On July 9, Sunday was an awesome day for Dieter Dechant, who won 2017 WSOP's Event #19: $365 GIANT No-Limit Hold'em, an event which started on June 9 at 7pm. The event drew a massive number of 10,015 participants, building a prize pool of $3,004,500.
This is actually an inaugural tournament event for the 2017 WSOP, and 56-year-old Dieter Dechant was lucky enough to emerge on top, winning his first ever WSOP gold bracelet and a grand prize of $291,906!
Dechant said after the event, "I have dreamt of this moment for 25 years. It's surreal."
Dechant works as a shift manager in a Las Vegas poker room. He nearly fulfilled his dream to win a WSOP gold bracelet a few weeks ago when he finished third in the $1,000 Seniors No-Limit Hold'em event for $281,691.
"The GIANT" is an all-new and unique poker tournament which had one starting flight a week that began on June 9, with each of the five flights commencing at 7pm local time on Friday eve. The ones who survived returned on Saturday, July 8 and played down to the final three tables.
Dechant returned for the final day in 7th place with 27 players remaining, including some veteran pros such as WPT champion Ravi Raghavan (12th place, $20,582) and bracelet winner Eric Baldwin (17th, $12,766).
Dechant was able to stay strong, build his stack, and emerge victorious.
He said after the event, "Number one is, never give up on your dreams. That's the first thing. Perseverance and taking advantage of the opportunities as they come. Don't let them slip by. I stayed in the moment. Didn't think about tomorrow or the next day or the final table. I played one hand at a time and the next thing you know its four days later and here you are. The locals can compete and a 56-year-old man can compete with the 22 and 25-year-olds."
Final Table Results:
1 Dieter Dechant $291,240
2 Hrair Yapoudjian $180,455
3 Vera Kulh $134,154
4 John Hutchinson $100,737
5 Martins Kleins $75,752
6 John Myung $57,792
7 Marcus Laffen $44,057
8 Andrew Crookston $33,871
9 Michael Guzzardi $26,950
10 Martin Zamani $20,582