Poorya Nazari won 3 millions US dollars
And he is just 22 years old.
If you are looking for the Asian poker pro who won the most money in a live tournament outside of Las Vegas, you found him in the person of Poorya Nazari.
Born in Iran, Poorya Nazari immigrated to Canada with his parents when he was a child and now lives in Richmond Hill (Ontario). He learned the game of poker while in tenth grade, when he played with friends.
He soon realized that he was very gifted with poker.
Nazari has recently graduated from McMaster University with a major in biochemistry, but poker has been his hobby throughout the years. He turned professional in 2008 and had already demonstrated his indisputable talented profile with 5 cashes (including a first place finish) and winnings of $94,322.
Admittedly he started with smaller NLHE buy-in tournaments. In March 2008, he finished first in the "March Madness" for $23k. Then in July 2008, he finished 2nd and 7th in two events of the "Deep Stack Extravaganza" for $36k. In the same month he finished 2nd of the "2008 Continental Poker Championships" for $13k.
Finally he participated in a bigger tournament at the end of 2008 as he finished 42nd at the WPT World Poker Finals/WPT Event Season 7, for $21k. Confidence was high for Poorya when he joined the 2009 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
Pokerstars has been organizing the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure since 2004. The 2009 PCA took place at Atlantis Resort & Casino and gathered a starting field of 1347 players. Of whom 1061 qualified on pokerstars. The total prize pool was $12.6 million with the champion taking home $3 million.
Using PokerStars satellites is certainly the way to go as this a large buy-in tournament with a price tag of 10,000 US dollars. It is a better usage of one's bankroll than to become a regular at some online casino.
Atlantis is a gorgeous resort in the beautiful Bahamas, where many movies were shot. A recent example is the film "Duplicity" (2009) with Julia Roberts & Clive Owen, where one of the characters is a nouveau riche gambling addict playing and losing at big stakes baccarat.
In this super-large 2009 PCA, the top 199 players would get a chunk of the money. The top three would get over one million dollars each.
On Saturday the final table gathered the last eight players and it tool eight hours to reach the final hand. Anthony Gregg raised with Q7, was 3-bet by Poorya Nazari who had AT. Anthony shoved and Poorya called, which is standard given that he had a 2:1 stack lead. As no one improved, that was it. Poorya pocketed the coveted $3 million, while Gregg had the consolation to take $1.7 million home.
Poorya describes his style as "mixing it up pretty well; depending on how the table is playing, I just try to adjust my game. I let the table dictate how I play, and tonight they were timid, so I decided to get a little more aggressive".
After winning the six days tournament and the amazing three million dollars prize, Poorya was under shock for a few hours. His achievement took a lot of time to sink in, and at the beginning "his head kept on spinning" as he said.
"It has not sunk in yet. It feels unbelievable. It feels surreal. I cannot believe it is happening"