Farnood Grabs Gold

Halfway through the 2008 World Series of Poker-Europe schedule and the country of Afghanistan finally has a bracelet. All joking aside, the winner of Event #2 (₤2500 H.O.R.S.E.) was all too proud to dedicate his win to his countrymen – most of whom don’t play poker.

“This is for the people of Afghanistan,” Sherkhan Farnood said after he eliminated Ivo Donev to capture the win. “Because (I won), all the people of my country have a gold bracelet with me.”

Farnood came out on top of a final table that included Howard Lederer, Phil IveyMark Gregorich and Jeffrey Lisandro. The day started with 11 players vying for the title but Spain’s Raul Paez, American Yuval Bronshtein and Sweden’s Erik Albinsson were all eliminated in short order at the start of the day setting up the stacked final table. Each player at the final table had made a WSOP final table at some point in their careers.

Spencer Lawrence was the first player eliminated from the final table and Lisandro, who started with the second largest chip stack behind Lederer, went out in seventh. The biggest shock came when Ivey went out in sixth place. With millions riding on his ability to win a bracelet in 2008 many felt that Ivey would make good on his bet. But his chip stack slowly decreased throughout the night and he was forced to settle for sixth.

Gregorich, a Las Vegas poker pro, was the next to hit the rail and was the first player that Farnood eliminated. London’s own Jeff Duvall would break the hearts of the locals after running into Lederer during a round of Omaha Eight-or-better. After failing to win either the High or Low he was out in fourth.

But Lederer’s night didn’t last much longer and he was out in third setting up the heads-up dual between Farnood and Donev. When play between the two began Donev held a 3:2 but after 90 minutes of play it was Farnood who had all the chips, the ₤76,999 ($192,894) first place prize and the WSOP bracelet.