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  • Nabil Hirezi Takes Down WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open Main Event

    Friday, March 28th, 2014 by Ryan

Another tournament in 2014, and another winner taking home a championship
and a very nice pay day. This one was a World Poker Tour event that was
played in Jacksonville. It was the World Poker Tour (WPT) Jacksonville
bestbet Open Main Event, and our eventually winner was a player who lives
right there in town, Nabil Hirezi. When the final table began, it was
almost a start to finish victory for Hirezi. Quite an impressive victory,
and one that not only won him a very nice pay day that was worth $206,041,
but it also automatically gets him a seat into the $15,400 World Poker Tour
World Championship. A big win for the local, and we’ll look at it here
today.

Hirezi had a big lead going into the start of the final table, and was
sitting with 2,792,000 chips. The closest player to him was James
Calderaro, who was sitting with 1,916,000 chips. Hirezi sort of was able
to just grind it out from the start, and after around an hour and a half of
play he saw his stack up at more than 5 million in chips. He did drop
some, going down to around 3,500,000 chips just an hour after that, and a
little bit after that was when he lost his chip lead for the first time.
It wasn’t his chips he lost though, it was the fact that Calderaro knocked
out Brian Green in third place. This helped Calderaro pick up a little
less than a million chips (close to 900k), and this meant that the heads up
match would start with Calderaro leading with 4,090,000 chips to the
3,660,000 that Hirezi had.

As soon as our heads up action started, we saw the chips get shifted back
over to Hirezi, and he gained the chip lead back. The one on one match
looked to be going perfectly for Hirezi, but then Calderaro made a big move
and was able to get his chips back. The two players just kept going back
and forth at each other and neither one of them was really willing to give
an inch in the final push towards winning the title and the nice first
place pay day.

It was one final big hand that did it for Hirezi, but it wasn’t an easy win
though. Calderaro limped into the action pre-flop for 50,000 chips, and
Hirezi raised up to 150,000. From there Calderaro three bet the action up
to 550,000. This led to Hirezi moving all-in, and Calderaro snap calling
for 3,395,000 chips. He turned over A-K off suit, and it wasn’t a bad spot
as he had two overs, but had work to do against the pocket tens of Hirezi.
The flop came down with a King of hearts, and the six and five of hearts
also, but Hirezi didn’t have a heart in his hand, and neither did
Calderaro. The turn came with the Queen of hearts, and it left Hirezi a
few outs for a potential chop, but he needed a ten in order to win the
tournament. If he didn’t hit, he’d be left with a pretty short stack and a
ton of work to do. The river was, you guessed it, the 10 of spades, which
gave Hirezi a set and the victory.

Hirezi’s win was big, and it was also big for the local who plays at
bestbet consistently. He’s 59 years old and is currently a dentist in
town. Back in 2006 Hirezi actually created his own foundation called the
Rawand Hirezi Foundation, in honor of an awful car crash which took his
niece’s life. The Foundation gives scholarships to abused and troubled
youth in the Washington, D.C. area. It also helps to provide financial and
material help for youth programs.

A great win for Hirezi, and quite the story as well. He’ll definitely do
something with that money which could help out his Foundation, and we’re
happy to report this story relating to such a great Foundation that has a
ton of meaning behind it as well. We’ll hopefully keep an eye out for
Hirezi in a few other upcoming tournaments if he decides to continue the
tournament action.

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