Ghandrasekhar Billavara: 2007 WSOP - Event 49 ($1,500 NLHE ) Winner Profile

JULY 3, 2007 - 10:13:36 PM PST   |   Nolan Dalla

Event #49
No-Limit Hold’em
Buy-In: $1,500
Number of Entries: 3,151
Total Prize Money: $4,301,115
Date of Tournament: June 30 – July 2, 2007

  • The winner of the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em championship was Ghandrasekhar Billavara. He is a 38-year-old businessman from San Francisco, CA. This was only the second World Series of Poker tournament Billavara had ever entered. It was his first tournament victory.
  • Billvara was born in India. He earned a B.A. in computer science. He now owns a coffee shop in San Francisco.
  • In Billavara’s first WSOP poker event last week, he busted out on the third hand of play. Frustrated, he almost passed on entering this event. However, Billavara had previously won $3,200 playing craps inside the casino. He decided that if he entered one more $1,500 buy-in tournament, even a bust-out guaranteed a net win of $200 for the Las Vegas trip. So, Billavara entered this tournament along with over 3,000 other aspiring champions. He ended up cashing for $722,914.
  • Billavara needed some luck at one point, and got it at the perfect time. He arrived at the final table lowest in chips of the final nine players. “I said to myself the night before, if I could just double up once I might have a chance,” Billavara said in a post-tournament interview. “I looked down and saw pocket aces on my first hand! It’s a hand everybody dreams about.” Billavara won the hand and was the champion five hours later.
  • “I plan to pay off some of my mortgage,” Billavara answered when queried about his plans for nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in winnings. “Now, I might take $10,000 and enter the main event, too.”
  • Billavara started playing poker only about two years ago. He was invited to a home game where he plays for modest stakes in a weekly game. Now, he admits that his friends in the home game in San Francisco might view him a bit differently. “Now, I will look at them and say – are you trying to bluff me? Are you crazy?” Billavara said jokingly. “Look at this gold bracelet on my wrist! You want to try and bluff me?”




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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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