Poker pro wins first Circuit ring after back-to-back deep runs in Circuit main events.

Bell Gardens, Ca. (March 14, 2017)Dylan Wilkerson has only played two Circuit events this year, but he’s had a stellar showing in both tournaments.

At the end of February, Wilkerson finished 11th in the WSOP Circuit main event at the Rio and took home $20,908. Just a few weeks later, Wilkerson improved on his performance and won the main event at the Bicycle Hotel and Casino. He topped a 705-entry field to win $216,790 and his first Circuit ring.

“Winning always feels great,” said Wilkerson after his win. “Regardless of how big. And this was pretty big. So yeah, it’s really good.”

Coming into the final day, Wilkerson was one of the shorter stacks, but he wasn’t thinking about any missed opportunities in Las Vegas. He was just focused on the task at hand in Southern California – running up a stack and taking down a tournament.

“Honestly, Rio hadn’t crossed my mind,” said Wilkerson. “It’s nice to be able to finish this one off, but the cliché is ‘Just take it one hand at a time.’ And that’s basically what I was doing. I was just trying to play my best here.”

Playing his best is what Wilkerson had to do to come out on top. With so much poker talent remaining in the field on the final day and at the final table, the San Francisco native didn’t have much room for error.

Two-time bracelet winner and 2001 WSOP Main Event Champion Carlos Mortensen came into the final day and vying for his second ring before eventually finishing eighth, Matt Stout was looking to add to his $3.5 million in tournament earnings, while top-notch British pros Iaron Lightbourne and Toby Lewis were also in the field.

Going up against such tough competition, Wilkerson attributed some of his success to a little bit of positive variance.

“The final table was really tough and had really good players,” he said. “Fortunately, I just happened to get good cards at the right time, for the most part. I knew it was going to be a challenge and it was. Things just worked out.

Even with the final table having such tough competition, Wilkerson’s poker resume is nothing to be ashamed of. Wilkerson has won some major tournaments and with this cash, he crosses the $2 million mark in live tournament earnings.

But in WSOP-branded events, Wilkerson’s success has been limited and has made him somewhat unknown to the casual poker fan. He doesn’t strive for fame, however. The soft-spoken is fine with whatever happens as long as he leaves it all on the felt.

“That’s not really a focus of mine,” said Wilkerson about becoming a more household name in the poker world. “If people know me, great. If not, I’m just trying to do my best.”

In addition to the ring and the prize money, Wilkerson wins a free entry into the 2017 WSOP Global Casino Championship. Every Main Event winner and Casino Champion on the Circuit during the 2016-2017 season receives a free entry worth $10,000, and the event will have a minimum prize pool of $1,000,000. The Global Casino Championship will be in August at Harrah’s Cherokee in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Wilkerson admittedly hasn’t played many Circuit events and didn’t expect to be able to qualify for this event, but now that he’s got a seat, he’s only got one goal.

“I hope to win,” said Wilkerson about his seat in the Global Casino Championship. “I never really thought about it until just now. I never thought I was going to play it. I’m thrilled that I’ll get a chance. I’ll get to go out there and play for a bracelet against some fellow winners. I guess we’ll see what happens.”

Here are a look at the final table results:

1st: Dylan Wilkerson - $217,790
2nd: Toby Lewis - $134,145
3rd: Douglas Jefferson - $98,390
4th: Lance Allred - $73,170
5th: Matt Stout - $55,150
6th: Chang Lin - $42,120
7th: Frank Lin - $32,250
8th: Carlos Mortensen - $25,550
9th: Levon Khachatryan - $20,285

Complete results