Happy, stress-free Finns flourish in Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge


The Patrick Antonius Poker Challenge is in the books with Joris Rujis, Pauli Ayras and the man of the moment, Antonius, stealing the headlines. 

happy-stress-free-finns-flourish-in-patrik-antonius-poker-challengeTwo years ago, the Finnish government randomly chose 2,000 unemployed people and gave them €560 per month until December 2018. Here’s what they found.

1. They were happier.
2. They felt less stress.
3. They trusted more people and social institutions.
4. They were no less likely to want to join the workforce.

Finland’s most beautiful export, Patrik Antonius, decided to continue the experiment in creating his eponymous Poker Challenge, and there were ticks in three of the four boxes, with 100% of those that took part never wanted to work a minute of their lives, again.

Antonius and his team created the event to promote his new project First Land of Poker (FLOP), a gambling social media app, and it’s time to catch up on the main talking points, including a victory for the main man, himself.

Joris Rujis Wins the Main Event

We begin with the €1,700 buy-in Main Event, and although there was no place for Antonius at the final table, four Finnish players managed to find the right elevator button.

Three of those four ranked as highly as French toast at a breakfast buffet, but none of them earned the bacon. That honour went to Joris Rujis who conquered an event as unbalanced as the female v male headcount in a nude art lesson where J-Lo is the model.

The event attracted 160-entrants like bees around a bouquet, and at the end of Day 2, Rujis’ stack was 4x bigger than his nearest competitor’s, eventually waltzing into the final table with more than 225 big blinds.

Rujis had a cracking 2018, so this victory wouldn’t have been a surprise for those closest to the Dutchman. It was the first-year that Ruijis had amassed more than a million dollars (gross) in live tournament earnings, primarily down to an excellent showing at the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona that saw him cash for $571,043, finishing 3/439 in the €10,300 High Roller as well as winning a €2k side event for $302,873.

It was his sixth live tournament win.

Final Table Results

1. Joris Rujis – €57,200
2. Ville Jantunen – €39,100
3. Kasper Mellanen – €23,800
4. Matias Arosuo – €17,900
5. Andrejs Punka – €13,800
6. Marvin Hannemann – €9,700
7. Markku Koplimaa – €7,810
8. Sebastian Wahl – €5,950

“It’s Fixed!” Patrik Antonius Wins The €10k; Pauli Ayras Wins the €25k

Given that Patrik Antonius organised the event, there were rumours that he hired his family to act as dealers, and that would explain how he managed to win the 20-entrant €10,200 Championship Event.

Only four players made money, with that man Rujis finishing third for €38,800. Antonius beat how fellow Finn, Joni Jouhkimainen, to win the €78,100 first prize.

It was Antonius’s first tournament win since Feb 2018 when he defeated 51-entrants to win the partypoker MILLIONS Germany €25,500 Super High Roller for €425,000.

It’s only Antonius’s fourth live tournament score, although $11.8m in lifetime live tournament earnings more than makes up for the lack of trophies.

€10k Championship ITM Finishes

1. Patrik Antonius – €78,100
2. Joni Jouhkimainen – €51,550
3. Joris Rujis – €38,800
4. Rahul Byrraju – €20,102.

The most significant chunk of change handed out during the PAPC went to Finland’s Pauli Ayras, who defeated a field of 17-entrants in the €25,000 High Roller.

It’s the first #1 to register on the Hendon Mob profile of Ayras, and one suspects that’s likely down to his love of a different variant. In September, he finished runner-up to Kazuhiko Yotsushika in the €25,000 event at EPT Barcelona.

€25k ITM Finishes

1. Pauli Ayras – €163,300
2. Tuen Mulder – €122,400
3. Koray Aldemir – 81,600
4. Tommie Janssen – €40,870

1. They were happier.
2. They felt less stress.
3. They trusted more people and social institutions.
4. They were no less likely to want to join the workforce.