Three members of the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event final table and one deep finisher in the same event, all from different countries, have joined Team PokerStars.
The quartet includes two young online poker phenoms, a retired South African, and a Canadian-via-Vietnam.None were household names as of a few months ago, but as the 2007 WSOP episodes air on ESPN, that will change.
Dario Minieri, a 22-year-old internet poker prodigy from Italy, finished 97th in the Main Event.While he has won almost $300,000 in live tournaments, he makes his hay online.He started playing as soon as he could, at age 18, and has become famous in online poker circles by being the first player to use his PokerStars FFP’s to buy a free Porsche from the poker room.
Hevad “Rain” Khan, a SUNY-Albany graduate, is also 22-years-old.He is the kind of “love him or hate him” player that ESPN adores.He wears his nerves on his sleeve, not shy about making noise and generally behaving like a crazy person at the tables.Some poker fans find him entertaining, some find him nauseating.In either case, he gets results.His sixth place finish at the Main Event earned him over $900,000.Additionally, his penchant for playing 20, 30, or even 40 tables at a time online has made him a tidy sum.In fact, PokerStars actually thought he was a computer program, as they could not believe a human could play that many tables at once and pull a profit.To prove it, Khan sent PokerStars a video of himself playing in 28 tournaments simultaneously.
Raymond Rahme made history by becoming the first African to make the WSOP Main Event final table.The 62-year-old South African has played poker for years, but only learned how to play Texas hold’em in 2005.More of a poker hobbyist than a pro, Rahme placed 3rd at the 2007 WSOP.
Tuan Lam was born in the most difficult of circumstances, smack dab in the middle of the Vietnam War.He stayed in his native country until he was 19-years-old, when he moved to Ontario, Canada.Hard up for money and wanted to go to business school, a friend helped him get a job as a card dealer.The problem for Lam was that he was required to be a poker prop player, as well.Thus, he learned how to play the game.After seventeen years of playing, the now 41-year-old pro, placed second to Jerry Yang at the 2007 WSOP.