Booyakasha! First Bracelet for Ram Vaswani!

Ram Vaswani
Ram Vaswani, winner of Event 53, Limit Hold'em Shootout

It took a while, both tonight and in general, but Ram Vaswani has won his first World Series of Poker bracelet. The Hendon Mobster defeated fellow Englishman Andy Ward after a marathon final table of the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Shootout to take down the jewelry, the $217,438 in cash, and the exclusive opportunity to talk to a reporter.

Vaswani outlasted 719 other entrants over this two-day event before displaying flashes of brilliance at the eight-person final table. As the night wore on, Vaswani seemed in control, at one point making quads to cripple fourth-place David Mosco while weathering a straight berating from over-imbibed railbird Johnny Lodden.

Heads-up, Vaswani put on a clinic, overcoming a 3:2 chip disadvantage to put the coals to Ward in just over thirty minutes of two-handed play. When he took the last of Ward's chips having turned the nut-flush , the Crazy Horse let out an exultant cry and was immediately swarmed by friends and hangers-on. In the midst of the congratulations, I managed to get a few words in with the exhausted Vaswani.

The Winning Hand
The winning hand.

You've just won your first World Series of Poker bracelet. How does it feel?

That's right, I'm feeling great. It's been a long time coming, but I'm glad to get it out of the way.

Can you talk about how the final table played out?

I had a great start, actually. I seemed to win every hand I was in and I got a lot of chips together, which I needed because sort of midway through I had about two hours without getting any hands, and I went right down. When there were four players left I was actually the short-stack.

But then things started to happen again and I never seemed to lose a pot right at the end!

You played a very aggressive style during the heads-up match. Was that a case of simply being hit by the deck or was that a conscious decision on your part?

Poor sucker didn't even see it coming.

I did hit a few good hands, but my timing was good in that I sort of raised at the right time. I don't think [Ward] hit too many hands at the end and when he did I seemed to have a better hand every time.

I know you've previously said that you're more of a Seven-Card stud player. How do you feel about Limit Hold'em?

I don't really like Limit games, to tell you the truth, because there aren't that many moves you can make in them. But the fact is this game was a shootout and I love the shootouts. You have to know how to adjust your game as the players get knocked out and you start to play short-handed; it gets quite skillful like that.

I'd prefer to play a shootout in No Limit Hold'em, though. Fixed Limit really isn't my favorite.

How do you approach a Limit Hold'em shootout versus a similar No Limit tournament?

I think you've got to keep yourself steady at the start and then wait until you get down short-handed, where you can make a few big moves.

You've been very successful on the other side of the Atlantic. How did this win differ from your successes in Europe?

Ram Vaswani

Yeah, this is a pressure win. It's a World Championship and I've been trying to get a bracelet for a few years, and I've been close a few times as well. I've had a second and two third-place finishes, so it's nice to get it out of the way.

I don't imagine you'll party much tonight, but how are you going to celebrate tomorrow?

There are a few parties going on tomorrow, but I'm actually playing on Day 1A of the Main Event, so I'm going to be taking it easy, I think. Maybe relaxing by the pool.


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With his victory this morning, the youngest member of the famed Hendon Mob claims not only his first WSOP bracelet, but the first for his cadre of card-players as well. As Vaswani observed, the victory comes after many close calls at the World Series, including a second-place finish in 2002 and a couple of third-place finishes. Now that he's got his first taste of World Series gold, it's not hard to imagine Vaswani and the rest of the Mob back to the podium for another first-place finish very soon.

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