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Happy Saro: World Limit Hold'em Champion Saro Getzoyan
Saro Getzoyan has just become the reigning world champion of Limit Hold'em, together with a bracelet and a cheque for $333,379. So what's on his mind? Getting back to work.
That's right - immediately after handing his ID to the cashier's office to pick up his paycheck, Saro was on the phone, trying to figure out a way to make it back to his software office in Massachusetts by the next morning. Before he hit the airport, PokerListings.com had a quick word with him.
So the first question apparently is: Are you going to make it to work tomorrow?
If I catch a flight at midnight, I might just get to work by noon ...
I'm thinking I might owe these guys a night of partying, so I'm not sure.
You don't think you'll be up in time?
Um, I don't think so.
I've heard rumors you were afraid to play, you didn't want to make the final table, you were afraid your family would find out, you were afraid work would find out - is any of that true?
Yeah - I told my boss I was coming to Vegas, but I didn't tell him I was going to play in the World Series. I didn't take tomorrow off work, so I kind of have to call him in the morning and explain it to him: "I play poker, this is what I do, it goes on for three days sometimes ..."
Do you think he'll understand?
I think he should, yeah.
You're a software engineer, is that right?
You play mostly Limit Hold'em?
Yeah. I play a lot of Limit - online mostly. I haven't played that much within the last year, but I still try to come out for tournaments when I can.
I heard you mention you were thinking of playing more in the World Series of Poker this year.
I'm considering it, but it again has to do with getting vacation time, so I've got to talk to my boss about that.
Does your boss play poker?
Not that I know of.
Well, maybe we'll find out.
Is it true you were trying to play through the dinner break to make the 10 o'clock flight home?
I would have preferred to not stop for dinner and just play straight through, but Geoff wanted to stop for dinner, so I wanted to do whatever was convenient for him.
That's very thoughtful.
Yeah, I don't really follow that much on TV, so I don't recognize the big names, but first I busted out Barry Greenstein - he signed his book and gave it to me. Then I got moved to a table with Doyle and I busted him out and eventually at that same table Howard Lederer was there and I busted him out, too.
I wasn't sure if I should mention Howard, because I didn't know if you knew him.
Oh, yeah - my friends told me.
Did you make any more friends here while you've been playing?
Not really. It's usually pretty quiet at the tables.
I heard you were mostly in it for the money, the bracelet was not so important - is that true?
Yeah - it's not as important to me as it would be to some of these other players. These other guys have millions and the bracelet's the most important thing to them, but for me - one of the small guys - I think the money is a big thing, too.
The jewelry is secondary for you?
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$333,379 will buy a lot of bracelets, or software, or anything Saro decides will make his family, boss and competitors happy. Whatever the unbelievably considerate champion decides to spend his cash on, you know PokerListings.com will be watching the next time he gets a few days off work.