Entrepreneur Turned Poker Pro Lehavot Lands WSOP Gold

Amir Lehavot
"This achievement is a big help towards staying with poker as a way to make a living.”

Technology entrepreneur turned poker pro Amir Lehavot won his first bracelet Sunday at the World Series of Poker.

Lehavot, who was born and raised in Israel but moved to the US when he was 16, beat a field of 249 players to win the $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em world championship.

He received $573,456 for the victory.

Lehavot had an unusual inroad to the poker world, having worked in the high-tech industry until seven years ago.

He decided to take a year off to travel with the intention of returning to work and during that time he came up with an idea for a new way to teach poker strategy on the internet.

His interest in playing poker developed alongside his website and before he knew it, poker was providing the bulk of his living.

Despite significant live success that includes a $422,000 score at the LAPC and two deep runs in the WSOP Main Event, Lehavot was predominantly an online player.

That all changed when the US government restricted Americans’ access to the three biggest online poker sites. But Lehavot has a plan, one that’s working out better than he could have hoped.

“My plan was to play live tournaments and see how I did,” Lehavot explained. “So this achievement is a big help towards staying with poker as a way to make a living.”

Lehavot has sold part of his action, allowing him to play a full WSOP schedule this summer, and that’s a plan he’s going to stick with despite his recent windfall.

Amir Lehavot graduated from the University of Texas at Austin before pursuing a career in the technology industry.

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