First Bracelet of the 2023 World Series of Poker Goes to Peter Thai

June 2, 2023
Andrew Burnett

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Casino dealer Peter Thai has scooped the first bracelet of the 2023 WSOP, taking down the Casino Employees event for an impressive $75,535 score...

Thai was one of 1015 entrants who kicked off the 54th running of the annual summer festival in Las Vegas, event #1 on the schedule, the $500 buy-in Casino Employees event, allowing poker media to play as well.

With $426,300 in the prizepool and 153 spots paid, the bubble came late on day one and it was a brutal cooler that decided who would be the last to exit without a payday...

David Hanes: 3♠ 3♥
John Vournas: 9♦ 9♠

Flop: 9♥ 3♦ 2♣
Turn: 7♣
River: K♦

♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

Day two saw the field whittled down to the final table and the only woman left hit the rail after a double whammy, losing with 7s against Qs and then seeing her pocket 10s outflopped by Benson Tam’s QJ.

Thai helped his cause immensely with a double KO, getting rid of the most active player, Bruce Jiang, in the process...

Thai: K♠ K♣
Jiang: Q♠ Q♥
Tam: J♠ 9♠

Flop: 4♠ 2♣ 4♣
Turn: 9♦
River: 6♦

♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

Heads-up saw Thai face off against PokerNews reporter, James Urbanic, whose short stack didn’t last long...

Thai: K♠ 10♣
Urbanic: Q♦ 7♣

Flop: 10♥ 10♠ 4♣
Turn: Q♥
River: 4♠

Final results


Peter Thai



James Urbanic



Paul Blanchette



Bruce Jiang



Benson Tam



Sean Balfour



Keith McCormack



Joe Pavan



Lisa Eckstein


A delighted Thai told reporters afterwards: “I never expected to win. I came here just wanting to have fun and one thing led to another. It was an unforgettable experience.”

The table games dealer at Parkwest 508 casino in Livermore, California revealed: “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 and gos from my college days."

Thai added: “Overall, the experience is unbelievable and I can't wait to share this with everyone back home.”

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