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Peter Thai Wins First Bracelet Awarded At 2023 World Series of Poker

The Table Games Dealer From California Beat The Third-Largest Field Ever In The $500 Casino Employees Event To Earn The Gold and $75,535


The first gold bracelet of the 2023 World Series of Poker has been awarded. Peter Thai topped the third-largest field ever in the $500 casino employees event, outlasting 1,015 entries to secure the gold and the top prize of $75,535.

This was the largest tournament score yet for the table games dealer from Parkwest Casino 580 in Livermore, California, blowing away the $21,602 he earned as the champion of a $350 buy-in event at the 2018 Legends of Poker series at the Bicycle Casino near Los Angeles.

“I’m an avid poker player. I don’t play that often, but I still know how to play. I play more cash games than tournaments. I have a lot of tournament experience, mostly from playing a lot of online sit’n’gos from my college days,” Thai told WSOP reporters after coming out on top. “Overall, the experience is unbelievable and I can’t wait to share this with everyone back home.”

This event played out over the course of two days inside the Paris and Horseshoe Las Vegas. The huge turnout resulted in a prize pool of $426,300. The top 153 finishers made the money, with past champions like Jimmy Barnett and Chad Holloway among those who cashed in the event.

Day 2 began with 89 contenders remaining, with Thai inside the top 20 when cards got in the air. By the time the field combined onto a single table, he sat in second place behind only James Urbanic.

Thai won a crucial all-in with pocket eights coming from behind against Urbanic’s pocket jacks during seven-handed action. Not too long after that, he scored a double-knockout with pocket kings holding up against the J-9 suited of Benson Tam (5th) and pocket queens of Bruce Jiang (4th) to take a sizable lead into three-handed play.

He then shoved with K-2 against the 9-8 suited of Paul Blanchette, flopped a king, and held from there to enter heads-up play against Urbanic with a commanding chip advantage. In the final hand, Thai called Urbanic’s all-in with KSpade Suit10Club Suit. He was up against QDiamond Suit7Club Suit. The board ran out 10Spade Suit10Heart Suit4Club SuitQHeart Suit4Spade Suit, giving Thai tens full and the title. Urbanic earned $46,690 as the runner-up finisher.

Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings
1 Peter Thai $75,535
2 James Urbanic $46,690
3 Paul Blanchette $33,051
4 Bruce Jiang $23,738
5 Benson Tam $17,303
6 Sean Balfour $12,802
7 Keith McCormack $9,617
8 Joseph Pavan $7,337
9 Lisa Eckstein $5,686

Visit the Card Player 2023 World Series of Poker page for schedules, news, interviews, and the latest event results.

Photo credit: WSOP / Danny Maxwell.