Hafiz Khan

Khan was formerly a software analyst before he turned to playing cards full-time in 2008.

Born and raised on the mean streets of Stockton, California, the American was formerly a software analyst before he turned to playing cards full-time in 2008. Naturally for somebody with a background in software, Khan was initially more regularly playing poker behind a computer rather than at the live table. Playing under the screenname ‘hafizzle’, he won a number of large tournaments pre-Black Friday including a UBOC Championship Event that bagged him $245,200.

In a story that could inspire any amateur to take up online poker, Khan’s major break onto the live scene actually came off the back of an online satellite event that earned him a seat at the 2008 PCA $8,000 Main Event. Hafiz enjoyed an astonishing run that saw him reach the final two after outlasting the likes of China’s most successful tournament player Elton Tsang and WSOP bracelet winner Chris Klodnicki. While the American did lose to French legend Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier in the heads-up showdown, his efforts earned him a $1,094,976 payday – not bad for his first ever live tournament cash.

Since then, Khan has picked up a WPT title and made a number of other final tables at WPT events. His major win came in 2009 when he shipped the $5,000 NLH event in Los Angeles for $285,569. This time around, it was Khan who was triumphing over the legends of the game as he emerged victorious at a final table that included poker veterans Jason Mercier and Barry Greenstein.

Today, the California native boasts live tournament winnings of around $2.5 million and will have likely made another ton of cash from his online pursuits as well.

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California pro Hafiz Khan doesn’t often hit the headlines, but when he does it’s usually courtesy of a massive win.