Hand of the Week: Sahamies Hits Nuts, Blows Up Pot

Ilari Sahamies
Fears no one.

One of the players in the ostensible "Champions League" of online poker for a long time is Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies.

Sometimes the eccentric Finn will disappear for a couple of months but eventually he always returns to the high-stakes tables, where it appears he fears no one.

His best game is Pot Limit Omaha - a game where he counts as one of the best players in the world.

This week we dig into a classic Sahamies hand where he finds a straight flush, the second best hand in poker, and gets paid off.

Flop to River

The game is PLO $200/$400/$80 and the effective stacks are $88,000, which corresponds to 220 big blinds.

Ilari Sahamies
The game is PLO.

Sahamies is on the button and raises to $1,640. Ackmajin in the small blind folds but Ravenswood13 in the big calls. There's now $3,720 in the pot and the flop falls:


Both players check and the turn is the


Ravenswood13 now takes the lead with a bet of $3,715, which Sahamies calls. The pot is now $11,150. The river is the


Now Ravenswood13 bets pot - $11,145 – but Sahamies raises to $44,580. Ravenswood13 makes the call. At showdown Sahamies shows


And wins a $100k pot.

Hand Analysis

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Considering the size of the stacks (220 BB), Sahamies starts out remarkably passive but still manages to win a sizeable pot.

Let’s look at the hand a little closer. There are three players at the table and a hand like K T 6 5 is an obvious raise.

Although it only consists of two good Hold’em hands (which rarely make good Omaha hands), it’s also double suited and has the potential to make a lot of straights.

The flop looks very nice for Ziigmund. He hits top pair and an open-ended straight flush draw with several clean and some dirty outs.

Ravenswood13 makes a standard check to the raiser, and Sahamies surprisingly checks behind.

There are good reasons for this decision, though. First, the turn could bring a lot of bad cards for Sahamies.

Second, there's the possibility for his opponent to make several second-best hands. Sahamies would also make all the weak hands fold here.

And last, for a player as aggressive as Ilari Sahamies, it’s always a good idea to change his play and sometimes check with good hands.

Folding Is Not An Option

The turn doesn’t change much but Sahamies hits a second pair to improve his hand. Now his opponent bets and Sahamies has to decide whether to call or raise.

Ilari Sahamies
Unusual approach pays off.

Folding is not an option here. The call is very likely the best move here as, again, he keeps the weaker hands in play. A raise would probably only get calls from stronger hands.

The river card is, of course (alongside the A) an absolute dream card. Not only is Sahamies now holding the nuts with a straight flush, the board could also have given his opponent several strong, second-best hands

Ravenswood13 bets the pot for a second time now which either means he has a strong hand or he’s bluffing.

As Ravenswood13 calls Sahamies’ raise it's pretty clear that he did have a good hand, most likely a flush.


Holding a very strong hand the hyper-aggressive Sahamies takes an unusual approach here.

He plays passively until the river then hits the nuts and blows up the pot as much as possible -- also polarizing his hand to the max.

Of course he gets lucky to hit a straight flush, but the most important thing is that he won such a big pot because of his clever playing style.

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