World Series of Poker bracelet winner Amir Vahedi died January 8 in Las Vegas due to complications from diabetes.
The news of his passing was first reported by Mark Seif on his personal blog in a short statement:
"Have spoken to two more of Amir’s close friends who have been in contact with Amir’s family. Sadly, they each confirmed the terrible news. Amir was a gentle and kind man who always made me laugh. I will miss him terribly."
Vahedi's death left the poker world shocked and saddened, many pros turning to Twitter to express their feelings about their friend.
"Amir Vahedi was one of the good guys. I'm very sad. RIP," Howard Lederer wrote.
"Rest In Peace my old friend...Amir was one of the nicest, gentlest guys on tour, and everyone loved him," Phil Hellmuth said.
"Wow. This is real? Few people showed me as many smiles and as much love as Amir Vahedi, in my poker infancy. Truly heartbroken," offered Joe Sebok.
Vahedi, with his contagious smile and signature unlit Cuban cigar, broke out at the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event, where he made the final table and ultimately finished in sixth place. He also won his first and sadly only WSOP bracelet that year, taking down the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event. A fixture on the tournament scene in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Vahedi has 26 recorded tournament victories and hundreds of final table finishes. His total career tournament winnings totaled more than $3.2 million.
Born in Iran, Vahedi served in the army during the Iran-Iraq war before moving to the United States. Vahedi settled in Southern California where he forged a career as a poker pro in Los Angeles-area cardrooms. He also once served as Academy Award-winning actor Ben Affleck's poker coach.
All of us at PokerNews send our condolences to Vahedi's family and friends during this difficult time.