Canadian business analyst collects $625,872, WSOP bracelet

3 June 2010

Aadam Daya, a 31-year-old business analyst from Mississauga, Ontario, won the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em championship (Event #3) at the World Series of Poker to collect a whopping $625,872 and his first WSOP gold bracelet. Daya topped a huge field of 4,345 players in the tournament, played over Memorial Day weekend.

"This is going to make things a bit easier for me," said Daya. "But as far as changing my life it will not change me."

The tournament was the second-largest non-WSOP Main Event poker tournament in history. Only five live tournaments have ever attracted bigger turnouts. It took five full days to play from thousands down to a winner. The size of the field was so large that two starting days were necessary. Players were given the option of starting on either Saturday or Sunday. The $1,000 buy-in events will be played each weekend under the same format at this year's WSOP.

"I really think I got pretty lucky to get through so many players," said Daya. "I was fortunate and I played well, but I also got lucky at the right times."

Incredibly, it was Daya's first time to cash in a WSOP tournament. He had previously cashed in a few small tournaments played in Las Vegas, but this victory was on an entirely different scale.

Daya works as a business analyst in Toronto. He manages information technology systems for a large medical corporation. Daya was born in Toronto, and his parents immigrated to India from East Africa prior to settling down in Canada.

Daya plays poker as a hobby, he says. He does not play in many tournaments. He says he enjoys playing tournaments mostly "for fun."

Daya beat a massive field for his first WSOP bracelet

Daya beat a massive field for his first WSOP bracelet (photo by GreasieWheels)

The eight other players at the final table were all from the United States. The runner up was Deepak Bhatti, a 29-year-old poker player from Las Vegas, Nev. The final hand of the tournament came when Daya was dealt pocket queens against Bhatti's King-5, and Daya's hand held up to give him the victory.

The third-place finisher was Gabe Costner, from Long Beach, Miss., a stockbroker-turned-poker pro who has been playing professionally since 2002. This marked his second WSOP final table appearance.

The fourth-place finisher was William Mark Davis, from Mckinleyville, Calif. He is a research associate. Davis cashed for the third time in a WSOP event. He holds three graduate degrees from UC-Berkley.

The fifth-place finisher was Nick Mitchell, from Webster, N.Y., while Oklahoma City resident Cory Brown was sixth. The seventh-place finisher was Fresno State University student Isaac Settle, from Clovis Calif. Settle previously left school for a few years to play poker, but decided to return and finish his degree.

The eighth-place finisher was 24-year-old Dash Dudley, from Lansing, Mich., a former wrestler at Michigan State. He now plays poker professionally and previously won a Heartland Poker Tour championship.

The ninth-place finisher was 56-year old CEO Richard Rice, from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Rice and his father, Irving Rice, almost made history as the first father-son duo to make a WSOP final table. The elder Rice finished 10th, one spot shy of the final nine.

Other former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event include: Men "the Master" Nguyen, Eric Baldwin, Chris Bjorin, Michael Carson, and Keven Stammen. With this cash, his 66th, Nguyen is currently ranked second on the all-time cashes list. He is nine finishes behind all-time leader Phil Hellmuth.

The tournament began with WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel welcoming players to the first open event on this year's schedule. 2009 WSOP Main Event champion Joe Cada was the featured guest. After welcoming players and wishing them luck, a large banner of Cada was unfurled, which was later moved into the Amazon tournament room alongside winner portraits of all former world champions.

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