Pechie Guns Down $1,500 Limit Shootout

Justin Pechie
Justin Pechie

Justin Pechie completed a life-long dream by winning his first WSOP bracelet late last night.

The 26-year-old outlasted a field of 538 players and a final table that included pros Eugene Katchalov and Jordan Rich to win Event 41, the $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout, for $167,060.

“It means everything to me,” said Pechie after winning. “The bracelet is what you dream about as a poker player.”

Pechie, who hails from Putnam, CT, become interested in poker after seeing the World Poker Tour on TV. Pechie started playing free online poker and eventually deposited cash on an online poker site. 

After working at a supermarket Pechie attended college before finally becoming a full-time poker pro.

“I didn’t have any definitive plans for after school,” he said. “I was just going to go.”

Putnam is only 30 minutes from Foxwoods, so Pechie started making the journey to get the feel for live poker. He was immediately attracted to the Limit games. 

“It feels really good to win a bracelet in Limit Hold’em because that’s the first game I started playing live,” he said.

Pechie was one of the many online poker players affected by the events of Black Friday and the eventual departure of sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker from the U.S. market. 

“All my friends basically play online poker for a living so it’s really shocked my entire world,” he said.

“It’s pretty brutal. It’s pretty obvious there’s no crime in playing online poker and the fact that we’re not allowed to do what we want with our own money is pretty absurd.”

Pechie went on to say that he’s hoping online poker will be regulated in the U.S. within the year but he’s likely relocating to Canada for five or six months.

“This win is perfect timing for me,” said Pechie. “It will give me time to decide what I’m doing.”

In the meantime Pechie plans on playing a handful of tournaments at the WSOP including the $10,000 Main Event.

The 2011 WSOP continues through July 19. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas check PokerListings' Live Updates brought to you by PartyPoker.

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