Chiab Saechao wins Employees event
Andrew Feldman [ARCHIVE]
ESPN.com
May 30, 2012
t Facebook t Twitter

The first piece of hardware at the 2012 World Series of Poker has been awarded. Chiab "Chip" Saechao won the annual $500 buy-in Casino Employees Championship at the WSOP, pocketing $70,859 and his first WSOP bracelet. The event, open to all casino employees from around the world, attracted a field of 732 players, down from the 850 in 2011, but up from the 721 in 2010. Saechao, from Visalia, Calif., is a blackjack dealer at the Tachi Casino in Lemoore, and this bracelet victory was amazingly his first live major tournament cash.

"I plan to wear it and show it off," Saechao said of the bracelet. "Not too many can come over here to Las Vegas and go back home with this."

Saechao, born in Thailand, immigrated to the United States at 15. Now 35, Saechao has spent the past decade as part of the casino industry. He picked up poker about two years ago when he won a seat into the WSOP main event; it was the first tournament he ever played. He also played the main event in 2011, but failed to cash in both attempts.

The final table lasted only six hours. Instead of talking about composition of pros versus amateurs as is typically discussed, this final table featured six dealers, one floor person, one hotel manager and one server. Only one player, Jay Pinkussohn, had a previous WSOP cash. Pinkussohn finished in sixth.

Saechao entered the final table as one of the short stacks, sitting with less than 10 big blinds and staring upward at the 50-big-blind stack of chip leader Ray Pulford. He started his upward surge after taking most of Georgi Ivanov's stack, then rivered a full house against James Routos to put himself right in the middle of the pack with seven remaining.

Then came two pivotal, and successful, coin flips: Q-J against Pulford's 6-6, and 10-10 against Patricia Baker's A-Q. Saechao then found aces against Nicolas Vaca-Rondon's sevens and became the chip leader with four players to go. Pulford, who occupied the top spot for most of the final table, fell to Baker in fourth after a runner-runner full house counterfeited his flopped set (and eventual weaker full house on the river).

Saechao eliminated Routos, a dealer from Seattle, in third, then knocked out Baker, a dealer from Florida, to win the bracelet when his rivered flush beat her rivered straight.

"I will pay off a lot of my debt," Saechao said of his intentions with his newly-earned cash. "And, I will give some of it to my wife so she can buy some nice things."

For the second time in three years, WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart made the money in this event. Stewart finished 19th and earned $2,223, improving upon his 61st-place finish in 2010.

Below are the complete results of Event 1 at the 2012 World Series of Poker:

Event 1: Casino Employees Event, no-limit hold 'em

Buy-in: $500

Entries: 732

Prize pool: $329,400

Players in the money: 81

1. Chiab Saechao ($70,859)

2. Patricia Baker ($43,754)

3. James Routos ($28,206)

4. Ray Pulford ($20,663)

5. Nicolas Vaca-Rondon ($15,359)

6. Jay Pinkussohn ($11,571)

7. Steven Phan ($8,824)

8. Matthew Wilmot ($6,808)

9. Georgi Ivanov ($5,309)

10. John Vohs ($4,189)

11. Chad Patterson ($4,189)

12. Carisa Schweisberger ($4,189)

13. Donald Michael ($3,379)

14. Scott Wygal ($3,379)

15. Amy Brady ($3,379)

16. Kerry Parker ($2,717)

17. Bradley Russell ($2,717)

18. Shu Ho ($2,717)

19. Ty Stewart ($2,223)

20. Joseph Kearney ($2,223)

21. Joseph McCarthy ($2,223)

22. Daniel Goldman ($2,223)

23. Robert Burns ($2,223)

24. Tom Weihrauch ($2,223)

25. Joshua Murray ($2,223)

26. Michael Vogel ($2,223)

27. Robert Schiffbauer ($2,223)

28. Edward Martin ($1,828)

29. Russell Matsuo ($1,828)

30. Omar Brito-Borge ($1,828)

31. Marco Falchi ($1,828)

32. Larry Waggener ($1,828)

33. Noah Acres ($1,828)

34. Mary Patton ($1,828)

35. Phi Tran ($1,828)

36. Eric Stemp ($1,828)

37. Glenn Lew ($1,528)

38. Jaceson Klein ($1,528)

39. Patrick Roy ($1,528)

40. Jacob Wesloski ($1,528)

41. Paul Chernell ($1,528)

42. David Luttbeg ($1,528)

43. James Tapson ($1,528)

44. John McMullin ($1,528)

45. David Wortham ($1,528)

46. Andre Rauch ($1,281)

47. Jason Mercer ($1,281)

48. Michael Harkins ($1,281)

49. Andrew Lalama ($1,281)

50. Crystal Quibell ($1,281)

51. Kimberly Supnet ($1,281)

52. Michael Shindorf ($1,281)

53. Daniel Lacourse ($1,281)

54. Steve Klarman ($1,281)

55. Neal Wilkinson ($1,083)

56. Logan Robbins ($1,083)

57. David Miller ($1,083)

58. Aris Ramirez ($1,083)

59. William Brinkman ($1,083)

60. Hang Lam ($1,083)

61. Chad Harberts ($1,083)

62. Daniel Ellery ($1,083)

63. Daniel Lemieux ($1,083)

64. Nicholas Decker ($925)

65. Douglas Macpherson ($925)

66. Shawn Patrick Green ($925)

67. David Grubb ($925)

68. Annie LePage ($925)

69. Trinidad Bustos ($925)

70. John Podobnik ($925)

71. David Smith ($925)

72. Rober Rooney ($925)

73. Khai Trinh ($820)

74. Mark Hendricks ($820)

75. Craig Capello ($820)

76. Dennis Mccollum ($820)

77. Lisa Avra ($820)

78. Hieu Le ($820)

79. Aaron Wrightsman ($820)

80. David Rubino ($820)

81. Amy Baze ($820)

t Facebook t Twitter
POKER
MORE NEWS & ANALYSIS
ALL TOP NEWS
NEWS BY SPORT
ANALYSIS BY SPORT
Back to Top
ESPN Mobile Web Home
En Español
ABC News Headlines
Help and Feedback
Search
Terms of Use
Interest-Based Ads
Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights
SIGN IN