Unfortunately for Kyllonen his time in the Big One was shortlived. He busted just short of the dinner break with top two pair against the wheel straight of Frederique Banjout.
Kyllonen is one of the top high-stakes online poker players on the planet and he’s no stranger to live tournaments.
The Finn has almost $1.4 million tournament earnings, most of which came by way of winning EPT Copenhagen in 2009.
We spoke to Kyllonen before he sat down in the biggest buy-in tournament ever to find out what it’s like to put up $1 million of your own money.
PokerListings.com: You’re the only Finnish player in this tournament. Are you excited to be representing the Finns here in the Big One?
Jens Kyllonen: Yes for sure I’m very excited. I feel kind of fortunate to be able to, and to be able to play this high and support the cause as they say. Hopefully I can run good.
PL: You play high-stakes but this is a big buy-in for anyone. Do you think it will affect your play?
JK: I really hope it won’t change anything but you never know when it gets close to the bubble. I can’t say for sure. All I can do is try to play the optimal way.
I think it might change things for some other players more than for me actually. Most players have sold so many shares, if they make a thin move that will look stupid if it’s wrong they might be afraid to do it, because they’ll have to explain it to their backers.
PL: Is it true that you bought into this event with 100 percent of your own money?
JK: Yes it’s true, but it sort of works in a way that the Finnish Tax Authority has 50 percent of me.
I can deduct the million if I lose but I will pay half in taxes if I win. It’s kind of like it’s a half-million tournament for me.
PL: How important is it to you to make the money in this event? Are you playing to maximize every edge to win this thing?
JK: Yeah I’m playing to win for sure. If I think I can get away with something I’m going to do it.
PL: What would mean the most to you if you won this event?
JK: Everything. It’s a historic tournament. It’s the first one of its kind and that’s a big reason I wanted to gamble.
Obviously the money’s so good too but it would just be so cool to win in so many other ways as well.
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