It was all smiles — again — for Michael Persky and for good reason. He won his second World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event at Thunder Valley Casino last night for $170,780.
The self-described “regular dude” stood on top of the field of 594 entries only six weeks after taking down his first WSOP Circuit Main Event at Graton Casino, located just 119 miles away from Thunder Valley. That one attracted 616 and paid $175,595 for first.
“I don’t even know what to say, I’m just super grateful,” Persky told the WSOP pool reporter. “I played my best, I fired four bullets. This is unbelievable. I know how hard this is. I’ll tell people, ‘I won the WSOP Main Event! Twice, now!”
The contractor who owns a deck building company is now approaching the half-milly in tournament cashes mark. But here’s the thing: $401,275 of his $430K in cashes came in the last three WSOP Circuit events he played since August. He also doesn’t have a cash between 2017 and this year.
No wonder he’s all smiles. He’s riding a rogue wave that came out of nowhere.
Running hot since August
A week before he won his first WSOP ring, he bagged his biggest lifetime score to date by finishing second in a $600 ring event at the Graton Casino series for $54,900 — about four-times larger than his best up to then. It sparked this run.
“If you don’t play, you can’t win. Poker is a grind. A lot of players know me, I feel I can play. I believe in luck, in momentum. I’m just a regular dude, and I love life,” he said.
Persky came to the final table eighth in chips, but was able to survive and advance for the 14 hours it took for it to get to one.
“I need to go home,” he told the WSOP. “My wife, my kids, my dogs, and my business are waiting. I haven’t missed a day’s work when I was winning Graton, and I literally haven’t missed anything here. I’m a contractor. I take nothing for granted, nothing.”
He wasn’t the only player of the final nine who looked to add another piece of WSOP hardware to their collection.
Runner-up Tracy Oto was also looking for his second WSOP ring, which was won in a $365 event at Thunder Valley in 2017 for $11K. The $105,550 cash here is his lifetime best.
Xing Wei also scored his lifetime best with the $78,030 that came with third.
Amir Lehavot brought a WSOP bracelet and $6.2 million in cashes to the final table. More than half of that figure came for finishing third in the $10,000 WSOP Main Event in 2013. His bracelet was won in the 2011 $10,000 PLO championship.
Lahavot finished fourth for $58,360 in the Thunder Valley Main Event.
John Koo cashed in six WSOP Circuit events in the two Northern California casinos since 2022. A fifth-place on Monday for $44,160 was his best in to date.
Travis Egbert made his first WSOP Circuit cash a pretty good one: $33,820 for sixth.
Jonathan Wang also made his biggest WSOP score for seventh ($26,20). It was his 11th WSOP cash.
Eighth was Fan You, who was going for his second ring in as many WSOP cashes. He won his first in the $400 Opener at Thunder Valley on Sept. 28, a $76,100 score. He took $20,560 for making the final table in the Main.
Derrick Giliberte also bagged his largest WSOP cash with a ninth here for $16,330.
The WSOP Circuit is now at Horseshoe Hammond outside of Chicago. Its $1,700 Main Event begins Friday, Oct. 12.