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Hafiz Khan Wins 2018 WSOP Circuit Thunder Valley Main Event

Former Online Pro Defeats Field of 599 To Win $188,686

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Hafiz Khan was one of the most feared players in the online tournament poker scene, accumulating more than $3 million in earnings as ‘hafizzle’. Khan had also accumulated more than $2.5 million in live tournament earnings before deciding to take a break from poker for the last two years. He has recently decided to return to the game, and so far his comeback is going quite well. The 43-year-old defeated a field of 599 entries to win the 2018 World Series of Poker Circuit Thunder Valley $1,675 no-limit hold’em main event for his first gold ring and the top prize of $188,686.

Khan went to school for Information Technology and recently had considered going into that field full time.

“I was thinking about getting a real job, going back into tech. I was thinking about that but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around that. I just couldn’t do a nine-to-five, going back to that, and waking up at six in the morning again,” Khan told WSOP reporters after coming out on top. “I missed the game, so I finally decided I’m a poker player. That’s what I’m good at. I’m back.”

Khan started his comeback in his own backyard. The Stockton, California resident had just over an hour to drive to the Thunder Valley Casino Resort to compete in this event. The payday he earned as the champion of this event was the fourth largest of his live tournament career. His biggest score came when he finishes second in the 2008 EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure main event for $1,094,976.

Khan came into the final table of this event in third chip position and was able to survive to heads-up play against Roland Shen, who took more than a 5-to-1 lead into the final showdown. Khan found a double up early and was able to win some key pots to close the gap. A key all-in flipped the momentum in Khan’s favor. Khan raised to 400,000 from the button and Shen reraised to 1,200,000. Khan went all-in for 4,2500,000 more and Shen made the call with the AClub Suit10Diamond Suit. Khan held the 4Heart Suit4Club Suit. The board came downKDiamond Suit9Heart Suit2Heart SuitQSpade Suit3Spade Suit and the pocket fours held up to give Khan a huge lead. Shortly afterward he sealed the deal with his AHeart SuitQClub Suit beating Shen’s QDiamond Suit8Heart Suit on a KHeart Suit10Diamond Suit8Club Suit2Heart SuitJClub Suit runout. Shen earned $116,706 as the second-place finisher.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Hafiz Khan $188,686 840
2 Roland Shen $116,706 700
3 Gregory Guth $85,340 560
4 Elisa Nakagawa $63,326 420
5 Michael Scott $47,647 350
6 John Chase $36,344 280
7 Steven Michaelis $28,105 210
8 Vijay Ramani $22,031 140
9 Josh Prager $17,503 70