The Online Railbird Report: Million-Dollar Upswing for Sahamies; FTP Picking Up Steam

Ilari "Ilari FIN" Sahamies

The big games continue to spread on PokerStars, but the return of Full Tilt Poker to the market has provided high-stakes pros another option for action. In fact, FTP immediately became the No. 2 online poker site upon its return. Furthermore, four of the week’s top six winners were from Full Tilt Poker.

Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies has been on quite the roller coaster ride over the past three weeks. First he went on incredible run when he won $1.1 million, but then he turned right around and lost $1,016,557 of it back last week. Well, the million-dollar swings continued this week as Sahamies once again finished as the week’s biggest winner banking $964,487 in 4,382 hands.

Other big winners included Rafi “refaelamit” Amit, who won $531,294 (47 sessions/3,183 hands) on PokerStars, and FTP winners Sebastien “Seb86” Sabic (+$247,652 in 2 sessions/713 hands), “O Fortuna PLS” (+$209,541 in 5 sessions/867 hands), and Rui Cao (+$209,091 in 54 sessions/5,644 hands).

“SallyWoo,” who lost $621,190 over 2,420 hands on FTP topped the losing column this week. Also, Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (-$337,628 in 171 sessions/12,437 hands) dropped his prior week’s profit on Full Tilt. It’s also worth noting that Rui Cao, who won on FTP, lost on PokerStars (-$393,426 in 14 sessions/969 hands) under “PepperoniF,” while “1Il|1Il|1il|” put in a massive grind with disastrous results (-$466,500 in 352 sessions/23,678).

Sahamies Emerges as the Biggest Winner on Thursday and Friday

As previously mentioned, Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies has been on quite the up-and-down ride. Fortunately for him, this week was a big upswing that began on Thursday, Nov. 8 when he played $200/$400 pot-limit Omaha against “1Il|1Il|1il|” and emerged a $274,000 winner.

In the biggest hand between the two, Sahamies ($99,841) opened for $1,360 on the button only to have “1Il|1Il|1il|” ($89,053) three-bet to $4,240. Sahamies made the call and then raised “1Il|1Il|1il|’s” $6,400 bet on the {J-Clubs}{4-Spades}{5-Clubs} flop to $27,838. “1Il|1Il|1il|” proceeded to move all in for $84,813, and Sahamies quickly called the additional $56,975.

Sahamies: {10-Spades}{10-Diamonds}{J-Hearts}{4-Diamonds}
“1Il|1Il|1il|”: {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}

“1Il|1Il|1il|” had a nice starting hand, but after the flop, his aces and flush draw were behind the flopped two pair of Sahamies. The {3-Hearts} turn was of no consequence, and the {J-Diamonds} river improved Sahamies to a full house to win the $178,104 pot.

In the second largest hand, “1Il|1Il|1il|” ($51,972) raised to $888 on the button and then called when Sahamies ($216,848) three-bet to $2,824, which brought about a flop of {7-Clubs}{A-Hearts}{K-Clubs}. Both players ended up checking, the {6-Hearts} turned, and Sahamies led out with a bet of $5,806. “1Il|1Il|1il|” responded with a raise to $23,224, Sahamies called, and the {Q-Spades} peeled off on the river. Sahamies turned right around and led out for $52,254, which prompted “1Il|1Il|1il|” to call off his last $26,124 with {3-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{2-Hearts} for a set of sixes. Unfortunately for him, Sahamies revealed {J-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{9-Spades} for the nuts and the $104,342 pot.

Ilari "Ilari FIN" Sahamies
Ilari "Ilari FIN" Sahamies

Sahamies followed up Thursday’s win with $175,300 in profit on Friday — enough to make him the biggest winner for the second day in a row. That came courtesy of Rui “PepperoniF” Cao, who was dismantled to the tune of $225,000 at the $100/$200 PLO tables.

In one of the match’s more notable hands, Cao ($74,748) was on the button and raised to $600, which Sahamies ($56,098) three-bet to $1,800 from the big blind. Cao not only called that bet, but also called a bet of $3,598 from Sahamies on the {Q-Diamonds}{2-Spades}{7-Diamonds} flop, which led to the {8-Hearts} turn. Sahamies bet again, this time $10,794, and Cao sprung to life with a raise to $43,176. Sahamies moved all in for a little bit more, and Cao called the additional $7,524 to create a pot of $112,194. The {3-Clubs} river completed the board, and Cao flipped over {A-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{2-Hearts}{5-Spades} for a bunch of missed draws. Sahamies then tabled {Q-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{K-Diamonds} to claim the pot.

The day’s biggest pot actually went to “1Il|1Il|1il|” during a heads-up match at a $200/$400 PLO table. Sahamies ($63,114.69) opened for $1,360 and “1Il|1Il|1il|” ($80,592) three-bet to $4,240. Sahamies then put in a four-bet to $12,880, “1Il|1Il|1il|” called, and the flop came down {K-Spades}{3-Hearts}{10-Clubs}. “1Il|1Il|1il|” checked, Sahamies bet $25,918, and “1Il|1Il|1il|” moved all in for $67,712. Sahamies called off his last $50,234.69, creating a pot of $126,227, and the cards were turned up.

Sahamies: {A-Spades}{A-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}
“1Il|1Il|1il|”: {A-Hearts}{K-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}{5-Spades}

“1Il|1Il|1il|” had flopped top pair, but he was still behind the aces of Sahamies. The {4-Hearts} turn wasn’t particularly exciting, but the {Q-Diamonds} river was as it gave “1Il|1Il|1il|” a two pair and the win.

