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Oct 28, 2011

Belizean in World Series of Poker Finals

Badih “Bob” Bou-Nahra departs Belize over the weekend for Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. He is among eight other finalists competing to take home the pot of more than eight million US dollars. Locally, excitement has been growing and a large contingent of Belizeans will accompany Bob to the grand event at the Rio Hotel. His first match is on November sixth which will go narrow down to three players. If he wins that round, he will move on to play on November eighth. News Five’s Jose Sanchez had a one on one with Bou-Nahra today.

Badih Bou-Nahra, Finalist, WSOP

“It started first with a couple people going to Las Vegas and playing the World Series of Poker and then as we went deeper, I started using my Belize cap—like in day three or day four—and everybody started to spot Belize, Belize, Belize, Belize and that’s how it started and that Belize cap is the trademark.”

Jose Sanchez

“How many people are going along as part of your entourage?”

Badih Bou-Nahra

Badih Bou-Nahra

“I believe it is over two hundred right now. It might be a little bit more than that.”

Forty-nine year old Badih Bou-Nahra ranks sixth of nine players in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. When sitting at the final table on Sunday November sixth, he will have a chip count of 19,700,000.

Badih Bou-Nahra

“It started in early July and six thousand eight hundred and sixty five players entered the event and now we are down to the final nine, which is the final table.”

Jose Sanchez

“But your poker experience with your poker buddies, are you considered one of the best among them or are they willing to…”

Badih Bou-Nahra

“With my poker buddies, I believe that all of them are either as good as me or better.”

Jose Sanchez

“And they are also out there when you go to play these games?”

Badih Bou-Nahra

“We all go in a group together and we have fun and we play poker and we compete as a country.”

Jose Sanchez

“In terms of the payback, what is the minimum a finalist can receive and what is the ultimate prize?”

Badih Bou-Nahra

“Seven hundred and eighty-two thousand dollars before taxes and eight point seven million dollars before taxes—it is U.S.”

Jose Sanchez

“In articles written of you online, you are referred to as the elder statesman. Why is that?”

Badih Bou-Nahra

“I’m forty-nine years young, which is one in twenty-seven this year.”

Jose Sanchez

“So clearly as you said, you are very young but in terms of the competition, what other countries are we talking about? It sounds like a truly international event.”

Badih Bou-Nahra

“This year, the final table ended up to be an international event. We have six countries besides the United States represented. So everybody is talking about it as a country representation and not a final table and that’s why they are making it so huge.”

Jose Sanchez

“There is something in particular that the winner gets also. I know in golf there is the green jacket. What is it for this poker competition?”

Badih Bou-Nahra

“The bracelet and the ambassador of poker for one year.”

Jose Sanchez

“Ambassador, is there something in particular you must do if whoever wins it?”

Badih Bou-Nahra

“It comes with a million things. There are hundreds and hundreds of things that you need to do over the next year.”

One thing the elder statesman will do is introduce non players to the game.  Bob is willing to teach anyone who comes to the Princess Poker room.

Badih Bou-Nahra

“Texas Holdem is a no limit game. No limit games means that at any time all your chips can be in the pot if anybody challenges you. Each player is dealt two cards. There is a choice of betting calling raising or folding. After that there is another three cards which are community cards, there is another round of betting or checking. After that comes the turn, there is another round of betting and then finally comes the river. The best hand is the one that will win out of seven cards—the community cards plus your two cards. Per the book, this is supposed to be the best hand; pocket aces. This is supposed to be the worst hand, seven deuce. For me most of the time, this is my best hand because nobody can put you on that hand except my Belize poker players. You can only lose because it is the best hand. This is the worse hand, and I can only win. My favorite hand is the pocket tens and the luckiest.”

Entering the competition costs thousands of dollars. And even with disposable cash, you have to know when to hold ‘em or when to fold ‘em. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

At this station we will be following poker world series since Bob is among only a handful of Belizeans who have made it big in international competition.

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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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