The New York-based poker pro defeated the 185-player field, all of which had already previously earned a bracelet, to earn $71,580 and besting Michael Gagliano heads-up. Gaglaino took home $44,232 for his runner-up finish. Tommy Nguyen finished third.
Pillai, who won his first bracelet in the 2007 $3,000 no-limit hold’em for $527,829, had a feeling it would be the three of them battling it out for the bracelet.
“I think I had the best seat at the table by far,” said Pillai after his win. “Tommy had the chip lead and he was the most aggressive by far and I was on his direct left. In my opinion, the other real good player was [Gagliano] and he was to [Nguyen’s] right. So, every time they folded, I had position on everyone else.”
This was the first-ever bracelet winners only event. The fact that the entire field already had a piece of WSOP gold made the win a little bit sweeter than his first.
“It feels good. A little special because everyone had one already,” said Pillai.
The only non-American at the final table, Andreas Klatt, finished sixth. He won his bracelet at the 2017 WSOP Europe in a $550 pot-limit Omaha.
Thom Werthmann, a bracelet winner from 2005, finished seventh. Last year’s WSOP Player of the Year contender Scott Bohlman, finished eighth. The 2014 ladies champion, Haixia Zhang, rounded out the final table with a ninth-place finish.
Final Table Results:
For more coverage from the summer series, check out the 2019 WSOP landing page, complete with a full schedule, results, news, player interviews, and event recaps.