“O Fortuna PLS” and Kyllönen Make Some Money

On Sunday, “O Fortuna PLS” played 81 hands of $1,500/$3,000 2-7 triple draw against Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, and it proved quite fruitful as he took $131,900 from Blom in just over 30 minutes. That was enough to make “O Fortuna PLS” the day’s biggest winner, just ahead of Jens Kyllönen, who banked $100,000.

Kyllönen, who plays as “Ingenious89” on FTP, played both $25/$50 and $50/$100 PLO and won $44,000, but on PokerStars, where he plays under “Jeans89,” he won the majority of his profit playing $200/$400 PLO. In his biggest hand, action was six-handed when “bernard-bb” ($18,785) opened for $900 under the gun and received a call from “1Il|1Il|1il|” ($52,743) in the cutoff. Kyllönen ($34,005) then three-bet to $4,200, “bernard-bb” folded, and “1Il|1Il|1il|” called, bringing about a flop of {4-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}. “1Il|1Il|1il|” checked, Kyllönen bet $9,895, and “1Il|1Il|1il|” check-raised to $39,580. Kyllönen called off his last $19,910 — and the cards were turned up.

Kyllönen: {Q-Spades}{10-Spades}{J-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds}
“1Il|1Il|1il|”: {A-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds}{J-Spades}{6-Spades}

“1Il|1Il|1il|” held a bunch of over cards and was drawing to the nut flush, while Kyllönen held top pair and an inferior flush draw. 1Il|1Il|1il|” missed his overabundance of outs with the {5-Spades} turn and {3-Clubs} river and Kyllönen pushed the $69,505 pot.

Hansen, Amit & Sahamies All Win Over $450,000 in Wednesday Action

Gus Hansen
Gus Hansen

On Wednesday big games emerged on both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies and Rafi “refaelamit” Amit won $454,000 and $459,500 respectively during a healthy $200/$400 PLO game on PokerStars; meanwhile, Gus Hansen dominated the $2,000/$4,000 fixed-limit Omaha hi/lo game on Full Tilt by winning $470,500. Even with that win, Hansen only finished the week with $104,000 in profit on FTP.

Hansen, a member of FTP’s The Professionals, had a rough start after the site’s relaunch, but he found some luck when playing heads-up against “SallyWoo,” who finished as the week’s biggest loser after dropping $621,190. According to HighStakesDB, the win put Hansen over $5 million in lifetime FLO8 earnings on FTP.

On PokerStars, Rafi Amit had the most success at the $200/$400 PLO games. In one of his biggest pots, action was three-handed when Sahamies ($217,917) raised to $1,640 on the button, Amit ($71,631) called from the small blind, and “1Il|1Il|1il|” ($26,848) three-bet to $6,800 from the big. Sahamies called, Amit four-bet to $28,880, “1Il|1Il|1il|” called off, and Sahamies came along for the ride. On the {4-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} flop, Amit led out for his last $42,751, and Sahamies made a quick call. The {K-Hearts} turn and {9-Hearts} river completed the board, prompting Amit to show {K-Clubs}{K-Spades}{5-Clubs}{2-Hearts} for a set of kings. It was good enough for the $168,078 pot as both Sahamies and “1Il|1Il|1il|” mucked.

Although he lost that pot, Sahamies managed to win the biggest pot of the day. It happened at a four-handed table when Sahamies ($206,978) opened for $1,720 under the gun only to have “patpatman” ($122,480) three-bet to $3,400 from the button. Both blinds got out of the way, Sahamies four-bet to $12,840, and “patpatman” called, leading to a {9-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{3-Hearts} flop. Surprisingly both players checked, and the {10-Diamonds} turned. Sahamies led out for $17,600, “patpatman” raised to $75,955, and Sahamies three-bet to $151,910. “Patpatman” called off his last $33,685, and suddenly there was a $245,715 pot on the line.

Sahamies: {10-Spades}{6-Spades}{5-Hearts}{4-Hearts}
“patpatman”: {8-Spades}{5-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}

Sahamies got it in with two pair and an open-ended straight draw, but it was no good because “patpatman” had turned the nuts. The {3-Spades} on the river paired the board but failed to help Sahamies, which meant “patpatman” was awarded the massive pot.

There was another significant pot later in the evening that also went “patpatman's” way, though he did get a bit lucky:


Biggest Weekly Winners/Losers

Week’s biggest winners (11/8-11/14): Ilari “Ilari FIN” Sahamies (+$964,487), Rafi “refaelamit” Amit ($531,294), Sebastien “Seb86” Sabic* (+$247,652), “O Fortuna PLS”* (+$209,541), Rui Cao* (+$209,091)

Week’s biggest losers: “SallyWoo”* (-$621,190), “1Il|1Il|1il|” (-$466,500), Rui “PepperoniF” Cao (-$393,426), Viktor “Isildur1” Blom* (-$337,628), Chris “Genius28” Lee (-$259,555), Sam “tr1cky7” Trickett (-$150,902), Jens “Jeans89” Kyllönen (-$134,240)

Biggest Year-to-date winners: Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky (+$3,080,258), Jens “Jeans89” Kyllönen (+$2,624,537), Ben “Ben86” Tollerene (+$2,214,777), “EireAbu” (+$2,176,527), “bernard-bb” (+$1,661,026), Ragen “ragen70” Heinecker (+$1,511,474), Phil “MrSweets28” Galfond (+$1,417,998), “Odd_Oddsen” ($1,279,224)

Biggest Year-to-date losers: “Zypherin” (-$3,552,742), Viktor “Isildur1” Blom (-$2,673,899), “patpatman” (-$1,848,706), Gus “broksi” Hansen (-$1,093,446), Benny “toweliestar” Spindler (-$1,016,601), “Fake Love888” (-$991,295)

*Indicates Full Tilt Poker

Data, hands and re-player obtained from

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