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Owais Ahmed Out-Grinds Mizrachi to Win First WSOP Bracelet
Owais Ahmed defeated one of the most successful poker players on the planet heads-up to win his first bracelet and $255,959 in Las Vegas Wednesday.
With a massive cheering section and his second WSOP bracelet in the balance, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi watched his heads-up chip lead crumble as Ahmed, a Hi-Low specialist, surged to victory in the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low event.
Ahmed has been playing Stud-8 and Omaha-8 for a long time and has clocked plenty of hands both live and online, where he plays under the screen name “oerockets”.
“I have a lot of experience playing these games,” Ahmed told PokerListings.com.
“I really think when I’m playing my best in those two games no one can beat me heads-up,” he added.
Ahmed had to contend with a noisy cheering section, all of whom were raucously rooting for Mizrachi.
“I felt like the whole room was against me,” said Ahmed.
Luckily for Ahmed his friends showed up to cheer him on.
“I went from feeling very uncomfortable and feeling like everyone in the room hated me, to feeling very comfortable and thinking, ‘Alright, I’m going to win this thing,’” he said of the turning point.
Despite being touted as the second Pakistani bracelet winner in history, Ahmed has spent the majority of his life in the US.
He told us he grew up in Taiwan and attended an American boarding school. He moved to Houston, Texas in the seventh grade and eventually moved to Anaheim Hills where he still lives.
After graduating from UC Irvine with a degree in computer science and working as a programmer in the technology industry, Ahmed realized there was a better way to earn a living than working a 9-5 job.
“I had pretty successful jobs but I wasn’t happy living in a cubicle and working set hours determined by someone else so one day I just quit,” said Ahmed.
Ahmed told us he earns his living playing poker, despite the official WSOP records classifying him as an amateur.
Poker wasn’t exactly new to Ahmed, although relying on it to pay the bills certainly was.
“I played poker even as a kid, five-card draw in the playground, and I also grew up with home Stud games at my house,” he said.