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Philachack Claims $393k, 2nd Ring at Eye-Popping WSOPC Choctaw
Poker tournaments aren't quite what they used to be, like back in the glory days of the mid 2000s?
Tell that to the poker fanatics of Oklahoma and its surrounds as they turned out in eye-popping numbers for the latest WSOP Circuit event at the Choctaw Casino in Durant, OK.
A massive 1,565 entries of $1,675 apiece put a remarkable $1.8m in the prize pool and gave Texas chiropractor Andy Philachack a stunning $393,188 check for his win last night.
The gold ring was actually Philachack's second, coming eight years after his first in New Orleans in 2008. Philachack's win also earned him an automatic entry into this summer's invitation-only WSOP Global Championship.
"American Dream Come True"
With now over $2m in career live earnings Philachack's seen his share of success on the felt but his true resilience goes well beyond just poker.
Philachack and his family were forced to flee their native Laos in the late 70s and lived in a Thai refugee camp before finding a sponsor to come to the US.
Arriving with nothing the family had to build again from the ground up, despite his parents being high-earning professionals in Laos.
“My whole family would get in the truck at four in the morning and go pick blueberries all day,” he said. “Sixty dollars per day. Man, we felt rich.”
After moving to Texas Philachack worked as janitor to make ends meet. “I would clean toilets for four or five hours every night,” he said.
His two sisters, now a doctor and engineer respectively, have also turned their hardship into successful careers.
“We worked hard. I learned English, went to school, got my chiropractor’s license. We made it. We made the American Dream come true.”
Read more about Philachack's remarkable journey here.