Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Belize Poker Player reaches one round from World championship


Belize poker player reaches near last round of WORLD POKER CHAMPIONSHIPS this week.

He is from Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Town. On the GREAT BARRIER REEF.

Bob Bounahra still standing in Poker’s World Championship
With a combination of fantastic short stack play, incredible patience and a little luck Belize’s own Bob Bounahra is still standing tall in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. Yesterday we reported that Bob would have to survive Monday’s play in order to make the coveted Final Table in November. Turns out it wasn’t that easy. There is one more day of play today. If Bob can make it through today he’s going to the Final Table of the World Championship of Poker.
Monday saw 57 players start and after 5 incredibly tough levels of play just 22 players are left. Bob sits in 21st place. It’s familiar territory for him. He spent all of yesterday as the short stack, never leaving the bottom 3rd of the rankings. But, while massive chip leaders went to war with each other and players exited the tournament left, right and center Bob remained a pillar of calm and serenity amongst the storm. He has displayed a masterclass of pressure play, never panicking, just waiting for his moment to play his premium cards. On more than one occasion yesterday he was close to elimination but found the cards and the courage to survive.
How huge is Bob Bounahra’s achievement so far? The country of France, population 63 million, lost its last player yesterday. The United Kingdom, population 59 million has just ONE representative left. Belize, population just 300,000 has Bob! He was on ESPN 2 yesterday evening proudly wearing his Belize hat. In a text message he said “I’m playing for all of Belize.” Every poker player in Belize is rooting for him big time. This reporter went to bed at 3:30am after following every on line report and watching every second of TV coverage.
Today 22 players will start. Only 9 will be left standing at the end of the day. It’s a long shot but Bob could be one of those 9. This reporter firmly believes he will make it to the Final Table of Poker’s World Championship. He has the patience, the skill and the great karma to do it!
Coverage on ESPN2, that’s Channel 52 in San Pedro.
He has so far done more for tourism to Belize this year than any other entity and if he does make the final table it will be the biggest boost to tourism that the industry has ever experienced.

Web coverage at www.wsop.com. Play starts at 1:00pm Belize time.

Those of us who don't follow gambling may not be familiar with the event called the World Series of Poker. But for gamblers, that is like the Superbowl: it's got the biggest pot of money, the best players from all over the world and the largest audience in the world.

And tonight - at this hour - a Belizean, Bob Bou-Nahra is in the final 13 - which is nothing short of incredible, since the event started with almost seven thousand competitors at the start of the month. His uncanny ascension to the very top of the global gambling game has elated his friends and fellow players to no end. They've been following his progress very closely via the internet over the weekend - and tonight on TV as the event is on ESPN Two. It's generous publicity for Belize as well as Bou-Nahra has been wearing a Belize hat throughout the event. Speaker of the House Emil Arguelles - himself an avid gambler - who was up in Vegas at the World Series just a few days ago was part of an enthusiastic viewing party for Bou-Nahra in the city this afternoon. He put his friend's accomplishment in context for us:…

Emil Arguelles - Speaker of the House
"The enormity of this is the fact that 7,000 players have started this tournament and BOB is now on the final table which is better than at least 1% of all players who started. In addition this has to be to my knowledge the most sought after prize in gambling anywhere in the world. More so for specifically for the game of poker and the fact that it's the biggest prize for this game in the world. It's to my knowledge first place if Bob were to win would be the largest prize payout for any sport ever won by a Belizean. It is a combination of luck, skill. At this point Bob is near the final 15, so he is practically secured a critical spot and he will at this point probably playing tight and ease his way into the final table."

Jules Vasquez
"How hard are you guys routing for him and are you all sort of living vicariously through his exceptional performance?"

Emil Arguelles - Speaker of the House
"Well most of the people in this room were there a few days ago. We came back for various works - the House sitting on Friday but yes we all are proud that a Belizean with the flag of Belize that everybody can see is there online and live on ESPN."

Jules Vasquez
"How would you critique his performance right now and the prospects for him making it to that elite final 9?"

Emil Arguelles - Speaker of the House
"His performance so far has been impeccable; he has not to my mind made one mistake. He has mix in the correct mixture of bluffing and tight playing and I have no doubt that he will be on the final table in November unless bad luck which can happen happens."

As we noted - at this hour - Bou-Nahra is in the final 13 competitors - the aim is to make it to the final nine - who will play in a final in November.

Just a while ago he had 15.5 million in chips - and was fifth overall - but he just had a bad break and lost about 4 million of those chips.

So he has about eleven million in chips and if he loses now, he'd still take home a payday of $478,000.00 US dollars. If he makes it to the final 9, the minimum guaranteed payout is 782 thousand dollars up to the first prize which is 8.7 million dollars.

Bou-Nahra is the first Belizean to have reached this deep into the competition, the best another has done is to finish 150th…..

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