Three-Ring Circus
Valley Center, CA – Dwyte Pilgrim is a superstar in the making. The Brooklyn-born poker pro just won his third gold ring on the World Series of Poker Circuit after coming out on top of a field of 169 players at Harrah’s Rincon, near San Diego. This victory followed two previous wins which both took place in 2009 – first at Caesars Atlantic City and second here at Harrah’s Rincon in last year’s Main Event championship.
Pilgrim initially burst upon the poker scene back in December 2008 at the WSOP Circuit event played at Harrah’s Atlantic City, where he cashed in five events. After he won his first gold ring three months later at Caesars, Pilgrim took the top prize at Rincon and was declared the “unofficial” WSOP Circuit Player of the Year in May 2009.
Indeed, Pilgrim’s performance in WSOP Circuit events over the past 15 months has been extraordinary. He has amassed three victories, ten final table appearances and 18 cashes.
To put this into perspective, consider the all-time WSOP Circuit leader in history, Doug Carli, who has 41 cashes, dating all the way back to 2005. Pilgrim has nearly half as many cashes in just over a year’s time. No one has won more gold rings than Pilgrim in this time span.
And perhaps most scary of all for his future opponents, Pilgrim plans to play as many WSOP Circuit events as possible at upcoming tournaments in St. Louis, Las Vegas and New Orleans, which will close out the 2009-2010 WSOP Circuit season.
Pilgrim candidly admits he wants nothing more than a WSOP gold bracelet and future success as a tournament poker player.
While thousands of players around the world dream of similar success, Pilgrim is one of the rare few who has achieved most of his goals and seems genuinely destined for bigger things. Pilgrim freely admits he is eager to gain sponsorship and endorse various poker products and services.
He also knows that he must first earn that right through performance at the poker table. But if his tournament record shows anything, it’s that Dwyte Pilgrim is in a class of his own when it comes to poker talent, personality and enjoying the game he loves.
The $300 (+40) buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament was played over two consecutive days during March 25-26, 2010. Final Table play began on a Friday afternoon. Pilgrim was the only prior WSOP Circuit gold ring event winner among the final nine players – which meant eight players were seeking their first WSOP-related win.
But Pilgim dominated all but the runner up in this tournament – a car dealer from Santa Rosa, CA named Jim Silveira who gave Pilgrim a late scare.
All eyes were on Dwyte Pilgrim from the very start. He arrived with a slight chip advantage over Andrew Goldberg. When Final
Table play began at 2:15 pm, the nine finalists and their starting chip counts were as follows:




Chip Count


Andrew Greenberg

San Diego, CA



Andrew Di Foko

Nesconset, NY



Richard Yelland

Las Vegas, NV



Trevor Blackwell

Honolulu, HI



Jim Silveira

Santa Rosa, CA



Conrad Monica

Hemet, CA



Andrew Fornuff

El Cajon, CA



Dwyte Pilgrim

Brooklyn, NY



Jim Everly

Crown Point, IN



 Video of the final table player introductions

Ninth Place: Yelland Cashes for Sixth Time
Richard Yelland, a 74-year-old retiree from Las Vegas, NV, has made it to numerous final tables over the past twenty years. He came into the finale with an average-sized stack, but exited first when he moved all-in with   , which was beat by Jim Silveira’s   . The board came      , which shipped the pot to the pocket kings. Yelland had to settle for $1,003 in what was his sixth time to cash in a WSOP Circuit event.
Eighth Place: Former Magic Player Vanishes
Trent Blackwell, a poker pro from Honolulu, HI, was the next player to bust when he took a tough beat with pocket aces. Blackwell was dealt    and moved all-in after the flop came    . Chip leader Dwyte Pilgrim had   , good for two pair. Blackwell had an overpair, a straight draw, and a flush draw – but failed to improve. The last two cards were   , giving Pilgrim more chips. Blackwell, who is a former a “Magic the Gathering” touring pro, added $1,352 to his poker bankroll.
Seventh Place: New Yorker Forgetsabout It
Andrew Di Falco, a draftsman from Nesconset, NY, was erased from the final seven in a three-way pot, which eliminated two players. Di Falco was dealt    . Even though Dwyte Pilgrim was a huge dog with a dominated hand,   , he ended up taking another huge pot when he rivered a straight. The board ran      , which put Di Falco out of the tournament. He received $1,667.
Sixth Place: Poker Dealer Suffers Bad Beat
Andrew Fornoff, a poker dealer from El Cajon, CA, took an even worse beat on the hand which eliminated Di Falco in seventh place (see above). Fornoff was dealt    on the hand, and flopped top pair. But Pilgrim’s king-high straight ended up eliminating Fornoff along with Di Falco. This was his second time to cash in a WSOP Circuit tournament. Fornoff has also previous cashed at the WSOP in Las Vegas. Sixth place paid $2,498. 
Fifth Place: Greenberg in the Green
Andrew “the Overlook” Greenberg, a realtor from San Diego, CA, experienced foreclosure firsthand when he became short-stacked and moved all-in with    . Jim Everly had plenty of chips and made the call in the big blind with    . The board came          , giving Everly the straight and Greenberg fifth place. He collected $3,329 in prize money. 
Fourth Place: Dealer Loses Race
Conrad Monica, a casino dealer from Hemet, CA, went out in fourth place when     was stomped on the flop against Jim Everly. Monica’s hand was vulnerable, and when the cards came      , Everly had top pair. Monica was drawing to just two outs (3’s) but missed when the   and   completed the board. Monica had to settle for a payout totaling $4,161.
Third Place: Everly Sings the Blues
Jim Everly, an electronic technician from Desert Hot Springs, CA, got down to the final three players. But he was the lowest stack and eventually went out when he tried to double up holding    against Jim Silveira’s   . Everly lost the race when a king fell on the turn. The final board showed      . Everly’s cut of the prize pool amounted to $5,828.
Second Place: Jim Silveira Takes Second Place
When heads-up play began, Jim Silveira held about a 3 to 2 chip advantage over Dwyte Pilgrim. But the Brooklyn-based poker pro took over the chip lead and won his victory about twenty minutes into the final duel. The last key hand of the tournament came when Pilgrim had    against Silveira’s   . The board came      , which made two-pair for both players. But Pilgrim’s queens and nines bested Silveira’s nines and fours. Pilgrim won the tournament a short time later and was congratulated by several well-wishers who were aware of Pilgrim’s emerging status in the poker world. 
Meanwhile, Jim Silveira settled for second place and a payout totaling $8,252. He is a 68-year-old new car dealer from Santa Rosa, CA. Silveira previously cashed in a WSOP event, finishing 40th in last year’s H.O.R.S.E. tournament out of 770 players.

First Place: Three-Ring Circus for Dwyte Pilgrim
Dwyte Pilgrim, a poker pro from Brooklyn, NY, collected $13,392 in prize money and his third WSOPC gold ring. He has now earned more than $600,000 in live poker tournaments since his first cash, which took place 15 months ago. Pilgrim has also done very well in online games.