In a lovely story from the land of PokerStars, a player from Benin in West Africa won the PokerStars Open. In honour, they named the contest after him, and he won that as well.
Benin is a country in West Africa.
That’s all I knew about the place until I woke up this morning.
After reading Stephen Bartley waxing lyrical about the exploits of a Benin poker player known as NhPokah on the PokerStars blog, I know a tad more about the gaff.
Slave traders created Benin’s capital, Porto Novo, to facilitate the slave trade. The country gained independence from France in 1960. Petrol stations are scarce. The cost of gas is so high that people purchase it illegally.
And the average household has five kids.
Benin folk need to find something to do.
Long before Lex Veldhuis became the Titan of Twitch that he is, today, he made the final table of an $11 buy-in, $5k GTD No-Limit Hold’em event three times in a week while streaming on Twitch. PokerStars was so enamoured with the Dutch Lions’ performance that they named the tournament after him (The Lex Veldhuis Open), and promised to do the same if anyone made the final table twice in a week.
It seems making the final table of The Open three-times in a week is challenging, as only one other player has achieved the feat in the two years since Veldhuis. But making the final table twice in a week seems to be as easy as finding headstones that tilt at awkward angles in disused graveyards as 83 people have accomplished the feat.
But NhPokah is different than the rest.
Nobody has ever won their own tournament, until now.
The Beninian finished 5/645 on the 9 October and 8/584 on 10th October for $101.81. PokerStars launched the NhPokah Open, and the lad went and won it, conquering a field of 679 players to win the $1,097.82 first prize.
It’s not the first time NhPokah has bulldozed his way through an event on PokerStars. In Aug 2011, NhPokah won the Sunday Million, beating 6,624 entrants to bank the $201,505.86 first prize.
All told, NhPokah has won $648,258 playing on PokerStars.
I would have asked him for a photograph to accompany this piece, but apparently, Beninians don’t like to be photographed believing the image can be used to cast a spell or a curse.
I learned that this morning, also.