By Sean Chaffin
Local player Mehrnoosh Kadkhodaeikhalafi finished 23rd in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival for $13,765. It was a nice outcome for a player who seemed on the brink of elimination not only in the championship event short of the money, but also in a $540 satellite she won to secure her entry.
In the satellite, Kadkhodaeikhalafi had been down to only 2,200 chips at one point and had pocket deuces all in on the big blind. Up against Ace-King and Ace-Queen, she found a triple up and went on to become chip leader and win the seat.
“I won that and then this became my first WPT main event,” she says.
After running deep in the championship event as well, it looked like her dream at a cash might be over. Kadkhodaeikhalafi had only 45,000 in chips right near the money bubble, but found a way to advance for a nice cash and a tidy $13,225 profit.
“I’m so grateful and happy,” she says of her score in the WPT. “I didn’t lose hope. I loved [the experience] and I’m looking forward to playing more WPTs.”
While she may not be a full-time player, Kadkhodaeikhalafi can be found playing poker nightly at Los Angeles area card rooms. She runs a private jewelry business, selling to clients by appointment only. That gives her plenty of time for poker.
As the final table played out in one section of the Gardens tournament area, Kadkhodaeikhalafi was already back in the action playing a $175 Knockout Bounty event nearby. She already has plans to play at the WPT Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino August 31-September 4.
“I’m looking to play as my second career,” she says. “I just love poker.”
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.