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Adventures in Scandinavia Part 1: Helsinki

3 September 2008

By Rebecca Liggero


Pointy shoes and tight pants

Pointy shoes and tight pants


Affiliate Lounge Tomas, lunch date and great friend

Affiliate Lounge Tomas, lunch date and great friend




I am back from the land of blonde hair, blue eyes, IKEA, reindeer, herring, pointy shoes and tight pants. Wow, I miss that land. My twelve day vacation included two of the world's most amazing cities, Helsinki and Stockholm, and even more importantly, some of the most amazing (and better looking) friends I have ever made in my life. I will begin with my experiences in Helsinki, one whirlwind of a weekend filled with poker players, movie stars, apple juice, red carpets, Fisherman's Friend, delicious pizza and authentic Aleksi sarcasm.


Day 1- Stockholm, the doorway to Helsinki


After spending an entire day waiting for my delayed flight in the luxurious Newark International Airport, I flew to Stockholm and made it to Central Station just in time to meet Affiliate Lounge's Tomas for lunch. We decided to spice up our lunch date by walking my huge bags to South Stockholm and carrying them to the top floor of his building. What fun after a red eye! To quote Tomas after the journey was completed, "Sorry B, we probably should have taken the tube". Hey, all was good after dining on Swedish pizza, packing a small bag, and catching a flight to Helsinki with Neda from MaMaMia Partners.



Jasper Pääkkönen, Finnish Movie Star

Jasper Pääkkönen, Finnish Movie Star



Night 1- Red Carpet Helsinki


Upon arrival, Neda and I were advised to meet the extended Pokerisivut.com crowd at a small restaurant, meaning, the two of us walked in on twenty guys dining at one table. This is nothing new for me, but for Neda who is brand new to our crazy online gaming world, it came as somewhat of a shock. Never fear, this is why wine was invented. After dinner (and lots of wine), thanks to the company of Jasper Pääkkönen the Finnish movie star, we bypassed every club line and went straight to VIP rooms for cocktails and unnecessary Fisherman's Friend shots. At one point I was scolded for taking pictures which irritated me at first, however, I later found out the NHL players didn't like it. Right. NHL players in a Helsinki club. What a dull night.



People watching in the park

People watching in the park



Day 2- Rudolph and Finnish fashion


I woke up to Aleksi's 1pm phone call on Saturday afternoon, a nice invitation to lunch at one of his favorite spots in town. The signature dish of the restaurant was entitled "Rudolph", you know, as in the reindeer. Thank you Erik from Casino.dk for ordering it! Reindeer is tasty. We spent the rest of the day at a park in the center of town watching all the locals walk by in some of the craziest outfits I have ever seen. How can I describe this spectacle...let me attempt...I witnessed a mixture of spiked hair, slicked back hair, facial piercings, leather bracelets with metal studs, 80's band t-shirts, punk rockers, tight pants, Prada shoes, dread locks, tight button downs with ruffles, beautiful blondes, Russian tourists, and anything and everything else you can imagine. Unbelievable.



Aleksi and his women

Aleski and his women



Night 2- Pokerisivut.com party


It all began with a BBQ at Timo's gorgeous flat in central Helsinki. Twenty sober men plus two sober girls began a nice evening together at 8pm, and everything promptly went downhill from there. We made our way to the Pokerisivut.com party at 10pm, and honestly, I have never seen anything like this in my life. These boys had reserved the entire VIP floor of the nicest club in town for two hours, stocked each table with bottles of vodka and mixers, kept the bar wide open, and had somehow rounded up some of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in my life. Must have been because Aleksi was there, but I'm not 100% sure. Once midnight hit, the party moved to yet another VIP floor where the boys had reserved tables full of alcohol for the rest of the night. Helsinki clubs shut down at 3:30am, so naturally Timo opened up his flat to everyone left standing, including Patrik Antonius who I had the pleasure of sitting next to on the couch. Yep. Yet another dull night in Helsinki.



How to get your picture taken in Helsinki

How to get your picture taken in Helsinki



Day and Night 3- Missed flight x 2


Neda and I managed to peel ourselves out bed in the early afternoon, packed our bags with the anticipation of leaving later that night, and made our way to lunch with the rest of the crew. Lunch turned into drinks, and drinks turned into more drinks, and more drinks turned into skipping our flight back to Stockholm. Whoops. Hey, at least this time it was intentional. Something I noticed during my time in Helsinki, especially on that last Sunday night, is that drunken and belligerent behavior in a nice club or lounge is completely acceptable and somewhat encouraged. Wrestling on the floor and smashing one glass after another does not get you kicked out- no way, not that- it gets your picture taken. Welcome to Helsinki with the Pokerisivut.com team! There is nothing else like it on earth.


Adventures in Scandinavia Part 1: Helsinki is republished from iGamingAffiliatePrograms.com.
Rebecca Liggero

Rebecca Liggero, a native of Wellesley, Massachusetts, has always loved meeting new people, building relationships, and traveling the world – perfect qualities for someone who, since early 2005, has won many friends and influenced countless people in the worldwide online gaming community.


After graduating from Bates College with a degree in psychology, Rebecca spent four years in Washington, DC, working in relationship management, dreaming all the while about someday making it big in online gaming. After turning down an opportunity to live in New Zealand, she moved back to Boston and signed on as Senior Account Manager for Casino City – the beginning of a dream come true!


Rebecca’s work on behalf of Casino City (and later for the GPWA as well) took her to trade shows and conferences everywhere – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Costa Rica, Montreal, London, Las Vegas, Macau and many other ports of call – and along the way she began chronicling her incredible around-the-clock adventures in a wildly entertaining and industry-savvy weekly column that quickly became – and still remains – must reading for everyone who is anyone in online gaming. Following almost three years with the Casino City team, Rebecca spent a few months at Everest Affiliates where she was the Brand Manager of the affiliate program. While working on “the other side,” she realized that she truly missed her weekly column and the affiliate side of the business and decided to return to the Casino City family.


One and a half years later, Rebecca resigned from Casino City and joined industry icon Calvin Ayre to serve as the Bodog Global Brand Ambassador and the head on-site reporter for the online gambling industry tablog, CalvinAyre.com. In her new capacity, Rebecca continues to travel the world, and when asked where she is based, her response is usually "on an airplane."


Contact Rebecca at rebecca@liggero.net. Be careful, though – she might quote you.