Late Saturday night, at a luxurious resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, Pooria Nazari’s first name became an oxymoron.
That’s when Pooria, a 22-year-old, biochemistry graduate out of McMaster University and from Richmond Hill, Ont. became a multi-millionaire with a first prize of $3-million U.S. in the largest poker tournament outside Las Vegas.
Not a bad return for the youngster’s original $33 investment online at PokerStars.net. In a Hollywood sort of finish at the final table of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Nazari needed only the fourth hand of heads-up competition against American Tony Gregg before winning the championship and striking it rich.
Gregg had raised the pot up to $650,000, Nazari made it $2-million, and Gregg shipped it all in.
“How much, like $8-million?” Nazari, in his dark sunglasses, asked with little emotion. “I call.”
And he scraped out the triumph with a pair of tens, beating Gregg’s queen-high. Gregg garnered $1.7 million as the bridesmaid, but Nazari made history with top spot among the 1,347 participants who competed for six days. “I’m really not sure what I’ll do with this money,” a subdued Nazari said afterward. “It’s just a little hard for me to believe right now.”
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