Longtime poker veteran Farzad Bonyadi has enjoyed many  celebratory moments in his twenty years playing at the World Series of Poker.  What happened on Day Four of the 2013 Main Event Championship was not one of them.

With 649 players remaining in poker's world championship, Bonyadi faced a tough decision.  He had more than enough chips to simply sit it out and wait and not play a hand, allowing the inevitable carnage to take place – which would have been another player busting so he could lock up at least $19,106 in prize money – the guaranteed minimum payout for cashing.

Instead, Bonyadi decided to gamble, shoving his last 200,000 in chips into the pot.  That turned out to be fatal mistake, resulting in elimination.  While Bonyadi instantly became the most popular man inside the Rio Las Vegas, he had to make the most dreaded walk in poker – that painful exit away from the table and out of the tournament room which accompanies the infamous “bubble” spot, exactly one spot out of the prize money.

Fortunately for Bonyadi, a three-time gold bracelet winner, there was a silver lining to his cloud of despair.  WSOP.com stepped up and awarded Bonyadi a complimentary $10,000 entry into next year's WSOP.  Hence, he officially becomes the first entry into the 2014 WSOP Main Event.

Bonyadi graciously agreed to be interviewed and shared the following thoughts moments after busting out:

WSOP:  What's this feel like to bust out one spot from the money?
 
Bonyadi:  I won three gold bracelets, but I never had any attention like this.  I'm getting interviewed like crazy [laughing].  Everyone wants to talk to me all the sudden.

WSOP:  Can you describe what happened on your final hand?
 
Bonyadi:  Actually, I wasn't that short on chips.  I played a hand against the chip leader at my table, who had a million.  He raised the pot and I called.  I had ace-jack.  The flop came ace-jack-three with two spades.  He bet and I called.  I tried to trap him.  Then came the ten of spades.  He bet big and I really wanted to double up on him.  I called.  I had top pair with a nut flush draw (needing one more spade).  The king of hearts came on the river.  He ended up making a straight on the river.

WSOP:  You've been playing in this event for at least two decades.  Do you still get excited to come here to the Main Event and play?
 
Bonyadi:  Oh yes, of course.  This is the one tournament where everybody gets excited.  All the people sure got excited when I went broke [laughing].  I made everyone happy.

WSOP:  If you knew a week ago that you would be standing here in 649th place, would you still have entered and went through all this?
 
Bonyadi:  No, because it's so disappointing to bust like this.  If I would have been short on chips I would not have minded so much.  It just takes a lot out of you.  This was not a good WSOP for me.  It's the first where I did not cash a single time.  It's so disappointing.

WSOP:  What was your goal coming into play today – to just make the money?
 
Bonyadi:  I started with 276,000 in chips today.  I thought I was going to double up on the guy.  He had three outs and he caught it.  But that's poker.

WSOP:  Is there anyone now you are rooting for in the Main Event, since you are out?
 
Bonyadi:  Shawn Sheikhan had chips.  I am rooting for him now, for sure.  

WSOP:  Does it help to ease the pain a little, knowing you are the first player entered into the 2014 WSOP Main Event?
 
Bonyadi:  Of course it does.  It's nice.  Maybe next year.


The Main Event continues with 648 players remaining.  Eliminations should come quickly as we race into the money on Day Four.