Interview with hk prize Champion Dwyte Pilgrim: A Career Defining Hand


Dwyte Pilgrim made a dramatic entrance into the elite poker ranks in 2010 by winning the WPT Borgata Poker Open in Atlantic City, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious tournaments. Since then, Pilgrim has established his reputation as a force to be reckoned with, with 8 titles and 56 cashes in major events along the tournament circuit. Known for his aggressive play and outgoing personality, Flop Turn River had the recent pleasure of interviewing Dwyte at this year’s WPT Legends of Poker, about one of the biggest hands of his career.

It was September 23rd, 2010 at the hk prize Casino in Atlantic City. Packed house, one of the biggest tournaments of the year, and one of the biggest fields for a WPT event ever. The 2010 WPT Borgata, was down to three players. First place paid $733K, while third paid $266k, a difference of almost half a million dollars!

Blinds 150k-300k, 50k ante.

Seat 1: Kia Mohajeri- 10,775,000

Seat 3: Ofir Mor- 6,850,000

Seat 5: Dwyte Pilgrim- 13,850,000

Pilgrim is dealt (2h 2d) and bets $750,000 preflop from the small blind. Kia raises to $2.25 Million. Pilgrim shoves all in for 13.85 Million as a bluff, and sits quietly, motionless, behind his dark sunglasses. The packed casino room goes silent.

Jared: Dwight what were your thoughts at this point when you shoved all-in?

Dwyte Pilgrim: I felt like Kia had to be extremely strong to make this call. He had to have a top five hand, AA, KK, QQ, AK and JJ. A huge portion of his range would fold here, including hands like AQ, AJ, and A10 type hands.

Poker sometimes is all about feeling. You have to go with your feeling, and it’s also about table image and timing. I was betting on my opponents view of me.

Kia then looks to Ofir, the third player at the table, and says “You would like that if I call wouldn’t you?”.

After several minutes of standing up and careful deliberation, Kia folds JJ, the best hand, tossing his hand into the muck and says to Pilgrim, “You win.”

Pilgrim says, “Can you beat 7 high, choose one (card to see).” He then shows the audience the 2 of hearts for the bluff, and the crowd goes wild. “If you can’t put in 10 Million, with a deuce in your hand, you ain’t playing poker!”

Dwyte Pilgrim: When I saw Kia say to the other guy, “You’d like it if I call?” I knew he was considering folding. I felt like I had him. Never in a million years did I think he’s fold pocket jacks! To this day I still don’t totally understand it, but Kia is a solid player, he’s a good guy. I’ve ran into him a few times since then.

Jared: What did winning the 2010 WPT Borgata mean to you?

Dwyte Pilgrim (Looking down at the massive metallic WPT championship bracelet on his wrist): That hand was huge for me, that tournament was career defining. It was raw emotion. It was the difference between winning $733,000!

By the time the show aired, I had moved up into first place in the Player of the Year race, and had cemented my reputation as one of the top poker players in the world.

Jared: What have you been up to lately?

Dwyte Pilgrim: Right now I’m focused on poker! I’m playing events all around the United States, including defending my WPT Borgata title, playing in the Epic Poker League, the World Series of Poker, and I might hit up Europe this year!

Jared: What do you do in your free time?

Dwyte Pilgrim: Travel. It’s all part of the poker lifestyle. Traveling around the country, winning tournaments. You can find me playing at the biggest tournaments in the world.

Jared: Thanks Dwyte.

Dwyte Pilgrim: You’re welcome.