18th Jun 2013
Ziigmund (FullTilt), Ilari FIN (PokerStars)
A perennial favourite of the high-stakes railbirds, Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies is as much loved for his anarchic attitude and tendency to surreally insult his opponents as he is for his Pot Limit Omaha prowess at the very highest level. Sahamies has admitted that earlier in his career he would play drunk or hung-over and, as a high stakes PLO player, was prone to wild six-figure swings. In fact he claimed that while playing hung over once he lost $1.7m. In March 2009 he told us:
“I don’t play drunk anymore. For four years I played online poker and a lot of the time I was drunk. I think I must have lost at least $3 million playing drunk. The worst was probably about $700,000 in one day. It doesn’t matter if I have one or two beers now, but when you come back from the bar and play – that’s really bad. Live games are different. I can play live games drunk and that’s a fun, social thing.”
At 15, Sahamies was a two-time Finnish national pool champion and at the time a friend of Patrick Antonius, who first introduced him to poker. From there, despite suffering from tilt issues, he slowly built his way up to the highest tables on the internet.
Of his tendency to wards tilt, he told us: “I’m the worst player when I tilt. It’s so sick. I just give money to everybody. But nowadays I’m better: when I see I’m going to tilt I stop. It used to be very bad for me and I’m still not cured, but – well, we’ll see…”
In 2011 he was the biggest cash winner on PokerStars, with $2.18 million.
Bluff Europe Ziigmund Interview
"World of Ziigmund" article