Skip to main content

Hassan Kamel – The First Aussie to Win the World Series of Poker

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the world’s most prestigious and lucrative poker tournament series. Every year, thousands of players from all over the globe flock to Las Vegas to compete for millions of dollars and the coveted gold bracelets that symbolize poker excellence.

Hassan KamelThe WSOP features dozens of events across various poker variants, but one of the most challenging and exciting ones is the $10,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight-or-Better Championship. This event tests players’ high- and low-hand skills and navigating pot-limit Omaha’s complex betting structure.

This year, the event attracted 247 entries, creating a prize pool of $2,576,100. Among the contenders were nine WSOP bracelet winners: Ben Yu, Paul Volpe, Patrick Leonard, and Dzmitry Urbanovich. However, none of them could stop the unstoppable force that was Hassan Kamel.

Who is Hassan Kamel?

Hassan Kamel is a 34-year-old poker player from Melbourne, Australia. He started playing poker in 2009 and has been a regular in the local cash games and tournaments ever since. He is also an avid traveler and has visited more than 40 countries worldwide.

Kamel’s live tournament results before this event were modest, with his biggest cash being $22,577 for finishing 58th in the 2019 European Poker Tour Barcelona main event. He had only one previous WSOP cash, a min-cash in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event earlier this year.

However, Kamel had a secret weapon that gave him an edge over his opponents: his love for pot-limit Omaha hi-lo. He considers it his favorite poker variant and has played it online for years. He decided to take a shot at the $10,000 championship event after arriving in Las Vegas five days ago on a road trip across the United States.

How did he win the event?

Kamel started the event’s final day in third place out of eight remaining players. He quickly took over the chip lead and never looked back. He eliminated six of his seven opponents at the final table, including some of the toughest players on the field.

He first knocked out Dzmitry Urbanovich in eighth place ($61,346) when his ace-king-queen-jack beat Urbanovich’s ace-king-ten-nine on a king-high board. He then busted Long Tran in seventh place ($79,979) when his ace-king-ten-six made two pair against Tran’s ace-queen-nine-eight on an ace-high board.

He continued his rampage by sending Stephen Deutsch to the rail in sixth place ($105,737) when his pocket kings held up against Deutsch’s ace-queen-jack-seven on a low board. He eliminated Dylan Weisman in fifth place ($141,727) with a straight using his ace-king-nine-six against Weisman’s ace-queen-jack-five on a ten-high board.

He then faced Anton Smirnov in a huge pot that decided the tournament’s fate. Smirnov got all-in with ace-queen-nine-five against Kamel’s pocket aces. Smirnov flopped two pair, but Kamel made the nut flush on the turn to scoop the pot and eliminate Smirnov in fourth place ($192,562).

Kamel entered heads-up play against Ryan Hoenig with a massive chip advantage. He wasted no time in finishing off his last opponent. On the final hand, Hoenig got all-in with ace-jack-nine-five against Kamel’s ace-king-eight-seven. The board ran out king-high with no low possible, giving Kamel the high pot and the title. Hoenig earned $369,972 for his runner-up finish, while Kamel took home $598,613 and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

What does this mean for Australian poker?

Kamel’s victory was historic for Australian poker, as he became the first Aussie to win the WSOP main event or any other WSOP championship event. He also joined an elite club of 17 Australian WSOP bracelet winners, including Robert Campbell and James Obst, who were among his supporters on the rail.

Kamel was ecstatic about his achievement and dedicated it to his family and friends back home. He also thanked fellow Aussie poker players who cheered him on throughout his run.

“I’m so happy to represent Australia and bring home a bracelet,” he said. “It’s been a dream of mine since I started playing poker. I love this game, and I love this country.”

Kamel also said his win will inspire more Australians to play poker and pursue their dreams.

“Poker is a great game that can change your life,” he said. “You just have to believe in yourself and work hard. Anything is possible.”

Kamel plans to celebrate his win with his friends in Las Vegas and continue his road trip across the United States. He also intends to play more WSOP events and chase more bracelets.

“I’m not done yet,” he said. “I want to make history and win more titles for Australia. This is just the beginning.”

Related Posts