2007 World Series: RaiNKhaN Storms Up Leaderboard

by Simon Young

At the dinner break, PokerStars Supernova Hevad "RaiNKhaN" Khan was slightly downcast. He had slipped down the leaderboard and was card dead. He needed hands - and he needed them quick. Furthermore, he needed action. "And I need to adapt and try and play strong," he added.

Hevad Khan: begging for his hand to hold up

Well, what a difference two hours makes. After picking up two huge pots, Khan has soared to 12,740,000 million chips, well above average, and is able to do considerable damage to his table's and tournament chip leader Jon Kalmar from Britain, who has a massive 22,800,000.

And, as we have seen so many times before here, when Khan wins a big pot, everyone in the room gets to know about it pretty quick. I picked the first action up when the flop was A-K-Q two diamonds. Khan was facing a bet from Jerry Yang - and re-raised all in for 825,000 more. Yang went into the tank, then stood up. Khan sat as still as a rock, staring down at his lap. "If I am wrong this will cost me a lot of money," said Yang, desperate to get a reaction. "Of course, if I am right...."

He called. Khan rolled over K-Q for two pair... then shrieked with delight as Yang produced A-6 for top pair and no diamonds. "Hhhhoooolllllddd," cried Khan, almost unable to look. The turn was a 3 and the river a 10. He doubled up, ran around the floor, jumped up and down and screamed at the top of his voice. I think he was happy.

Soon after he faced a 300,000 pre-flop bet and re-raised to 750,000. He collected those spoils without further confrontation.

Then, another huge engagement, this time with Kalmar, whose wife flew in from England only this afternoon to support her man. Khan raised to 300,000 from under the gun, and Kalmar called. The flop was J-K-10. Khan bet 300,000 again, and once more Kalmar called. The turn was a 4 and both checked, but on the river, another 10, Khan put out a huge 3 million chips. Kalmar called quickly, saw Khan turn over K-10 for the boat, and mucked.

Cue more general leaping, dancing, and shouting from the PokerStars player as he took congratulations from his fans and friends in the crowd.

With 12 players left, we are getting close to our final table. And with Khan getting the cards and the action he needs, he's a pretty good bet to be there.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in