POKER

WSOP: Andre Akkari wins bracelet for Brazil; Ken Griffin wins one for mom

TAGs: Andre Akkari, Ken Griffin, world series of poker, WSOP

wsop-winners-akkari-griffinBrazil now has its second-ever World Series of Poker bracelet after Andre Akkari scored his first at Event #43, a $1,500 NLHE. The 36-year-old Sao Paolo native outlasted a 2,857-strong field, including heads-up opponent Nachman Berlin, to earn $675k and the gratitude of a nation. In addition to the roars of a raucous bunch of supporters, Akkari claims to have received 1,500 messages a minute on Twitter. In 2008, Akkari was in the crowd rooting for Alexandre Gomes when he earned Brazil’s first bracelet, and Gomes returned the favor for Akkari’s turn in the spotlight. Nachman earned $675k for placing second.

President Obama has announced a drawdown in US troops from Afghanistan, and let’s hope all their journeys home are as rewarding as former Marine Ken Griffin’s. The 34-year-old Griffin had been working as a defense consultant in Afghanistan, but returned to his Texas home after his mother needed chemotherapy. “She’s a senior, working class … She’s living paycheck to paycheck and medicine is expensive.”

After being deep in the heart of Texas a while, amateur player Griffin decided to take a quick trip over to Vegas. Once there, he surveyed the terrain, then Semper Fi’d his way through 2,890 opponents – including 7th place finisher Antonio Esfandiari and runner-up Jean Luc Marias — to claim a gold bracelet and $455k at Event #45, the $1K NLHE. It’s Griffin’s first ever WSOP cash, but he already knows exactly what to do with it. “I’m going to be transferring money into [mom’s] account as soon as I get it. I’m going to take care of her and be closer to home.” Hollywood, your latest feel-good movie plot is ready and waiting.

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