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The Clinic: Saif Ahmad Schools Baby Huey
Nearly forgotten in the shadow of the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, the World Series of Poker's $2,000 Limit Hold'em tournament (Event 43) played to its logical conclusion today, crowning a first-time bracelet winner in Los Angeles businessman Saif Ahmad.
Ahmad came into the heads-up match with William Jensen at a slight disadvantage but wreaked havoc on his opponent's chip stack, relieving "Baby Huey" of every last marker over a nasty, brutish, and 30-minutes-short one-on-one battle.
For details on the final hand, click here .
I talked to Ahmad moments after he collected his bracelet and $217,329 in winnings.
Saif, you just won a WSOP bracelet. How do you feel?
I feel pretty good. I feel very good.
You dominated that heads-up match. What happened?
Well, I play pretty good normally. I don't play that many tournaments, but I play very aggressive.
You came into the heads-up match with a slight chip disadvantage, but it seemed like you were getting a lot of cards or had a good read on your opponent.
Normally I like to put the opponent to a disadvantage by playing aggressive and finding out what he's trying to do. So that helped it quite a bit.
You must have had a good read on him.
Yes, sort of.
How did you feel that the final table went down on the whole for you?
I won a main event at the Commerce Casino with Antonio Esfandiari and all of those people. I came in second. So this isn't my first time.
Do you play Limit Hold'em as a specialty?
Normally I don't play Limit Hold'em.
So what attracted you to this event?
I played my first Limit Hold'em tournament at Commerce and made it to the final table the first time I ever played. Then I played Pot Limit. I made final tables in Pot Limit and Limit, so I like playing them both.
Why did you choose this tournament as opposed to a No Limit event?
I came here to play only two tournaments, the Seniors' and this one. I went to my son's graduation - he graduated from Harvard. I just came back. I'll be leaving tomorrow, probably.
How did you fare in the Seniors' event?
I did okay. I lost, but not bad.
Will you be coming back for the Main Event?
Yes. I already have my Main Event seat.
What do you do when you're not playing poker?
I own restaurants in Los Angeles, Tony Roma's. I also own a software company overseas.
How long have you been playing poker?
A long time.
How did you get into the game?
I like to gamble, so that's what attracted me.
Do you mainly play at the Commerce?
No, I play at the Commerce and the Bike.
Tournaments or cash games?
Tournaments, these days. I mostly played cash games before. A few years ago I played a tournament at the Bike and came in first. It's not hard, but I didn't play many more tournaments. Now I mainly play them and obviously some cash games.
Do you have any plans for the money?
Yeah. I'll give it to my son and my daughter.
Lucky kids! Congratulations, Saif.
Thank you very much.
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Jovial and gregarious (although obviously a man of few words), Saif Ahmad is clearly a dedicated family man and a talented poker player, with a couple of lucky children to show for the former and a brand spanking new WSOP bracelet to show for the latter. We'll see Saif at the Main Event, but in the meantime, look out Commerce Casino!