Pakistani Poker Player goes Heads Up with Mizrachi

June 30, 2011

Another amateur poker player swept Event #47 $2,500 Mixed High/Low Split tournament, practically taking it off the arm of Michael “the Grinder” Mizrachi, who came in second place. The bracelet and a $255K+ prize purse went to Pakistanian player Owais Ahmed, who won the tournament sometime around 3:00 a.m. this morning.

Mizrachi had a three to one chip lead, a rail full of supporters, and was just the favored player based on his experience alone, but victory was in the cards for 27-year-old Ahmed, who is a data warehouse analyst and supply chain manager.

Pot after pot went to Ahmed, and slowly but surely, Mizrachi’s chip stack got smaller and smaller.

Ahmed said after the tournament’s end, “Actually, when we started the match, it was like a 50-to-1 crowd advantage for Mizrachi. I had a chip disadvantage.  The whole room felt really small, and it felt like it was me against the world….I meditated a little bit, and I said, you know I am just going to come out and play my A-game, and that is going to win me that bracelet.  The crowd doesn’t matter.  I put my glasses on, I was in my zone, and when I do that, I am as good as anyone in the world.”

Ahmed, who currently resides in Orange County, CA, added, “I can’t believe it’s real right now. I played my heart out. I played my A-game and in the end, it all worked out for me. I’m ecstatic.”

While Pakistan has sent forth champion athletes before, but poker has not been a popular part of Pakistani culture, though Hasan Habib, WSOP bracelet winner, is from Pakistan as well. This was Ahmed’s fourth consecutive year at the WSOP. It is his second final table appearance, and he’s cashed six times in past WSOP events over the years.


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