GETTING TO KNOW THE NOVEMBER NINE: AMIR LEHAVOT

July 26, 2013 - 11:35:12 AM EST  | 

GETTING TO KNOW THE NOVEMBER NINE: AMIR LEHAVOT
He may not be a household name, but poker pro Amir Lehavot's face should look familiar. This Florida-based poker pro has been appearing at major final tables for a good three years running and is one of two players in this line-up who possesses a gold bracelet. When it comes to experience, Lehavot has plenty on his side. Not only does Lehavot have a bracelet and almost $820,000 in career WSOP earnings, he's also the oldest player at this very young final table at just 38-years-old. In addition to being a poker pro, Lehavot is also a family man. Married and a proud father, Lehavot balances his time between the tables and his home life rather than playing round the clock.
 
Name: Amir Lehavot
Twitter: @PokerWit
Age: 38 
Birthplace: Israel
Hometown/Current place of residence: Weston, FL
Occupation: Poker Pro
Employer/Company Name: Self-employed
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas-Austin
Marital Status: Married
Children (names and ages): 1
Years entered Main Event: 6
WSOP Earnings: $818,414
WSOP Cashes: 12
WSOP Final Tables: 2, won bracelet in $10K Pot Limit Hold’em Event in 2011
Best Previous Main Event Finish: 226th in 2009

We caught up with Lehavot shortly after the final table was set:

WSOP:  How does the makeup of this year's November Nine affect your chances of becoming the next World Champion?

Lehavot:  I think it's a disadvantage that there are many good players, but that's okay.  I'll just deal with the table and the players and make the best I can out of the situation.

WSOP:  Do you think most of the players you encountered going through the huge field knew what they were doing, and were also good players?

Lehavot:  No, I don't think so.  There were a lot of weak spots in the field.  I mean, poker is a very complicated game.    It's tough to be very good.  I don't think I'm the best.  I know many players who are better than I am.  That's okay.

WSOP:  Do you think your previous gold bracelet victory a few years ago gives you some advantages over the competition who have not been in this situation?

Lehavot:  The experience definitely helps.  I do feel I have a good amount of experience. 

WSOP:  How many years have you played in the WSOP Main Event?

Lehavot:  My first year was in 2007.  I've been playing every year since then.

WSOP:  What were your specific goals coming into the Main Event?

Lehavot:  My goal was to be happy with the decisions I was making at the poker table.  I've been playing these tournaments for a while and things can change very quickly.  You can go from having no chips to all the chips super quick – and the opposite, as well.  That can even happen when you're playing very well.

WSOP:  What are your plans for the next few months leading up to the finale in November?

Lehavot:  I'm going to relax, mostly.

WSOP:  Are there any specific players who impressed you in this tournament, either in the November Nine, or who busted out earlier?

Lehavot:  I played with a lot of players that I thought were very good.  On Day Two, I played with Eric Baldwin, and I thought he played great.  [There were] definitely, a lot of other tough players.

WSOP:  Players always react differently to being on the ESPN stage in front of television cameras.  How did you react to that different atmosphere?

Lehavot:  I think I did pretty well just staying focused.  I was just focusing on the game and how many big blinds there were, what the situation was, and I just shut everything else from the outside.  I'm pretty good with shutting things out that I don't want to interfere with my thinking.

WSOP:  Do you think you can focus as easily come November, with all that added pressure?

Lehavot:  I think I can focus there, but one thing here was – I was very tired at the end of the day.  That definitely made it a lot more difficult.  Hopefully, I'll be fresh in November.

WSOP:  You are the first Israeli citizen to make it to the November Nine.  Do you take any added pride in that?

Lehavot:  Yeah, definitely.  I was very happy I was able to make it....I was born near Tel Aviv, but I have dual citizenship, both Israel and the U.S.


 
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Nolan Dalla – WSOP.com Senior Writer


About the author: Nolan Dalla's work is found all over WSOP.com, as he is the Senior Writer for poker's longest-running poker series and has contributed to the site since 2005.

He is also the longtime Media Director of the World Series of Poker. He's become the lone link from poker's modern age back to the old days when the WSOP was played at Binion's Horseshoe – where Dalla served as the casino's Director of Public Relations.
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