Vohra, a former pro tennis player turned seasoned poker pro from Lake Worth, Florida, navigated a huge field of 5,715 players to claim his first WSOP gold bracelet at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas and the top prize of $335,886.
Vohra’s now earned over $1.7m in live earnings to go along with millions earned online.
His previous best finish at the World Series of Poker came back in 2008 when he finished fifth in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event.
Vohra did not have it easy as he came to the final table in eighth place but nobody could put out his fire. His rail, which included his wife Sherry, cheered him on with every winning hand, with Vohra clearly feeling the love.
Event #11: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack Final Table Results
|1||Raj Vohra||United States||$335,286|
|2||Qing Liu||United States||$207,192|
|3||Hung Tran||United States||$154,831|
|4||Nicole Limo Greene||United States||$116,568|
|5||Michael Lin||United States||$88,417|
|6||Junxiu Zhang||United States||$67,572|
|8||Stanislav Snitsar||United States||$40,378|
|10||Bohdan Slyvinskyi||United States||$24,883|
“It’s a dream come true. It’s the best moment of my life. I’ve waited for so many years, at least 15 years, for this moment, and it’s finally arrived. This is just a blessing, having all my friends and family here, my wife, it doesn’t get any better than this. This is it. But this is not the end, this is just the beginning. We got the first one, let’s see how many more we’re gonna get.”
Path to Bracelet
Interestingly, despite being a pro for nearly two decades, Vohra has largely stayed away from poker for the last three years, only occasionally playing a few tournaments both live and online while the coronavirus pandemic has raged on.
For Vohra, the $600 Deepstack is far below his usual buy-in and was supposed to only serve him as a warmup event to get used to being back in front of live opponents again. In fact, Vohra and his wife nearly canceled their trip to Las Vegas but decided amid all the existing health scares that were finally going to get out of the house and arrive on July 5th.
He opted to fire in the $600 Deepstack and after bagging for Day 2, he admitted that his mindset was going fully on the bracelet.
Following his victory, he discussed his thought process heading into the final table with a below-average chip stack.
“I just wanted to pick out my spots. That’s all. I just had to wait for the right moment and that happened with the nine-deuce. That was the big spot there.”
Vohra also discussed the magical moment when the ace hit on the turn to make him a 95% chance to win the tournament after getting all-in with ace-king against pocket eights.
“Oh my god, when he had eights and the board came nine-high, I thought there’s no way it’s happening this way. No way. It has to freakin come. I knew the ace was coming or the king was coming. I was 100% sure. It didn’t matter if it would’ve been the river, they’ve sucked out on me for the last 15 years of my life.”
When asked if would ever play any more $600 tournaments moving forward, everyone laughed and he answered: “Definitely. Text me the next one.”
Final Table Action
The first player out was short-stacked Bohdan Slyvinskyi ($24,883), who got his ace-two in good against Qing Liu, who called without looking with queen-jack. Unfortunately for Slyvinskyi, his adventure came to an end, and had to settle for tenth place when Liu spiked a queen on the river.
Not long after, Renaud Cellini ($31,574) ran his ace-seven offsuit into the pocket nines of Stanislav Snitsar. Though he picked up a straight draw on the turn, Cellini couldn’t catch up and he was eliminated in ninth place.
Out in eighth was the aforementioned Snitsar ($40,378), who ran into a huge cooler against Liu when he ran his black jacks into Liu’s black aces. Snitsar couldn’t improve and exited the stage with a cool 40 grand.
In seventh place was Ralph Marquez, ($52,035) who shoved from the small blind with ace-deuce and ran into Vohra’s pocket aces, giving the Canadian only a 6.5% chance to win. He wasn’t able to find a miracle and exited in seventh.
A few hands later, Junxiu Zhang exited in sixth ($67,572), having spun it up and successfully laddering a place after being down to one big blind. Zhang was eliminated by Liu as her queen-ten of diamonds was no match for Liu’s ace-jack suited.
Michael Lin would be eliminated by Hung Tran to earn fifth place ($88,417) as he shoved his flush draw with ace-seven suited into Tran’s top-bottom two pair. He couldn’t find a third spade and he would take home a juicy cash.
Nicole Limo Greene finished in fourth place ($116,568), when her ace-six cutoff shove was eventually called off by Vohra’s ace-eight in the big blind after a 90-second tank. The board bricked for Greene and she walked away with an incredible six-figure cash.
After doubling up through Liu and having the chip lead for most of the final table, it was Tran who finished in third place ($154,831) when he got all-in on the river with a straight while Liu had runner-runnered a flush of his own.
While he was the chip leader for most of the second half of Day 2, it would be fellow poker crusher Qing Liu to fall just short at the end. Having a nearly identical stack as Vohra, his pocket eights got all-in pre-flop against Vohra’s ace-king. Liu was two cards away from a nearly-insurmountable chip lead but Vohra spiked the ace on the turn to deny Liu his first-ever WSOP bracelet.
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Blaise Bourgeois is a full-time digital nomad living and playing poker in Latin America. He’s part of the PokerNews live reporting team for the 2022 World Series of Poker.