2008 World Series: The Khan plan for poker domination

There’s a lot of stuff going on in the Amazon Room, between the remaining tables. The most notable is a player wandering around, getting well known around the room as the player who went on break with chips and came back to find his table broken and his chips gone. He literally can’t find his chips anymore, causing him obvious stress, and some mild amusement to the players.

On a table in the green zone a player is out of his chair, whooping and celebrating a survival hand. Team PokerStars Pro Hevad Khan looks over at the guy with a knowing smile. It’s easy for him to remember a time not so long ago.

This time last year it was Hevad’s parade - a high profile contender for poker’s biggest prize. He ran his incredible performance into sixth place and $956,243; a vocally charged whirlwind that had the TV cameras swooning and several cans of nicely packaged and memorable footage for the highlight reels.


Team PokerStars Pro Hevad Khan

Twelve months later and midway through the first level of the day Hevad Khan was at 380K. This is a pretty sizeable stack for most but he didn’t seem prepared to wait and had soon spun it up to nearly 500K.

It seems one good run is not enough for the Poughkeepsie man. Call it his already natural playing style, temperament or just the fact that his eyebrows add a certain menace to his face, Hevad has turned it up a gear, is controlling his table, and has plans to make it two in a row. As he said himself after my colleague Maria Mayrinck asked him if he intended to do it all again... “Yeah, just watch.”

I’ve seen it before but Hevad goes into a kind of trance when busy in a hand, playing in slow motion period like an old 78 speed LP. His World Series priors mean the cameras are never far away. He managed to ignore the foot long microphone hanging above his head and mucked his hand. He had a set but his opponent was betting big, a factor that took Hevad five minutes of questions before letting the matter go.

Tiffany Michelle is also at this table, another cause for the cameras to stop by. With the mike hanging over her head this time like a scythe she asked Hevad if he had any advice, since he’d been this far before.

“Sit out...” he replied, pausing for effect before letting on that he was kidding.

Hevad’s table presence is unmistakable. He’s a big man; big hands, big arms, and those eyebrows. He’s also a friendly guy, but when he plays a hand, and you’re up against that slow motion trance, you can almost predict what carnage will come. It’s like the slow movements are to save as much energy as possible. He doesn’t waste it at all.

A raise and a call. Both the raiser and Hevad checked the nine high flop to see a jack on the turn. A 30K raise to Hevad who asked for a count just to be sure. He rested his hands on the table and waited. When he was ready he slowly picked up some of the green 25K’s and re-raised, 80K total. His opponent, who now had to stop his massage, counted his stack. He has only yellow chips but calls with Hevad watching him. The river card is a six. It’s checked to Hevad who bets big once more, too big to keep up with, and good for another big pot.

His course is true, his actions strong. Hevad Khan is looking for a repeat, up to 600K.


The PokerStars video blog team caught up with a few players this morning, including PokerStars sponsored player Kara Scott, who talked about her chances after a few set backs late last night...

Watch WSOP 08: Kara Scott Day 4 Pre Play Chat on PokerStars.tv