EPT9 Berlin Day 1B: Hats off to Joni Jouhkimainen

Some dealers you never hear from, others like to be a vocal presence keeping things in order. Usually though they keep themselves to themselves, only speaking when spoken to and remaining stoic when a less well brought up person on the other side of the table accuses them of ruining their life.

To players the dealers are just the person there to let them play. But as one player found out a short while ago, they're also there to make sure there is no confusion and that play continues without drama. This player however was making things difficult. It was a matter of enunciation.

Dealer: "How do you say 'four'?"
Joni Jouhkimainen: "Four?"
Dealer: "How do you say 'call'?"
Jouhkimainen: "Call?"

The issue had been about Jouhkimainen's pronunciation of the word "four" and "call" which sounded the same and were causing some confusion. Imagine a word falling somewhere between "fall" and "core". That's where Jouhkimainen was. On the next hand he raised by six.

Hatless: Joni Jouhkimainen

EPT addicts will remember Jouhkimainen from the season opener back in Barcelona, where, after an epic performance he finished in third position.

Many put his third place finish down to the irredeemable Ilari Sahamies who barged his way into second, and the surprise elevation of Belarusian Mikalai Pobal, who went on to win the crown. That would be the nice way of putting it, and indeed could easily be the actual reason. But there remain doubts, sewn by the image of Sahamies and Jouhkimainen returning from the final table dinner break in sequinned party hats and carrying orange drinks with straws in them. Jouhkimainen soon lost the lead, his sequined hat, and his seat at the table.

Since that memorable day -- to us anyway, it's more likely a blur to Jouhkimainen and Sahamies -- the young Finn has earned more than $170,000 in live tournament earnings in Finland, France and England. If he can get his words out he might once more get a few glances in his direction, and not just from dealers.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter

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