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- The Festival Series Meets – Antti Tiainen – Poker Professional With A Crazy Side bet!
The Festival Series Meets – Antti Tiainen – Poker Professional With A Crazy Side bet!
Poker has always been a popular activity in Finland, with mixed games being especially favoured by their community. What sets poker apart in Finland is that it is officially classified as a game of skill, not gambling. Some of the world's most renowned poker players hail from Finland, including Patrick Antonius, Illari Sahamies, Juha Helppi, and Jens Kyllonen. However, in the realm of online poker, Finnish players are also making waves. For instance, Antti Tiainen has his own streaming channel where he shares his skills with the poker world. We were fortunate enough to speak with Antti about his thoughts on poker and his excitement for our upcoming event in Malta.
Melvin TF: Hi Antti. It is very nice to meet you. At The Festival Series we try to connect players all the time. Mind sharing a bit about your background?
Antti: ‘’I am a 37-year-old Finnish poker pro and currently live in Tallinn. I spent my youth in a small eastern Finnish town called Savonlinna, where the world-famous Savonlinna Opera Festival is also organized every year. I like to do a lot of different sports in my free time. And most importantly, I love ice cream.’’
Melvin TF: How did you come in touch with poker? And what things attract you the most about the game in general?
Antti: ‘’As a child, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents' house, and we always played poker there. The game format was often a 5-card draw. I was also playing in their old people game nights.. As I recall, I was about 7 years old at the time. I discovered online poker in 2005 through a friend. I studied business administration at the University of Applied s
Sciences, but over time, when I started to do better at poker, I dropped out of school and decided to focus only on the game. I have always been a mathematically oriented and competitive person that enjoys mind games and intellectually challenging tasks. In poker, all of these things come together.’’
Melvin TF: Your first live poker cash date back to 2011, and then there is a gap of 6 years. Took a sabbatical from poker? Or just mainly focused on online poker? After you went to the World Series. Is a poker dream coming true?
Antti: ‘’At some point around 2013 I got tired of poker and wasn't doing so well anymore, so I started a career as an entrepreneur in the sports industry. I did that for a few years and only played online poker a little on the side. I've always made a living playing online poker and live games have been just something fun to do once in a while. Of course, playing the WSOP main event for the first time felt particularly great, but in live games, I've never had any particular goals other than having fun.’’
Melvin TF: You are a Twitch streamer as we know. How is it about the side bet you are having for your Youtube channel to reach 1k subs before 2024 May?
Antti: ‘’I think the first time I streamed on Twitch was in 2016 or 2017. I've never been a super active streamer, but every now and then it's a nice change from everyday life. On March 4, 2023, my friend and I made a €10,000 bet on whether I could get 1,000 subscribers on YouTube by May Day 2024. The starting situation was 58 subscribers and now a month later the number is 255, so it has been a good start.’’
Melvin TF: You will be present in two weeks at The Festival Series Malta. Did you go to any other festival before? What is most important for you when you visit a live event?
Antti: ‘’This is the first The Festival event for me. I've heard a lot of good things about the events and I'm excited to go there finally. In live events, it is important to me that there are enough different kinds of games in the schedule. I often like to play mixed games, and I'm glad you can find many of them at The Festival. Outside of the games, having fun guys around and interesting things to do and to see are important. Live tournaments are always partially a vacation for me and a change from everyday online gaming life.’’
Melvin TF: Your scores are all very decent for live poker with buy-ins going from 200 up to 2.5k, with also a victory during the Unibet DSO in Romania. Do you play satellites on Unibet as well for live events?
Antti: ’’I've done quite well in live tournaments, although the biggest tournament winnings for me have been from the online games. But winning the live tournament always has its own charm, it's one of the greatest feelings to get to lift the real physical trophy. Satellites are a very good way to reduce the costs of live tournaments, and I often play online satellites for the live events that I’m going to, also on Unibet of course!’’
Melvin TF: As a closure. Any last words before the mayhem starts in Malta? 😊
Antti: ‘’Don't be afraid to try and learn different mixed games, they have given me so many fun moments and new challenges in poker. And remember to eat a lot of ice cream!’’
Do you happen to love mixed games as much as the poker players from Finland? Or are you simply making use of our event to have a short holiday such as Antti and have loads of fun playing some nice poker tournaments and perhaps make use of the Blackjack and Roulette? Our schedule is very outbalanced and makes it happen that you always are able to join in on the action, on and off the tables! If you are one of lucky ones who have bagged themselves a package through one of our many satellites on various poker sites, you might even be included in the hospitality events! Might, because not all packages include it. For more information check the following link.