Going all in for $1.85 million

‘East grad Aram Zobian finishes in sixth place at World Series of Poker


As the song says, “every hand’s a winner, and every hand’s a loser.” Aram Zobian, Cranston East Class of 2013, found this out in the final table of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this past weekend.

Despite not taking home the trophy bracelet in ultimate victory, Zobian, the youngest player at the final table, still took the poker stage by surprise and placed sixth overall. While it may not seem like much of an accomplishment, such a placing is worth a prize of $1.85 million dollars.

“I moved to Edgewood at 11 years old and went from Edgewood Highlands to Park View to Cranston East,” Zobian said. “Through school my favorite subjects were Anatomy, Italian and Statistics. I was very low-key and never played any sports for the school. But, I give a big shout out to my math teacher, Mr. Rodolewitz.”

He got into poker by playing at private games, and was enamored with the game after watching the ESPN coverage of the World Series of Poker Main Event. He realized at a young age he could do well in the game, so he picked up a few books and studied hard.

“After graduation I attended CCRI, but did not have much direction,” he said. “After a couple years of majoring in finance, I truly believed a future in the industry would not make me happy. I also worked two part time jobs, and made the decision to drop all of these things to put my energy into poker.”

This was his second time playing “The Main Event” after an early exit in 2017. The cost to buy into the Main Event for a chance to compete is $10,000.

“This year I was a lot more well rounded as a player and a person and played with more confidence and patience,” he said.

Up to this point he had played professionally about two years, with his live tournament earnings totaling $110,000 before this unbelievable run.

“My family was a in a mix of shock and excitement, and a ton of them flew or drove out to be in my corner for the experience,” he said. “It was a really awesome bonus that it brought us together for an exhilarating little reunion.”

The tournament played straight through with no days off. In total, Zobian played for 76 hours.

The next step for Zobian as a player is to start traveling, and dive even deeper into the game of poker. 

“As I move up in stakes, the competition will become substantially tougher, so I have to dedicate a lot of time into fine tuning the mathematical aspect of my game. As for the money, I plan on treating my family a bit, and donating to a couple charities and organizations,” he said.

Zobian plans to take a vacation, then travel to Barcelona, Australia, Los Angeles and Florida to play poker.

“I get to see the world at the same time as I play poker, which is awesome,” he said.


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