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Dwyte Pilgrim: Quieting the Critics
There have always been doubters.
When he took the World Series of Poker Circuit by storm in 2009, recording 12 cashes, seven final tables and a win in the championship event at Rincon, pundits said the fields were weak and the buy-ins small.
The 2009 WSOPC Player of the Year started 2010 with another WSOPC championship event final table appearance at Robinsonville and more than a few decent side-event scores heading into the 2010 WSOP.
But Dwyte Pilgrim's doubters were still there.
An eighth place finish at the $2,500 Mixed Hold'em event at the World Series didn't quiet the critics and even his win in the largest tournament in World Poker Tour history at Borgata in Atlantic City last month couldn't shut them up.
The Brooklyn, New York native's detractors claimed the $3,300 buy-in was low and any time 1,042 players enter a poker tournament, it's bound to be filled with a ton of dead money.
But no matter what they say, it seems Pilgrim's doubters are just adding fuel to his ever-growing fire.
“Somebody is always trying to tear you down and take away from your accomplishments,” he said. “But if you look at what I've done in my first 18 months (as a pro), there's not that many people that can match it.”
The $700k-plus win at Borgata pushed his career earnings up and over the $1.5 million mark, the overwhelming majority of which was collected in the past year and a half.
But as he pushed his way through Day 1 at the WPT Festa al Lago main event in Las Vegas Friday, Pilgrim, who says he picked up the game online, saw an opportunity to make some quick cash playing a game and ran with it, also says he's trying to give those doubters something to think about.
“I always feel like I've got something to prove,” he said. “That's why I'm here at Bellagio. That's why I'm playing these WPTs, to prove to all the doubters about my game.
“I'm just going to keep working hard on my game, keep playing these WPTs and I may even start playing a few EPTs just to show them my game over there. To prove to everyone I can hang with the big boys.”
Pilgrim is the first to admit the WSOPC doesn't draw the same caliber of players the World Poker Tour does.
But that's not going to stop him from trying to dominate there and every other tournament he plays as well.
“The circuit is kind of like the minor leagues and I've already proved myself there,” he said. “But I'm going to keep playing the circuit and these WPTs, just to keep showing everybody what I got.”
The night before the final table at Borgata, Pilgrim told WPT executive tour director Matt Savage he was going to "shock the world" the next day and that people would be asking themselves questions about the game of poker when they see him play.
Brash, confident and bursting with poker talent he certainly accomplished his goal.
“I said it and I did it and I'm going to keep on doing it,” he said.
The only question Pilgrim's doubters can ask now is: What's next?