Juha Helppi is a professional poker player from Helsinki, Finland and was born on March 4, 1977. He worked in a casino as a dealer, but never dealt poker. His first major success came in the first season of the World Poker Tour, where he won the amateurs section of the first WPT event in Aruba. Juha Helppi went on to defeat the professional section winner, Phil Gordon, in a heads-up match. Juha Helppi finished fourth in the WPT Season 1 Battle of Champions. At the WPT Grand Prix de Paris event in 2005, Juha Helppi was defeated by Roland de Wolfe in heads-up play. He has also finished in the money five times at the World Series of Poker.
In November 2005, Juha participated in Interpoker’s first Extreme Poker match, where the players, which included Phil Laak and Kenna James, had to don scuba gear and play underwater in the Caribbean. Players were eliminated if they ran out of chips, ran out of air, or had to surface. Juha Helppi won the event, giving him the honor of choosing the next location. Juha Helppi chose the ice shelf on the Gulf of Bothnia, near his native Finland. The event took place in March 2006 with the players sitting at a table outside in the artic weather. If players busted out in the first 30 minutes they could rebuy by ditching their jacket and playing in only a t-shirt. The winner of the event, Robert Varkonyi, lost his jacket and ran around the table for most of the poker tournament trying to keep warm. Juha Helppi finished in second place. The third extreme event took place in a plane flying above the Nevada desert, where the losers got pushed out the door and skydived to the desert below.
Juha Helppi used to be an excellent paintballer and was the captain of the Finnish nation paintball champions.