Ilari Sahamies is a Finnish poker player who plays by the name, Ziigmund. He can often be found playing at Full Tilt Poker on the high stakes tables. He is most commonly found on the 200/400 No Limit Hold'em Poker or on his favorite 200/400 High Stakes Pot Limit Omaha tables. He has also earned himself the nickname, "The Omaha Kid." While Sahamies mostly plays online poker, he also sometimes dabbles in live poker, including on television shows, "High Stakes poker" and "Poker After Dark." Today, Sahamies ranks as the 20th most successful Finnish poker player.
Sahamies was born in 1983 in Helsinki, Finland. He began to play poker at the age of 15 and it was at this time that he became friends with another big name in the poker world, Patrik Antonius. While he was learning he spent a lot of time at Helsinki's Grand Casino where he played at the poker tables, and often lost his money. By his second year of playing, Sahamies was said to be up $100,000 and he has not looked back since. He started playing online poker in 2003 and spent his time between a few different online poker sites. In 2006, Sahamies began playing at Full Tilt Poker. It is said that he has a huge bankroll to play with which seems to be supported by the fact that you will often find him up or down by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sahamies makes his money from working in construction yards, at gas stations or as a telephone operator.
Ziigmund is well-known for his aggressive playing style. He has also been known to take huge risks with his bankroll and it is not surprising to find him down hundreds of thousands of dollars in a session. Sahamies has never been know to back down from a challenge and has even taken on giants in the online poker world such as Phil Ivey. In fact, his nature can be seen in the chat rooms as well where he has been known to needle the great players about their games. He claims to be friends with the other pros and that his "trashtalk" is just for a bit of fun. It has earned him a little online following, however.
Sahamies used to enjoy playing poker while consuming alcohol, but over a period of four years that habit cost him more than US$3 million in losses. In fact, in one day, he lost a whopping $700,000. He claims to have given up on his habit and now only drinks when playing live poker.
This quote from Sahamies sums up his character and his playing style perfectly: "Playing it safe will never get you to the top. More important is that you have the balls to bet at the right time. If you want to succeed, you need to have a gambler's attitude." While it can be argued that there is truth to this, Sahamies is well-know for his extreme risk taking at the poker table.