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Amir Vahedi: Professional Poker Player Profile

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Amir Vahedi is one of the more notably aggressive players in the professional poker circuit. He also distinguishes himself by his multiple successes in different games. His professional resume marks victories in both Texas and Omaha Hold'em, Stud or Hi/Lo 7 Card, and many others. His flexibility and openness has made him an ideal teacher. He once took on Hollywood star Ben Affleck as a student, though Affleck has since been taken in by other mentors.

In 1997, Amir Vahedi won his breakout victory at the Legends of Poker tournament. Three years later, he gained his first Vegas championship. After 2000, Vahedi earned 85 cashes in tournaments from California to Connecticut. And finally, his big win came in the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP), when he captured his first bracelet and made the final table of the $10,000 Championship Event. He finished sixth. 2003 turned out to be Vahedi's best year.

Vahedi was born in 1961, in Tehran, Iran. As a youth he signed up for the Iranian army to fight in the Iran-Iraq War, also called the First Persian Gulf War, during the 1980s. In Iran, this affair was called the Imposed War. Many died and the fighting ended without a resolution, after over 10 years of strife. On a visit to his mother, Vahedi was asked to forego his duties as a soldier. Wishing to serve honorably, and at the same time respectful of his mother's wishes, he left the army and subsequently fled to Pakistan alongside his brother-in-law.

As a man without a country Vahedi faced serious threats to his life. He found himself in the jails of Afghanistan for several months, though traveling around Pakistan gave him no more rest than this. After being released from prison Vahedi made his way to Europe on a forged passport, which got him into what was then still Soviet East Berlin. From there he quickly moved into West Berlin. He became a political refugee and was detained for a while, but soon enough he was granted his freedom, and allowed to join family in California.

In the United States Vahedi became a businessman, and a fairly successful one. That is, until an unfortunate turn of events left him bankrupt. He sought employment, and while he worked, he drifted to the casinos of California and found his calling among the poker tables. This was when Amir Vahedi, the poker player was born.

"In order to live, you must be willing to die," he has been known to say. Amir Vahedi is currently residing in Sherman Oaks, California.

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