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Jul 19, 2011

Belizean poker player at World Series of Poker Hold ‘Em Championship

The World Series of Poker is a big sporting event that requires the ability to play cards, lots of luck and of course a poker face. Event number fifty eight is the No Limit Hold ‘Em Championship taking place in Las Vegas and if you are streaming the video on the website you may notice one player wearing a Belize cap. Badih Bounahra, whose family owns the Mirab stores, is one of over six thousand players who signed up to win millions of dollars. Bounahra has just made it into the top five of remaining players. News Five spoke this afternoon to Bounahra’s brother and poker buddy’s who are too happy to keep a poker face since he’s guaranteed to return to Belize with at least half a million dollars in cold cash.

Pierre Bounahra, Brother of Badih Bounahra

Pierre Bounahra

“We started playing poker over here and then we play tournaments and then we went to the world series of poker. This is his seventh year playing world series of poker.”

Jose Sanchez

“Where he is right now; what’s his current ranking?”

Pierre Bounahra

“He is probably ten or eleven out of fourteen.”

Jose Sanchez

“How many people entered this competition?”

Pierre Bounahra

“Six thousand eight hundred and sixty five players.”

Jose Sanchez

“Clearly it’s more than just luck. There has to be some skill.”

Pierre Bounahra

“There is a combination of everything in it.”

Jose Sanchez

“How many chips did he start off with?”

Pierre Bounahra

“Thirty thousand chips.”

Jose Sanchez

“How much he’s at right now?”

Pierre Bounahra

“About nine million seven hundred thousand.”

Jose Sanchez

“What are the odds?”

Pierre Bounahra

“To win it; one in six thousand eight hundred and sixty five.”

Jose Sanchez

“Even with his current ranking, he is clearly gonna go home with some money.”

Pierre Bounahra

“Yes. Well if he gets knocks out right now, it’s probably gonna be half a million U.S. dollars.”

Emil Arguelles, Poker Buddy of Badih Bounahra

Emil Arguelles

“We play every week all of us here. He’s a tight player; no doubt that is why he is where he is here today.”

Jose Sanchez

“And he normally beats all of you or is this just luck in your opinion?”

Emil Arguelles

“He has more luck with the players over there.”

Jose Sanchez

“So being that he gained some of his experience, I’m assuming, winning you and the others, you think he should come back and share some of his winnings.”

Emil Arguelles

“No doubt he will be back sharing his experience but before that I think we will join him in Vegas in November for the final table.”

Jose Sanchez

“How long has this competition been going and how much further can it go?”

Emil Arguelles

“This is the eight day of playing. The entire competition is actually about a month. They have satellites to get into this tournament, but for this main tournament, it’s on the eight day now. The eighth day is the final day and there is the final table which is November fifth.”

Jose Sanchez

“So anyway you take it, he will come out a winner with some cash. Is there an actual time—how many hours per day? When should we see him move on?”

Emil Arguelles

“By midnight Belize time we would know for sure whether he is on the final table. But in terms of hours per day, it’s about twelve hours per day starting from twelve noon to about twelve midnight.”

Jose Sanchez

“I assume that comes with very short breaks?”

Emil Arguelles

“There are intervals every two to three hours—ten to fifteen minutes—but there is one break for dinner that is about two hours at about eight o’clock.”

Jose Sanchez

“Has anybody been able to reach him during these breaks? What has he said if anything?”

Emil Arguelles

“By his choice, no one communicates with him until break and yes he has given us updates and his daughter, Amal, is there with him keeping the family informed.”

The final poker table takes place on November fifth.

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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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16 Responses for “Belizean poker player at World Series of Poker Hold ‘Em Championship”

  1. I Have Awaken says:

    First of all, Poker is NOT a freaking sport. Second of all, why the hell are we pushing gambling so hard in this country? We have this mega bingo phenomena where all the poor people flock the stores to buy their bingo ticket. What are we trying to promote in our culture? Sad, the indoctrination we are exposing our young people to.

  2. Charlie Price says:

    @…Awaken…….Go back to sleep.

    Can’t you appriciate when fellow BELIZEAN REACHES WORLD CLASS STATUS????????

    Don’t be a CRAB IN THE BARREL ……………

  3. Mel says:

    Lol… sound a bit jealous! Its a personal choice. Hope he win lots of money and spend it in Belize because our country/ economy really need it.

