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Poker Tournament Trail -- Dwyte Pilgrim

Pilgrim Talks About Dominating the WSOP Circuit Events and Making the Jump to $10,000 Events


Dwyte PilgrimDwyte Pilgrim is a professional poker player from Brooklyn. He currently owns a house in Vegas and one in Brooklyn, and he is deciding where to make his permanent home. That decision depends largely on the fortunes of Pilgrim at the poker table during this coming year.

“If you want to win a million dollars, you’ve got to put yourself in a million-dollar game,” said Pilgrim when asked why he decided to make the jump from World Series of Poker Circuit events up to $10,000 buy-in events.

Pilgrim dominated the 2008-2009 WSOP Circuit schedule, where he won the Harrah’s Rincon no-limit hold’em championship event and took home $125,775 in prize money. He cashed at four events in all and made three final tables during the season. Pilgrim made more than $200,000 at WSOP Circuit championship events in a few short months, and he has now decided to make the jump to $10,000 buy-in events.

Card Player caught up with Pilgrim at the World Poker Tour Legends of Poker championship event, and he talked about how the transition is going.

Ryan Lucchesi: You have had a large amount of success at the WSOP Circuit level, and now you have made the jump to $10,000 buy-in events. What is the largest difference you noticed in opponents at this level?

Dwyte Pilgrim: The biggest transition is that all of the players play a lot differently, even the online guys. They’re playing more aware, they’re not taking as many chances. They’re not using the variance as much as they do in smaller tournaments. These guys are playing at a top level, and you have to bring your A-game to compete with them.

RL: Were you always a table captain at circuit events, and do you still find yourself in that role now?

DP: At every table I’m on, I’m going to be top three until you knock me out. Even if I don’t have the top three in chips, I’m going to be playing like one of the top three players, and I’m going to have the respect of one of the top three players.

RL: Are you going to play both levels of events moving forward?

DP: I have to stay grounded. I want to play the Circuits, because that’s what created me, but I also want to evolve into the bigger games. I want to show the players that this year I will be in the top 100, and next year I will be in the top 50. I’m trying to take a step up every chance I get.

RL: Are you a big proponent of the saying, “To be the best you have to play with the best?”

DP: To be the best, you’ve got to play the best and move to the west [laughs]. The best players are in the west right now, so you have to come out here to compete.

RL: What stakes do you currently play in the cash games?

DP: I’m more a limit player in the cash games. I play $60-$120 limit, so you have a little more control. It’s only my first six months on the poker circuit, so I’m trying to learn as much as I can before I take any great leaps.

RL: With your experience in the Circuit events you have been exposed to a lot of different poker regions in the country. What are the differences you have noticed between players from region to region?

DP: I think the East Coast has a lot more grinding and small pots. I think the West Coast has lot more people putting their money at risk and going after draws. The Midwest really has a mixture of both styles. I really believe in the East Coast players, but the West Coast players are so aggressive.

RL: If you’re sitting down to a game in Brooklyn as opposed to one here in Los Angeles, how would your strategy change?

DP: In a game in Brooklyn, I think I would have to try and grind it out with them, but in a game out here, I would have to make them make a big mistake when they go for a draw. In Brooklyn, I would probably put my hands up and duke it out, but in California I would try to make you swing, and then try to counter you. Players are also more receptive to your table image in California. So, whatever you have done in the game up to that point, whatever you did in the last hand, is going to be a factor moving forward. Whatever you’re building, you need to follow through with it and make sure you’re building it the right way.

RL: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned playing poker all over the country?

DP: I’ve learned that you have to play consistently at all times. I’ve played in a lot of tournaments, and I’ve realized that you can chip up at anytime during a tournament. It can happen at the beginning, the middle, or the end. If you play consistently, then you ensure that you will be around for that time when you get hot. And then you will be able to capitalize on other people’s mistakes and take that hot streak all the way. You’ve got to put yourself in a position to be successful.



3 better than you
12 years ago