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Jun 12, 2015

Belizean Poker Team Represents the Jewel at Las Vegas Poker Tournament

In 2011, Bob BouNahra made history being the first Belizean to make it to the Final table of the World Series of Poker also known as the November nine. BouNahra walked away with seventh place. At the time, BouNahra expressed his hope that Belize would become more prominent in international level poker. Well today, the first ever poker team from Belize is competing in a World Series of Poker event. Eleven players of various ages, including BouNahra, are proudly representing Team Belize in the Monster Stack Texas Hold’em Tournament in the Mecca for poker players: Las Vegas, Nevada. A News Five crew was invited to follow the team as they compete in this international event. Marleni Cuellar is on the ground at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and she spoke to a few of the team players today.

 

Marleni Cuellar

“Okay Bob, in 2011 when you walked away with the WSOP Table, you said if there is one thing you would hope come out from it is that you would have more Belizeans represented in international events. Fast forward four years later and you are fielding a first ever team Belize in an international poker event. What does that feel like for you?”

 

Bob BouNahra

Bob BouNahra, Leader, Team Belize

“It is a great feeling to start with. I told you all from time coming, I will bring more people to represent Belize in the world series of poker and here we are, about fourteen of us are going to play tomorrow and represent Belize. It is always good to compete and be proud of Belize, outside of Belize.”

 

Michael “Yellow” Henry, Poker Player, Team Belize

“Well it is a great game and it’s a life change and the more opportunity you get the better. In life, it is worth a try.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“So tell me what it feels like to be a part of team Belize being represented for the first time in this international event?”

 

Michael “Yellow” Henry

Michael “Yellow” Henry

“Well words can’t explain; it is just crazy. From the time I get here, I haven’t slept as yet and I am just ready and anxious and ready to make Belize proud.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“You are the only female representative on team Belize, what does it fel like for you?”

 

Amanda Arguelles, Poker Player, Team Belize

“I am use to being it because in the poker room there are not many females that play. So I am already used to being around these guys. So it is not….i’m not nervous about that.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“So what made you first get interested in the game?”

 

Amanda Arguelles

Amanda Arguelles

“I’ve been playing poker from since I was maybe twelve and it’s just been…my family has been playing poker…I learnt it through them and it just stick; it is something I like.”

 

Gian Carlo Fabro, Poker Player, Team Belize

“I’ve been playing poker since I was sixteen. Well it was mainly just house games and that’s how I learned to play the game and when I hit the age of eighteen, that’s when I began at the casino. I do believe it is a sport so it is probably like the only game in the casino that you can choose which hand you can go in with, you can choose which hand. So you don’t have to lose anything; you can chose which hand you want to go in with.”

 

Houston “Pros” Carr

Houston “Pros” Carr, Poker Player, Team Belize

“I’ve been playing poker since 1994 into the world series so this is not my first time at the World Series.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“When was the last time that you were here?”

 

Houston “Pros” Carr

“I was here in 1994 and then never did come back after.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“Now Pros tell me what it is like being a part of team Belize in this first representation in an international game?”

 

Houston “Pros” Carr

“Well I firmly believe that team Belize can do it. We can be there in the top, in the money. We have very good players and we have been practicing every weekend and Mister Bounahra has been helping us through with this situation.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“What would you say are the strengths of this particular team?”

 

Houston “Pros” Carr

“The strength of the team is that we are not scared. And no one, no crowd, no persons at all…we think we are the best and that positive thinking will get us ahead.”

 

Jian Carlo Fabro

Gian Carlo Fabro

“We got a good team, a lot of good players; aggressive, passive…we have a lot of combos so I think it is going to be really good.”

 

Amanda Arguelles

“It’s a big deal because probably every country is represented here. So to have Belize represented here, such a small country, I think it just makes people more aware of the country and it’s a big deal.”

 

Michael “Yellow Henry

“It is always best to represent your country; in everything you do, you represent your country and you do it to the fullest and the best of your ability…it is always great.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“It’s eleven, it is a team of eleven and the total number of players in this tournament will be somewhere around seven thousand people. What are your expectations come final table on Monday?”

 

Bob BouNahra

“I hope that at least one of us…it will be the greatest news if one of us make final table. If one of us makes cash, it is another great event that makes big story for WSOP and I am sure for Belize. And the chances were actually one actually, two in six thousand eight hundred and sixty-five in 2011…so you can do the math.”

 

Marleni Cuellar

“And you made it then?”

 

Bob BouNahra

“Yes we did.”

 

The other members of Team Belize are Mick Fabro, Vijay Vadhani, Phil Rigby, Jason Southwell, John Chee, Emil Arguelles & team leader, Bob BouNahra. The team starts playing Saturday morning and depending on how far they advance, they may be playing for as much as twelve hours. The final table is scheduled for Monday evening. Viewers can catch updates on Team Belize’s status on Monday’s Open Your Eyes and the evening’s newscast.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Belizean Poker Team Represents the Jewel at Las Vegas Poker Tournament”

  1. Andrew Salazar says:

    I been play since 16 and I’m 24 now. How do I join the poker team? I live in Santa Elena.

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