…he asked Phil Ivey for his own personal $1000/$2000 table named Ziigmunds Colosseum
“Playing it safe will never get you to the top. More important is that you have the balls to bet at the right time. If you want to succeed you need to have a gamblers attitude.”
So says Ilari Sahamies, aka ‘Ziigmund‘, who embodies more than anyone else the image of the hyper-aggressive online Scandinavian player.
His interest in poker started after meeting Patrik Antonius over a game of pool (Ilari is also a two-time national pool champion). He started venturing to Helsinki’s Grand Casino but in his early days was a regular loser. Several part-time jobs and a lot of hard work later & he had transformed himself into one of the most feared short-handed poker players in Finland (which is saying something) and started hitting the biggest games online; he has never looked back since.
Unlike most of the internet generation, Sahamies will never back down from a game and regularly tussles heads-up with the likes of Phil Ivey & David Benyamine at $200/$400 levels and beyond.
Sahamies has visited the Bellagio ‘big game’ in recent years where Barry Greenstein was very complimentary of his abilities, reportedly calling him one of the best PLO players in the world.
His aggressive style leads to huge swings in fortune and according to High Stakes DB is regularly up or down over a million dollars on the FT NLH & PLO cash games. Despite live tournament winnings of almost $140,000, he is very much a cash game specialist and is respected by his peers as one of the best aggressive PLO players around, even earning the nickname “The Omaha Kid”. Ilari has also created a large ‘rail’ fan-base for himself due to his humorous use of the chat box during regular drunken sessions. He has reportedly called Gus Hansen ‘the biggest fish online’ and described David Benyamine as ‘a fat gay guy’.
One ‘chat’ to Hansen went as follows:
Gus Hansen: you cant get lucky every time
Ziigmund: fcuk u r retard
Ziigmund: how u can say so?
Ziigmund: u had again 6 out
Ziigmund: f tilt retard
Gus Hansen: wauw
Gus Hansen: ups
Ziigmund: really i mean
Ziigmund: everybody says how bad u r
Ziigmund: its f omg
Even Phil Ivey gets some of the Zig treatment from time to time:
Ziigmund: Phil lets go to Ivey thunderdome just 1 flip there
Phil Ivey: nope u made fun of my rapping abilities so now i am not going to do it
Ziigmund: me neither
Phil Ivey: lol
Ziigmund: why u r so rude phil
Ziigmund: im not so rich
Fluffdog: RAP OFF @thunder dome?
Phil Ivey: lol
Ziigmund: next time when i come to vegas someone beatbox and we battle..u english me finnish
Phil Ivey: lol
Phil Ivey: i spit up my drink
Ziigmund: texasdolly is the referee
Ziigmund: Patrik “I need protein shake every morning” Antonius
During a heads-up match with Ivey on Full Tilt he asked for his own personal $1000/$2000 table named ‘Ziigmunds Colosseum’!
But he certainly likes a gamble – especially coin-flips, and had a coin-flip ‘series’ with Ivey for $40,000 a round. If you ever get the bankroll to play with him, it would be best advised to keep bluffing rates to a minimum.
Even Antonius can be fooled by the wide range of hands Ziigmund can play, as demonstrated by the hand below (apologies for the Swedish commentary):