5 million range, his has earned that amount many times playing cash games and he is considered on the best high stakes Pot Limit Omaha players in the world. Like Helppi and Antonious, Sahamies is an active online player, where he has over $4 million in online cash game winnings. Ziigmund is one of Finland’s more colorful players. In addition to his aggression, on both the virtual and real world, tables he is one of the most talkative players at the table and takes particular delight in verbally taunting his opponents.

Ziigmund is in many ways the more typical Finnish player, as most are cash game specialists. Players like Jani Sointula, Ville Wahlbeck, Sami Kelopuro, and Jens Kyllonen pop up on the tournament circuit from time to time but do not have as high of a profile with poker fans as the others on the list. However all are respected by the players at the cash games both online and in casino poker rooms.

Gambling is a major part of Finnish life. The ubiquitous slot machines are everywhere and the low minimum age for playing means that Finns learn to gamble at an early age.

One recent incident may be an indication that there is more to the success of Finnish players at casino games than just availability.

Sara Chafak

Earlier this year, former Miss Finland Sara Chafak participated in Shark Cage, a broadcasted poker tournament powered by PokerStars. The Shark Cage pits professional and amateur players against one another for a $1 million top prize. In one of the first hands of the tournament Chafak made major bets on every betting while heads up against a seasoned pro will on a total bluff. While most of the table, even her opponent to a degree, wanted to have the beautiful Chafak at the table as long as possible, a million dollars is a lot of money and the pro eventually folded the best hand to Chafak’s aggression. The hand instantly became an internet sensation as poker players worldwide watched the amateur make a play that would be commonplace for Antonious and Sahamies but almost unheard of from an amateur.


So perhaps, there is something in the basic Finnish DNA or the cultural makeup of the country that leads to players who are not only aggressive but also incredibly successful. Taking into account that the history of professional poker in Finland is only slightly more than a decade, poker players may well be advised to protect their bankroll and avoid taking a seat at the table if they are facing a Finn now or in the future.






Articles Misc

NIPT – Non Invasive Prenatal Test

The Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) is a DNA test on maternal blood to safely and reliably screen pregnancies for the most common fetal aneuploidies Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) and Trisomy 13 (Edwards syndrome).The fetal sex can also be determined.

Although NIPT can be performed without specific indication, it might be most appropriate in pregnancies with an increased risk for fetal aneuploidy based upon a high maternal age (> 40 yrs) or abnormal result of the first trimester screening. In these cases NIPT is an alternative for invasive tests, where there is a risk of a miscarriage. The reliability of NIPT results is very high (more than 99% for Down syndrome), which is much higher than the reliability of first trimester screening (80 %)

The maternal blood can be taken from week 10 of the pregnancy. The sample has to be sent by Express mail to GENDIA‘s lab in Antwerp, Belgium, and arrive there within 2 days of withdrawal.
NIPT takes 1-2 weeks to complete from arrival of the sample in the GENDIA lab.

For more information: see our website

If you want NIPT, please email us at