Joni Jouhkimainen Wins His First Super MILLION$ for $438,000

With nine superstar players, millions of dollars ready to be won and the blinds rising sharply from the first deal, whoever won this week’s GGPoker Super MILLION$ was going to have done it the hard way. The $438,733 top prize from a starting prize pool of $2,170,000, was taken home by Finnish player Joni Jouhkimainen, who captured his maiden Super MILLION$ title while playing from Cyprus, the current home of the Triton Poker Series.

Gruissem Leads as Final Table Begins 

Coming into the action with the chip lead was German professional Phil Gruissem, whose recent efforts have already seen him make a Super MILLION$ final table already this month. He began with 93 big blinds as he looked to bag his second title, with a considerable lead over the Bulgarian Dimitar Danchev (50 big blinds) and Russian player ‘kolayruss1978’, who started with 44 big blinds. Both of ‘Philbort’s’ nearest challengers were vying for their maiden wins. 

Another sizeable stack belonged to a Super MILLION$ legend. Thomas Muehloecker already had three Super MILLION$ victories in his back catalogue and started with 37 big blinds as he attempted to make it number four. Yuri Dzivielevski, another legend, was also in the action searching for his fourth Super MILLION$ victory, but he only had 19 big blinds to his name.

Early Elimination for Mikolaitis as Jouhkimainen Jumps

A former winner busted early as the Lithuanian player Dominykas Mikolaitis ran into a cold deck like passengers on the Titanic. Mikolaitis four-bet all-in pre-flop with pocket jacks and Joni Jouhkimainen made the call with pocket queens. An ace-high board with no paint meant Mikolaitis busted, cashing for $54,841. 

It was a fabulous start for Jouhkimainen in general, winning a big hand early against Gruissem to shave a chunk off his chip lead. A lead that was lost soon after when Yuri Dzivielevski’s ace-jack hit a jack on the flop when committed pre-flop against Gruissem’s pocket tens. With that hand, Gruissem had lost the chip lead to Jouhkimainen but there was much less difference between top and bottom stacks than there was at the start of play.

A full hour of play elapsed without any eliminations as the chips moved around the table seemingly in rotation. The only constant seemed to be Phil Gruissem losing chips, but he was not to be the next player ousted. That was Austrian player SmillethHero, who was desperately unlucky on the river. All-in with ace-deuce, he started his final hand behind Jouhkimainen’s ace-queen and the flop of A-9-8 did not help. A miraculous deuce jumped up on the turn putting him in the lead but this hope was quashed immediately by the arrival of a queen on the river. The Finnish player won the hand and took out his opponent as the Austrian cashed for $71,120.

Super MILLION$ poster

Dzivielevski Unable to Add to Impressive Record 

With seven players remaining, the Brazilian former Super MILLION$ winner Yuri Dzivielevski crashed out for $92,232. Playing from the short stack with just 2BB, Yuri Dzivielevski put it all-in with ace-seven off-suit but he lost to Thomas Muehloecker’s king-queen. While the flop came down safely, the king on the turn set him behind for the last time and the jack on the river sent him to the rail for the day. Currently ranked #8 on the Super MILLION$ leaderboard, Dzivielevski will try again next time no doubt. 

Jouhkimainen was running away with it and had a huge lead with six players remaining. Joni’s 9.2 million chips dominated the nearest challenger, Muehloecker, on less than 4 million. Tim Dunken lost a big flip against the Bulgarian Dimitar Danchev and busted soon thereafter. He was unlucky to do so, calling off his stack with ace-king on a board of J-8-3 when Jouhkimainen, who had bet, holding a nine-seven for a gutshot straight draw. The ten on the turn filled in that straight and play was down to five. 

Two hours into the action, Dimitar Danchev hit the rail. All-in with ace-ten, Muehloecker’s pocket jacks were good enough to seal victory in the hand, with the Bulgarian going home with a cash of $155,115. He was followed from the table by the overnight chip leader Gruissem, who lost almost his entire stack with ace-jack to Muehloecker’s ace-queen. Gruissem’s final chips went in the next hand but his ace-jack failed to hold against the king-queen from Jouhkimainen, who finished the job.

Jouhkimainen Seals Victory

With three left, ‘kolayruss1978’ was a real outsider holding only 5% of the chips in play and the Russian couldn’t find a way back into contention. Down to just 6 big blinds, he shoved all-in with ace-ten pre-flop. Unfortunately, his run ended as he lost out to Jouhkimainen’s jack-nine on the board of K-8-7-T-4, handing the Finnish player a straight and the lead going into the final duel. 

Jouhkimainen’s advantage was better than 2:1, but the tide turned Mouehloecker’s way, as the Austrian garnered his own advantage heads-up. 

Jouhkimainen had to battle back and he did so, being down as low as half of the Austrian’s chips. After regaining the lead, Jouhkimainen started pounding the pre-flop raises, he established a 4:1 lead and there was no coming back for Muehloecker. 

An undramatic ending saw all the chips go in with Muehloecker holding a suited jack-queen and Jouhkimainen calling with ace-deuce. An ace and a deuce landed on the board, and that was all as Joni Jouhkimainen finally celebrated becoming a Super MILLION$ champion. Watch the action here with commentary from Jeff Gross and special guest Rob Mizrachi right here.

GGPoker Super MILLION$ May 23rd 2023 Final Table Results:






Joni Jouhkimainen




Thomas Muehloecker 








Phil Gruissem




Dimitar Danchev




Tim Dunken




Yuri Dzivielevski 








Dominykas Mikolaitis



2023 Week 11                                             2023 Week 13

About the Author: Paul Seaton has written about poker for over 10 years, interviewing some of the best players ever to play the game such as Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan and Phil Hellmuth. Over the years, Paul has reported live from tournaments such as the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and the European Poker Tour. He has also written for other poker brands where he was Head of Media, as well as BLUFF magazine, where he was Editor.