There are 648 very happy poker players in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event and one very disappointed Kia Hamadani on his way out. Just after 4:30 pm PT Hamadani was eliminated from the tournament as the bubble boy putting the rest of the remaining player in the money.
A shortstacked Hamadani waited as long as he could with each hand eating up 500 chips for the ante. After folding his small blind of 2,000 the 26 year old from Los Angeles only six hands to play and hope another player would be eliminated. Previous hand-for-hand play had seen four players eliminated a span of six hands.
"About ten hands ago, when we started playing hand-for-hand, I thought 100% I was going to make the money," said Hamadani. "I had ten hands to play and we were only five players away from the money."
"We'd been losing one player, two players per hand up until that point. To go six hands without losing a single player was just a horrible, horrible bad beat in itself."
One player who was nearly the bubble boy was David Russell. He moved the last of his stack into the middle and was called by the big blind. Russell showed aces and the big blind showed ace-jack. The crowd, tired of waiting for the final elimination before the money, began chanting "Jack! Jack! Jack! Jack!". Their prayers were answered when a single jack hit the flop but the turn and river failed to produce a third jack and Russell doubled-up to survive.
"I can't fold aces unfortunately. That's how it was and I was short stacked, I can't fold 'em," said Russell. "I made the right choice. You don't know how long you are going to have to go. I was short, I could only go two orbits so I went ahead and had to push."
As consolation for being the bubble boy Hamadani was awarded a buy-in to the 2010 WSOP Main Event courtesy of Jack's Link Beef Jerky - the official WSOP sponsor. The first players to bust after Hamadani will each receive $21,365.