  4. beemtheman says:

    come back to sleep ,moran …
    you actually have have branes to play poker ,you cannot compare this game with bingo.

  5. CEO says:

    I do not necessarily support gambling but poker is not much different from speculating on an investment because it takes much skill. Investments takes much less skill and a whole lot more luck.

    Too bad he awoke or maybe he has not because he is talking pure junk. Again I am not a gambler and neither do I know how to play poker but I know enough that it takes some luck but much skill and poker ain’t no bingo!

    Charlie you and Mel got it right

  6. Sleeping Pill says:

    Though it may be argued whether or not Poker is a sport, that is not the the issue at hand. What we are seeing is history in the making and Belize being represented abroad in a more positive light that it has been lately.

    Following the game closely, both online and on tv, everytime the camera focused on him or he was in a hand Belize was mentioned by the commentators. The amount of FREE advertising and promotion Belize got, I don’t think BTB could have fit that in a yearly budget. Poker news articles and blogs are on fire today and, again, Belize is being mentioned in almost all of them.

    With all the negativity that surrounds news stories these days, its refreshing to read a story that for maybe some of us, invokes a pride in a country whose current status leaves very little to appreciate about it (politics of course…but we shall save that for another day).

    When playing poker I drink gatorade – gatorade is a sports drink …which means
    GOOD LUCK BOB (pocket deuce!)

  7. LOL says:

    LOl-look at the haters-the guy put Belize on the map more than any million dollar ad BTB could spend. Now you will surely see more people knowing and coming to Belize and if thats for gambling or otherwise-taxis, restauraants and shops will sell more idiots. Good luck bounahra and the rest of Belize is with you.

  8. panasonic says:

    Iam happy to see this, I finally see something positive about our beautiful country. @ I have awaken please close your mouth think before you talked, thats his money he can do what ever he wants with it. Have a great day like what charlie said go back to sleep. And stop be so hateful.

  9. phoenix says:

    Without even trying Bounahra has given Belize free advertising as said previously and as Panasonic said, its his money and he does what he wants with it. @I have Awaken….soundz like the rant of a jealous old woman. Don’t try to bring down others because you couldn’t do it..

    Poker is an awesome game. It takes discipline, skill, patience and persistence. its like any other thing, if you want to be good at what you do you have to practice and work at it. Obviously this little team of guys have been playing for a while and have grown to have much appreciation and respect for the game and for that I tip my hat off to the whole team as they decided together to accompany their freind and fellow poker buddy in Vagas this Novemeber to cheer him on.
    I had poker buddies in Junior college and we shared that same bond. Its a unique and exciting game that build descipline.

    Cheers Bounahra!

    Make Belize Proud!!

  10. L.C. says:

    @ I Have Awakened:

    You mad bro? What’s wrong? Can’t keep a poker face?
    Good for this guy. He represents. No like others who can’t wait to get away from the country, if only to come running back when they get in trouble with the law in the US.

  11. Rose says:

    I totally object to this so called sport being praised by the media. Come on! Gambling is an addiction! This is definitely not something we should be proud of having the country be in the spotlight for. And as for the Speaker of the House to be so proud of it and of his involvement is an outright shame! Tell me, Mr. Speaker, are you utilizing our tax payers’ money that you receive as a “salary” to squander in such a disgusting manner?

  12. belizeanpride says:

    well i’m happy for this guy representing us since who else wantedto risk a skill like him and put us on the view of the world that we have skilled people in game and other sports.
    good luck bro and hope you bring in some of that moeny to our jewel.
    what makes me more happy to see him, not ashame to wear a belizean cap on a worldwide game view where others wear fashion caps like nike and adiddas.

  13. belizeanpride says:

    I have Awaken must be talking in his dream this guy is still sleeping. walking in your sleep or talking in your sleep is not good for your health dude.

  14. Marie says:

    Rose better turn off her TV if she doesnt want to see the worldwide media paying attention to the game and go back to bed with “awaken”-they both sound like a little old couple cant keeping up with the times and still hating anyone who achieves success. Whether its a sport or not is irrelevant-say its a game only-Belize is represented by this Belizean who is now one of the best-get over it old lady. at least these people spend their own money and have no controversy like semi pro or FFB. What next-rose will want alcohol prohibition? how old is she anyway with a name like “rose”?

  15. Sandra Martin says:

    Very nice! :-)

  16. Ronald S Wareham says:

    How do I receive my free chips

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