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Jun 24, 2016

Team Belize at World Series of Poker 2016

Starting Saturday, twenty Belizean poker players will be competing in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team has doubled since last year and all the players are eager and ready to compete against an estimated six thousand players at the WSOP’s Monster Stack Event. A News Five Team is in Vegas to follow the team and their performance in this year’s event. Here’s your first introduction to the team hoping to win millions in the prestigious poker event.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

For the second year in a row, Princess Casino and Big Slick Poker Room have sponsored a team of poker players from Belize to participate in the World Series of Poker Monster Stack Event. The team has almost doubled in size; and, according to Bob Bounahra, well-known Belizean poker player, at least half the team had to earn their seats in this event.


Bob Bounahra

Bob Bounahra, Team Belize Poker Player
“This year, we made it a bit different. We had eight tournaments that people had to win that tournament for them to qualify and become a team player for Team Belize this year. The reason why I did that was because I wanted the best out of the best or the luckiest out of the luckiest. I love playing poker; I have a poker room in Belize. There is a lot of interest in poker in Belize and everybody loves it. So I think it is a great idea to represent Belize, especially here in Vegas under this WSOP Poker tournament.”


The size of the contingent has almost doubled. Bounahra expects that 20 Belizean players will register to play in this one event. The team includes a few players from last year.


Houston Carr

Houston Carr, Team Belize Player

“I’m Houston Carr, playing for team Belize. we are much prepared this year and we will take it all the way.”


John Chee, Team Belize Player

“My name is John Chee; I’m from San Pedro and I represent the team from Belize.”


Gian Carlo Fabro, Team Belize Player

“I’m Gian Carlo Fabro, Team Belize Player.”


Vijay Vidani

Vijay Vidani, Team Belize Player

“I’m Vijay Vidani from Corozal, Belize representing team Belize.”


Mick Fabro, Team Belize Player

“I’m Mick Fabro representing Belize for the Monster Stack.”

Jason Southwell

Jason Southwell, Team Belize Player

“Hi I’m Jason Southwell representing San Pedro for team Belize.”


Bob Bounahra

“Bob Bounahra, representing team Belize.”


Gian Carlo Fabro

Gian Carlo Fabro
“I feel good this year. I feel like I will do better and I will go far this time. It was a good experience last year and I learned a lot from it. The teams is really big; a wide variety of players again. I think we have a better chance this time cause there are a lot of players.”


For the new team members, the experience is one that they are looking forward to.


Mark King, Team Belize Poker Player

“I’m Mark King from Belize City representing team Belize.”


Ajinder Garcha

Carl Augustine, Team Belize Player

“I am Carl Augustine from Corozal district representing team Belize.”


Adan Cal, Team Belize Player

“I’m Adan Cal from Belmopan representing team Belize.”


Ajinder Garcha, Team Belize Poker Player

“I am Ajinder Garcha from Placencia representing the south in the World Series of Poker Monster Stack.”


Drew Miller, Team Belize Poker Player

“I’m Drew Miller from San Pedro representing team Belize in Las Vegas.”


Jose Jesus Garcia, Team Belize Poker Player

“Hello, I’m Jose Jesus Garcia from Corozal Town representing team Belize.”


Adan Cal

Adan Cal

“I’m excited, but I’m confident.”


Marleni Cuellar

“And did you do any kind of preparations to be…”


Adan Cal

“I’ve been playing for like ten years, so I think I’m prepared.”


Mark King

“I’ve been playing poker for like twelve years, but not professionally; this is my first year professionally. So for me it is an honor to play on behalf of team Belize and for the country’s name to be out here; it is really an honor.”


Mark King

Marleni Cuellar

“And you actually won your spot here on team Belize; so you’ve had your first round of eliminations. Talk to me about that experience.”


Mark King

“Actually I won two and I sat at four out of five final tables so I knew that I was actually good. I came in second place in one and then the other week, I hit first place. And the guys were like, you have mad skills, you gotta come over and play with us. I tell them I’ll think about it and they convinced me. They said three million dollars and I said lets go.”


Jose Jesus Garcia

“It means a lot; it means I will play along with some professionals and see where my skill level is at and let’s see if I can win or at least be at the final table.”


John Chee

The WSOP hosts over sixty tournaments. The team is playing the Monster Stacks Event as it provides the largest starting chips than other players. After today’s registration the team is set to start playing Saturday morning and if all goes well progress into the following days of play.


Bob Bounahra

“The advice I give everyone and what I want all players to know is that there are three essential things in poker. First of all, you need to play well; second, you need to run good and third, is not getting unlucky. Once you can master those three steps, you are an excellent poker player.”


And the expectations for this year?


Bob Bounahra

“The skill level is a bit higher than last year because a lot of people have been practicing more and they are asking more questions than last year. Last year I think they were just fresh for the tournament. This year, you can engage into a conversation about players and roles and regulations and stuff like that. So I think the level is higher than last year.”


Marleni Cuellar

“So what’s your expectation of the team?”


Bob Bounahra

“Couple cashes is good, couple run deeps is excellent; somebody making final table is great and if somebody wins it, it is beyond the imagination.”


The winner of last year’s Monster Stack event took home one point two million U.S. dollars. We’ll have an update on the players’ performance on Monday and will provide updates on News Five’s Facebook Page. The team is set to start playing on Saturday at eleven a.m. Belize Time.

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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