WSOP 2012: First WSOP cash for Main Event Passport-holder


You know how life goes. You're young. You make plans. You establish traditions. You go to the beach with your friends every summer. You go camping in the fall. You expect it to go on forever. And then you grow up, or at least pretend like it.

Mark Demirjian's life wasn't much different, really. He liked to play one or two live poker events every year. It was always just an excuse to get to Las Vegas, the equivalent of a yearly tradition he thought would last forever. He played the WSOP three times before. He never cashed.

"No luck in anything actually, so far," he said before play started on Day 4 of the World Series of Poker.


Mark Demirjian still traveling on his PokerStars Main Event Passport

Still, he was never deterred. It was his escape from the business world. Back in Beirut, Lebanon, he runs a family business. He's an investment specialist. He got there by way of a Lebanon-based American University masters degree. It keeps him pretty busy. Still, he always has Vegas.

"I try and come once every year," he said. He trailed off for a second, and then seemed to realize something. "This is my first time in three years, actually."

And just like that, Demirjian realized how long it had been since he had been here. He was 30 the last time he set foot in Vegas. Now's he's 33. He won a $700 PokerStars Main Event Passport satellite and used the $13,000 to come here and buy into the Main Event. A couple hours into the day, he made the money. Some six hours later, he's still alive with a stack big enough to launch him into the bigger money tomorrow.

For a lot of people, a deep run might be reason to start dreaming about an escape from the business world. Not Demirjian.

"If I score big, I score big. Nothing is going to change," he said. "I have a fulltime job."

He paused once more and thought for a second.

"I'll still try and make it once a year," he said.



PokerStars Main Event Passport winner Zhi Pan finished in 487th place for $24,808. Meanwhile, Fabrice Bachellez is still alive with a short stack and trying to hold on until tomorrow.


Vanessa Selbst is currently in the top ten in chips with more than 1.2 million chips.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in World Series of Poker