Like his fellow Finns, Patrik Antonius
and Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies, Jani Vilmunen started his professional poker career at the casino in Helsinki, competing against wealthy businessmen who simply enjoyed gambling as a hobby. The competition was soft, and the money flowed freely.
By the time Jani Vilmunen emerged on Full Tilt as "KObyTAPOUT" he had earned over $100K in live tournament cashes between 2000 and 2006. Six of those 9 finishes where earned at the final table; one of which was 7th place in the 2006 WSOP PLO event for just under $82K.
Throughout 2008, "KObyTAPOUT" experienced erratic ups and downs online, finally ending the year in the negative. Jani's downswing at Full Tilt continued, plunging well below -$1M in 2009. The trend carried over into Jani Vilmunen's live cash games as well. Competing against the top names in poker at the Bellagio - including the likes of Doyle Brunson - Vilmunen was losing $100K-$200K per night.
However, the heavy losses Jani was incurring in cash games were oddly counterbalanced by two first place tournament finishes; the 2009 WSOPE Pot Limit Omaha victory over Team Full Tilt Pro Howard Lederer, and an online tournament triumph in the PokerStars World Cup of Online Poker (WCOOP) Pot Limt Omaha event.
Down millions of dollars from both live and online poker losses, Jani Vilmunen returned to Finland stressed out and angry with himself, where he began practicing meditation to help him focus. Jani also signed on with Full Tilt Poker as a Full Tilt Pro, abandoning the moniker "KObyTAPOUT" to play online poker
under his own name.
The changes in Jani Vilmunen's life improved his outlook for the future, and his results in 2010 were strong until a downswing in October dragged his profits back into the negative. However, his losses were nowhere near as drastic or devastating as the previous year.