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CJ Sand Wins 2016 World Series of Poker Casino Employees Event

Caesars Palace Sports Book Employee Earns $75,157 and First Career Bracelet

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Each year, the World Series of Poker kicks off with the casino employees championship, an event that started back in 2000 to honor those who work in the gaming industry. The inaugural tournament attracted a field of just 109 entrants, but the 2016 edition saw 731 players put up the $565 buy-in, creating a total prize pool of $365,500.

After two days of play, the title, the bracelet and the $75,157 first-place prize were claimed by Caesars Palace sports book employee Christopher “CJ” Sand. The 45-year-old poker player earned his second WSOP cash, the first being a 1,596th-place finish in the 2015 Colossus event.

“This is amazing,” Sand said. “My mom first taught me how to play poker when I was 13 years old, so this is 30 years in the making. I don’t ever get too high or too low, because I know it’s poker. But at this moment, it’s a real high. I’m blessed. This bracelet is for my mom who is watching over me in heaven. There was a little magic with me tonight and I know where it came from. Poker is one of the best memories I have over her. Poker is in my veins and now I have this, all because of her.”

The nine-handed final table was comprised of eight Americans, but Sand had to get past British poker manager Kerryjane Craigie during heads-up play to win the title. Craigie’s run ultimately ended when she ran pocket sevens into Sand’s pocket kings and was left with the $46,420 consolation prize.

Here is a look at the final table results.

Place Player Winnings
1 Christopher Sand $75,157
2 Kerryjane Craigie $46,420
3 Michael Coombs $32,249
4 Spencer Bennett $22,753
5 Brian Mikesh $16,308
6 Tom Ratanakul $11,877
7 Nicholas Sliwinski $8,792
8 Tinkang Xing $6,616
9 Robert Ostler $5,063

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2016 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.