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Shankar Pillai from Commack Wins $527,829 at the World Series of Poker

Poker player, Shankar Pillai of Commack decided to roll the dice literally in Las Vegas. By the time he was finished, the 22 year-old student of finance at Baruch College won $527,829.

Not a bad haul for a first time participant at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Pillai, a senior at Baruch College, produces aces in the tournament, which attracted 800 participants.

Back at his parent's residence, Pillai said that his 7 year stint of playing at online poker rooms has paid off. The 3 day poker tournament, which ended on June 19, 2007, cost $3,000 to buy-in.

He was able to pay that amount with his online winnings. Pillai said that he'd never been to Las Vegas before the tournament. He plans to pay his taxes before spending the money on things like a new car. Pillai has another semester in college before graduating.

Pillai said that he never considered poker as gambling. It's a card game that utilizes a player's skill. That is one of the main reasons why there are so many poker pros on the circuit. They keep winning tournaments because they have the skill and talent to do it. Pillai found himself against Beth Shak at the final showdown.

He won with a card hand that included 2 eight cards and an ace, which defeated Shak's card hand containing 2 eight cards and a king. Pillai said that he was very nervous when Shak went all in, which forced him to either call or fold. Pillai did not fold.

Pillai said that his mother, a teacher and his father, a retired government employee, are supportive of his poker playing activities. He plans to join the $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event next week.


08/01/2007, Wednesday
Sherry Barlow

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