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Hevad Khan, AKA RaiNKhAN, is a restrained young man without an ounce of bombast or showmanship. Shying away from the cameras and restricting himself to just one table here at the WSOP, he's got a lot of leftover energy which he must find other ways to vent.
Let's start by talking about how your day's going. You've had a lot of chips so take us through your table draws, how you've played and your feelings on the competition.
Well basically after the bubble broke I cheered a lot and I really think the cameras want to see an exciting feature table so they took my whole table and moved us there. I could tell right off the bat that everyone was extremely nervous. They weren't playing like they were at the original table.
They were a lot tighter and no one was making as many plays so I was opening a lot of pots and chipping up very well. I was waking up with a lot of hands and taking down pots. I had A-K a lot as well as kings, queens, jacks, all that. And I went from roughly $800,000 up to about $950,000.
Then I had one huge pot against a Ladbrokes fellow, he had the shirt on, and he was re-raising a lot at the original table but hadn't been doing much at the feature table. I kind of went out of my way with him because I was thinking that online is a lot more aggressive so I kind of saw a couple steps ahead and decided to re-re-raise him and if he shoved I'd be committed and I could call with a live ace; I had A-9 offsuit. And he was apparently very excited and got it in and I called because I was getting like four to one on my money. He had pocket kings and ended up flopping a king and doubling up.
So basically I was thinking way too far ahead and making plays that I really didn't have to make and it's only because of those extra plays that I've been losing chips. But I've been doing very well playing a lot of small-pot poker and picking my opponents and fighting as strong as I can.
I mean, yesterday I was on a table with Gus [Hansen] and Imper1um [Sorel Mizzi] and it was a really tough table but I ended up going from $220,000 to $600,000 before I left.
So this new table is kind of a good thing and a bad thing. They sat me down with Daniel Alaei, he doesn't really have position on me, and one of the top three chip leaders who's a top online player. I'm basically sitting tight and trying to figure out which person is the guy I'm going to chip up off because I'm pretty sure it's not going to be Daniel Alaei, unless I can get lucky and suck out on him. And I'm pretty sure it's not going to be the other fellow because I've played with him before in the $5,000 event. But I think I have an idea about who I can press on.
The bubble broke a few hours ago. Are you the kind of player who really takes advantage of that time?
If there's any bubble you can really have fun with when you have a big stack it's the World Series Main Event bubble! The first payout is double the buy-in and it's usually only like the buy-in and a fifth so you usually just get your money back. Especially if you're one of these people who buys in directly and is rich, not getting your money back isn't that scary.
But here you can press on them a lot. So I was raising a lot. There was this chap on my right who was a pretty good player so we kind of shared the pots. I did lose a couple of pots. It was kind of weird though; a few of the players were just smooth-calling me a lot and I think I got a little scared because of that. But any bubble that you can profit off is great.
It was a good tournament overall for me. I just made that one misstep. Every time before that I got my money in ahead except for right there and that was probably the biggest pot I've played so far.
Let's talk about the days up until now. What sort of approach do you take with such a huge field?
I like to chip up as much as possible. If I'm not at the top of the chip counts or the chip leader I lose my confidence and I lose my morale and I don't feel like I'm giving myself a chance to win. I know that's not entirely true though. If you can survive until the blinds get big and win a couple races.
For the last two and a half years I've been playing Sit n Gos and all you're doing is racing because you have so few chips. I just don't want to do it anymore. I want a more secure income and so what happens is that you try to minimize the gamble as much as possible. But sooner or later you're going to have to gamble. But if I have to gamble I love to do it early so at least I can go home and do something else.
You say you like to chip up early but do you take a really aggressive approach or a more tight-aggressive style?
I'd like to say that I'm really aggressive but I think I'm probably just tight-aggressive. Most people would probably say that about me.
To talk about live versus online for a second: How does multi-tabling online compare with one table live?
I believe that it's a discipline either way. It doesn't matter who you are, if you can focus in on something that you're doing it's not that different. It's all about your mental fortitude. I used to play just a single MTT online because I really wanted to see the differences between making better reads versus having more volume. And I can tell you that as long as there's incentive I see no difference. But with a $10,000 buy-in and an $8 million first prize I'm going to enjoy every hand I play.
Thanks Khan, good luck.
Shortly after speaking with me, Khan got all-in with pocket queens way behind Ray Rahme's pocket aces. No worries though, the flop came Q-Q-8, giving him quads, the check mark, and just over $1 million in chips. Going into Day 4 fourth in chips with $1,319,000, he's in great shape to make a run at this final table.
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