This past weekend was a difficult one for many in the poker community as one of its most beloved pros, Amir Vahedi , passed away on Jan. 8, reportedly from diabetes complications.Vahedi was perhaps best known for his sixth-place finish in the 2003 World Series of Poker main event, where his colorful personality was on display for many people around the world who were just starting to get interested in the game. Known for his trademark cigars and his willingness to gamble, Vahedi was one of poker’s first TV stars.The Iranian-born pro won more than $3.1 million in tournaments. Besides his 2003 main-event run, which earned him $250,000, some of Vahedi’s career highlights include his 2003 WSOP bracelet win for $270,000 in a $1,500 no-limit hold’em event, a win in a $1,500 event at the 2005 Los Angeles Poker Classic for $446,292, and a win in the televised Ultimate Poker Challenge in 2005 for $181,390.Vahedi was a member of the Iranian army before moving to the United States as a political refugee. Once settled in the U.S., he became very active in the poker world and has been a fixture of the tournament scene in the past decade, befriending many poker players along the way.Vahedi sat down with The Scoop on Card Player TV in 2007 to talk about his journey to America and his success in poker:Countless poker players went to the popular social networking site Twitter after they heard the news of Vahedi’s passing to honor and remember their friend. Just a few of the many messages posted about Vahedi:“We will miss Amir Vahedi. He represented DoylesRoom for a year or so, was a great guy, willing to do anything that was asked of him…RIP.” – Doyle Brunson“One of the great personalities & funniest guys in poker is no longer with us. RIP Amir Vahedi! You’ll be missed!” – John Juanda“Amir Vahedi Rest In Peace my old friend…Amir was one of the nicest, gentlest guys on tour, and everyone loved him…Very sad, diabetes…” – Phil Hellmuth“Amir was a hard worker that did everything to support his family. My condolences to the Vahedi family. Must be tough.” – Daniel Negreanu“I am heartbroken for multiple reasons today, not the least of which is the passing of my friend Amir Vahedi, we lose again as a race!” – Gavin Smith“Amir was one of my favorite people in poker…. This is so sad, RIP my friend, your laugh will always be missed!” – Matt Savage“Woke up to the sad news that Amir Vahedi died. He had a special personality & spirit & will be sorely missed by all who knew him.” – Erik SeidelThe Card Player family offers its condolences to Vahedi’s family and friends in this difficult time.
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