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Dwyte Pilgrim Finishes Runner-Up in POY Race

The New York Pro Breaks Through in 2010

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Dwyte PilgrimDwyte Pilgrim entered 2010 as one of the best poker players the casual fan had never heard of. A year earlier he had been a proven winner, but because much of his success came in lower buy-in preliminary tour events instead of the prestigious larger buy-in tournaments of the WSOP or the WPT, Pilgrim wasn’t always in the public eye. As a result, he was labeled as one of the best “minor league” tournament players around.

There’s nothing minor about what Pilgrim accomplished in 2010. After starting the year with what have become routine wins in some of the smaller buy-in events, Pilgrim won his third WSOP Circuit ring in March and finally took down the big one in September when he bested a record-setting field of 1,041 opponents in the WPT Borgata Poker Open to win his first major title and the $733,802 top prize.

The Brooklyn-born poker pro has earned over $1 million on the year and an impressive 5,576 Card Player Player of the Year points. That number puts him in second place in the 2010 POY rankings, just 1,162 points behind winner Thomas Marchese.

2010: Pilgrim Breaks Through

Pilgrim cashed for around $50,000 on the WSOP Circuit trail in 2008, most of that coming in two seventh place finishes on the Circuit in December. He took that momentum into 2009 and went on a tear, playing both preliminary and main events. He won a WSOP Circuit – Caesars Atlantic City preliminary event for $84,955, and a few weeks later he won the WSOP Circuit – Harrah’s Rincon main event for $125,775. He also finished sixth in the WSOP Circuit – Caesars Palace Las Vegas main event for $44,848.

He finished 2009 with seven final tables and two tournament wins, earning 1,994 Card Player Player of the Year points.

In 2010, he went even bigger. He took down preliminary events at the Southern Poker Championship in January, the Foxwoods Mega Stack Challenge in February, and in March he earned his third career WSOP Circuit ring when he won an event at the Harrah’s Rincon stop. He finished eighth in a WSOP mixed event in June and made another WSOP circuit final table at HorseShoe Council Bluffs in August, where he finished third.

Pilgrim’s WSOP Circuit success was similar to that of 2009, but in September he finally got the major win that put him in the spotlight. A record-setting 1,042 players entered the WPT Borgata Poker Open main event, creating a prize pool of over $3.4 million. Pilgrim was among the masses and made his way to his first WPT final table and won it for $733,802.

The cash was the largest of his career, and it pushed his lifetime tournament winnings total up to $1.5 million. With the year he had in 2010, the “minor league” king is expected to be a force in the major leagues in 2011.

Here is a look at the final standings in the Card Player Player of the Year Race:

1: Thomas Marchese — 6,738
2: Dwyte Pilgrim — 5,576
3: Sorel Mizzi — 4,851
4: Vanessa Selbst — 4,608
5: John Racener — 4,493
6: Harrison Gimbel — 4,080
7: Andy Frankenberger — 4,010
8: Jeffrey Papola — 3,870
9: John Juanda — 3,717
10: Jonathan Duhamel — 3,600