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Poker Players You Need to Know Before 2014 WSOP: Ronit Chamani
The 2014 World Series of Poker is on the doorstep again and the buzz is already vibrating out from the Rio doors.
With a $10m guarantee for the Main Event, 65 more gold bracelets for the taking, the return of the $1m Big One for One Drop and "the best WSOP schedule ever" on tap, the 45th edition of poker's greatest series will be another barnburner from start to finish.
Who should you keep your eye on? PokerListings feature writer Lee Davy knows a few people.
By Lee Davy
People will ordinarily tell you that they are "not just their job."
I think Ronit Chamani (@Raw_Nit) is slightly different.
When Chamani isn’t smashing it up at the poker table or changing the world through her passion for raw food she's still "involved" in a role that used to be her day job - the diamond industry.
That’s what Chamani is. She is a true diamond.
Not one of the overpolished gems but an uncut piece of beauty thay lay in wait for the right person to come along and to turn into something quite magical.
Two Little Pears
That person was and is fellow poker player Ryan "g0lfa" D’Angelo - her friend, partner and soul mate.
The pair first met at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) itself when D’Angelo joined her table in a $1,500 event.
He was carrying a green juice with him and as Chamani was also very passionate about a raw-food diet a conversation naturally sprung up.
One year later the pair started dating and have become inseparable ever since.
They spend their time traveling around the world as part of the poker circus. During their downtime they can be found flying between Israel, the United States and Johannesburg.
They share the same passion for poker and for food. They are like two little pears which, incidentally, is what their new food educational YouTube channel is called.
“The amazing thing about Ryan and I," Chamani says, "is that we both wanted the same things before we had even met.
"We inspire each other to continually improve and be better each and every day. He is so creative, both in the kitchen and at the poker table.
"All my success at the table is due to the time he has spent with me.”
Steamrolling the World Poker Tour
It's certainly been paying off.
After traveling to London in October 2013 to play in the European Poker Tour (EPT) festival Chamani decided to take some time away from the game to focus more on her love of food.
Then in November the World Poker Tour (WPT) arrived in her hometown of Johannesberg, South Africa, she entered the ZAR 70,500 No-Limit Hold’em (NLHE) High Roller and promptly won it for $70,779.
Two days later and she had made the final table of the $3,500 WPT Main Event where she eventually finished in sixth place for a $26,504 score.
Since then she has been on a WPT roll with eight more cashes in WPT events that include a side-event victory at the WPT Shooting Stars event at Bay 101 for her career best score of $152,080.
Getting Zen with luckychewy, Bond18, aejones and Zugwat
Up next for Ronit and Ryan? The 2014 World Series of Poker.
“I will be staying at luckychewy’s house with the likes of Ryan, Tony Dunst, Aaron Jones and Steve Silverman," Chamani says.
"The place is totally Zen and a lot of us are on the same sort of diets, which is great because it means we can all get into the kitchen and be creative, have fun and unwind.
“I will be there for the entire series and I will be investing pretty heavily this year, but I am ready for it.”
What would a successful series look like for her this time around?
“Nothing less than a bracelet,” she says.
We Are Wonderful Machines
Chamani is one of the most fiercely determined people you will ever meet.
She isn’t one of those people who just allows life take her wherever it may; she rides life like a surfer rides a wave.
This is a woman who wants to change the world. Quite literally.
She aims to do this by educating people about what they put into their bodies. When it comes to food, Chamani is head-over-heels in love with changing the world.
“I just want people to start becoming more conscious about their lives. I get so emotional when I see so many people not thinking for themselves.
"They are just following the masses and are allowing the system to dictate their actions. Whatever you put into your body you will become - it’s that simple.
“You wouldn’t put anything other than top-grade petrol in a car that runs on petrol. Why should your body be any different?
"We are wonderful machines and I want to help people open their eyes and see who they really are.”
Chamani is an emotional women, something she attributes partly to being female and partly due to her genes ("My whole family is highly emotional," she says.
“My Dreams Are Turning Into Reality"
She is moved by love and compassion and seeing human beings helping each other.
She draws inspiration from the likes of Ram Dass, Jesse J Jacoby (author of The Raw Cure, a book Chamani believes should be taught to children around the world), Arnold’s Way (a YouTube channel dedicated to spreading awareness about the benefits of Raw Food) and her Mom and Dad for just being who they are.
“Everything in my life is exactly the way that I dreamed it would be.
"Every day when I wake up my dreams are turning into reality. I know that nothing can ever be perfect but my life is pretty close to it right now.”
The best two ingredients for WSOP success, incidentally?
A shit-hot streak at the tables and a wonderful life off it.
Follow Chamani's journey at the 2014 WSOP right here on PokerListings starting May 27.
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