Former US Marine Ken Griffin Scores WSOP Gold and $455,356

Ken Griffin WSOP Winner
“If I could play like this when I was in the Marines I would have crushed everyone.”

Former US Marine Ken Griffin outlasted a field of 2,890 to win the penultimate $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event and $455,356 in Las Vegas Tuesday.

Griffin is a 34-year-old defense contractor who lives in Houston, Texas when not working overseas. This win represents his first cash at the World Series of Poker and the entirety of his poker resume.

“This means the absolute world to me,” Griffin told

“The money’s great but it was my dream to win a WSOP bracelet,” he added.

Griffin served 10 years with the US Marines, stationed across the world in places like Hawaii, Guam and Okinawa. While poker was a part of life in the service, Griffin got his first taste of the real thing from his younger brother while on leave State-side.

“In the Marines I dabbled a bit, playing around the barracks, but I didn’t know what real poker was until my brother showed me,” said Griffin.

Griffin’s brother was earning a portion of his living playing cards and took Kenneth along to a few games, schooling him up on the finer points of the game.

“If I could play like this when I was in the Marines I would have crushed everyone,” said Griffin.

“I’m already banned from a lot of those home games as it is,” he said with a laugh.

Griffin began his military career in Infantry but made the transition to Public Affairs, which laid the groundwork for the defense contracting he does now.

While this victory isn’t going to change his life, Griffin told us it will make things easier.

“My mom’s actually really sick and part of this money will go to paying for her treatment,” he said.

The rest is allotted for a house in Houston where he plans to open a new Defense Contracting business with a close friend.

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