Bell Gardens, Ca. (March 25, 2016) — Bob Bounahra has played on poker’s biggest stage, the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event. The 53-year-old professional poker player finished seventh in the 2011 WSOP Main Event for over $1.3 million, but he lacked a title in any WSOP sanctioned event.
That changed on Friday afternoon when Bounahra defeated Charlie Nguyen heads-up to best a field of 83 players to win his first Circuit ring in the $1,125 no-limit hold’em. Bounahra adds $26,555 to his tournament resume for his win in Southern California.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Bounahra of his first ring. “It’s been long in the making.”
Bounahra has his friend Rommel Berges to thank for this win. Berges, who finished fifth in this event for $6,160, invited Bounahra out to California to visit. It was a spur of the moment decision by both of them to play the event. Between the two of them, they took home more than a third of the prizepool.
The final table was a roller coaster ride for Bounahra. When the final table began, Thah Le held more than a third of the chips in play and Bounahra was in the middle of the pack. Le ended up being eliminated in seventh place near the end of Day 1 and it was Nguyen and Alex Shelton who held most of the chips as Day 2 began.
Bounahra survived to three-handed play as the short stack, but found timely double-ups to stay afloat and eventually take the chip lead when heads-up play began against Nguyen. At the start of heads-up play, Nguyen cold-decked Bounahra with a full house against trips, leaving Bounahra with just five big blinds.
But after a few double ups in a row, Bounahra had the chip lead back. He won a flip with ace-king against pocket sixes to take home the title.
“That’s poker,” said Bounahra. “There are some hands you just can’t get away from. I just went all in, all in, all in and I double up and triple up. There isn’t anything you can do. That’s all it is. That’s poker.”