Finnish team victorious in the first Baltic Sea Blackjack Tournament

Helsinki, Finland
November 20th, 2000

    The Finnish national team swept the whole $45 500 prize money in the first annual Blackjack Tournament between Baltic Sea area casinos, Olympic Casino of Estonia, Casinos Poland and Casino RAY of Helsinki, Finland.

    The tournament was played in Casino RAY on 18th of November. The winner of the first prize of $20 000 was Peter Pihlström of Helsinki. Pihlström stated: "After I qualified for the tournament I decided I would go out full throttle in the final. It is all or nothing for me".  The second place went to the only female player, Tuire Hyvönen, who has played Blackjack for  three years only. She gave credit to her "coach" who had obviously prepared her well. Third was Harri Karenius who beat the best Polish player Artur Olszewski by mere 50 points. Also, the Finnish team won the trophy between the three countries by a hefty margin and earning $1 500 per player. Poland placed second and Estonia finished third.

    Despite Finland took it all in the Baltic Sea Final the visiting teams did not consider the organizing country to be impolite to their guests, on the contrary. "We have to admit that Finland beat us fair and square this time but I believe we will be stronger next year in Warsaw. Also, I can not be but overjoyed how this new and exciting international co-operation turned out. This was a wonderful and wonderfully organized event", said Mr. Marek Milewski, the Director of Operations for Casinos Poland. Mr. Armin Karu, the Chairman of the Board for Olympic Casino of Tallinn, felt sorry for his players who were left just outside the prize money but, also, promised a even tougher fight for next year’s final: "Maybe we will organize a training camp for the next time like they do in sports", Mr. Karu said jokingly.

    Casino Manager of Casino RAY Mr. Heikki Rinta-Panttila could not hide his excitement either. "First of all, I am happy for our players. But most of all, I am just glad we were able to do this historic event with Olympic Casino and Casinos Poland and I think this is just the beginning. Other coutries have been interested in, too, and I hope and believe we will have one or more countries joining us next year". Present at the tournament were observers from other casinos and casino media, so that might prove to be the case.

More information about the tournament:
Phone: +358 40 511 2858