Mother of three-time bracelet winner gets one of her own with Super Seniors victory
Las Vegas, NV (June 19, 2018) - The last name Bonyadi is synonymous with poker success. Three-time bracelet winner Farzad Bonyadi is most commonly associated with that success, but after Wednesday's action at the World Series of Poker, he's got some competition within his own family.
His mother, Farhintaj, won the $1,000 Super Seniors event on Wednesday afternoon to earn one of her own bracelets. She came back on an unscheduled fourth day of play and defeated Robert Beach heads-up to win her first bracelet in her second WSOP cash.
Bonyadi’s heads-up victory was the finishing touches on the victory over a massive, 2,191-entry field, earning her $311,451, by far the biggest score of her poker career.
“It’s just only my first bracelet,” said Bonyadi after her win. “I’m so happy. My son has three. I’m just so happy.”
While there have been a few father-son combos with bracelets and several siblings with WSOP gold, the Bonyadis become the first family to have a mother-son duo with bracelet wins.
“She wants to catch me now,” said her son, Farzad.
Farzad was on the rail for the entire final table, which spanned over two days, and was on hand to see the final card fall and watch his mother take home a WSOP title. While most poker lessons are handed down from parents to their children, it was Farzad who gave lessons to his mother.
“He taught me,” said Farhintaj when asked who was giving the poker lessons.
Despite getting credit for the initial lessons, Farzad claims she took down that final table all on her own.
“I was standing there for 20 hours trying to help her out, but she did it on her own,” said Farzad. “I’m so happy for her. She deserves it. She’s been cashing so many times. She won a tournament for $50,000, for $45,000, but this is her biggest score.”
The scores Farzad is referring to is her several deep runs in the Rio’s daily deepstack events that run everyday alongside the intense, 78-event WSOP schedule. Her poker resume has several five-figure scores in those events, priming her for a deep run in this event and a bracelet victory.
“Three times I cashed for that,” said Farhintaj about her sizable daily deepstack scores. “I’m very, very happy.”
When play kicked off on Wednesday, Bonyadi was staring at a massive chip disadvantage against Beach. He started the day with a 4.5-to-1 chip lead, but thanks to some solid advice from her son, a little bit of luck and a lot of skill, Bonyadi closed the gap, took the lead, and earned the title.
“I told her to stay patient even though she was short,” said Farzad. “And she did it. I think she played aggressive, but he had like 10 million and she had 1.7 [million] … I’m sure she had some luck, but she played very well today. I mean, I’m so proud of her.”
The tournament’s final scheduled day of play was Tuesday and play got underway at 11 a.m. with 43 players still in the hunt for a bracelet. They reached the final table about six and a half hours into the day when longtime pro Steve Zolotow was eliminated in 10th place.
It was former NHRA Funny Car driver Paul W. Lee with the chip lead and Bill Fogel that was the first player out. Fogel was all in with preflop with pocket sevens against Neil Henley’s pocket nines. Henley’s nines held up and Fogel busted in ninth.
Henley scored the first knockout but was the second one eliminated from the final table. He ran pocket 10s into Linda Iwaniak’s pocket aces just a few orbits after eliminating Fogel.
Iwaniak’s aces held up and she moved to the top of the counts with seven players remaining. Her chip lead was short lived as Beach doubled up seven-handed to overtake her the lead.
Charles Thompson busted in seventh at the hands of Bonyadi. Bonyadi raised from under the gun and called a shove from Thompson for his last 13 big blinds. She tabled pocket eights and was in great shape against Thompson’s pocket sevens.
Bonyadi’s bigger pair held up to shorten the table to six-handed with Beach still leading the way.
Beach had steadily chipped up throughout the early stages of the final table and then got his hands dirty with the elimination of famed sports bettor Alan Denkenson in sixth place. Beach got it in bad with ace-eight against Denkenson’s ace-king, but he hit an eight on the flop to send Denkenson home with $57,465 at his first WSOP final table.
Just a few hands later, Bonyadi was back in action making her presence felt with the elimination of Russell Sutton. It was a classic race with Bonyadi’s king-queen against Sutton’s pocket 10s. A queen on the flop sent the pot to Bonyadi and Sutton to the payout desk.
Iwaniak was the lone European at the final table, and steadily fell down the leaderboard after her early ascent to the top. The Brit was eliminated in fourth after she moved all in on a flop and got called by Lee.
Lee flopped trip deuces out of the big blind with and was a big favorite against Iwaniak’s pocket 10s. The turn was a brick and Lee made quads on the river. Iwaniak was gone in fourth and Lee was the short stack of the final three players.
They finished the level and took their final break of the night with Bonyadi holding a slight chip lead over Beach and Lee.
Over the course of the next level, Beach pulled away from the pack and Lee was whittled down to just a few big blinds. He hit the rail on the very last hand of the level when he moved all in out of the small blind with against Beach’s in the big blind.
Beach flopped a king and Lee was dead on the turn. Lee took home the biggest score of his poker career and Beach started heads-up play against Bonyadi with about a 4-to-1 chip lead. The final two players battled for the rest of the level before hitting the hard stop and coming back on Wednesday morning to play down to a winner.
It was just the beginning of what ended up being an epic, three-hour, heads-up marathon that lasted 175 hands. Over the course of a battle that spanned two days, Bonyadi erased the massive chip lead and Beach away when she moved all in on the river with a seven-high straight on the board.
Beach called with and Bonyadi tabled pocket eights, giving her an eight-high straight and the title.
Final Table Results:
1st: Fahrintaj Bonyadi - $311,451
2nd: Robert Beach - $192,397
3rd: Paul W Lee - $140,123
4th: Linda Iwaniak - $103,215
5th: Russell Sutton - $76,655
6th: Alan Denkenson - $57,465
7th: Chalres Thompson - $43,489
8th: Neil Henley - $33,227
9th: Bill Frogel - $25,633
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