The poker world lost another character when news circulated that a three-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet winner Pete “Pete the Greek” Vilandoswhose real name was Panayote Vilandosdied on July 24 at the age of 82.
Vilandos, born May 30, 1940, came to the United States as a Greek immigrant when he was just 27 years old. Although he previously graduated from the University of Athens, he later graduated from the University of Houston where he earned a degree in Electrical Engineering.
According to The Hendon Mob, Vilandos had $3,266,764 in lifetime earnings dating back to 1990. Of that, $2,520,167 came in WSOP-related cash, including a trio of gold bracelets. His first came at WSOP 1995 when he won Event #10: $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em for $148,500, while the second came at WSOP 2009 when he topped a field of 2,506 players to win Event #24: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for $607,256.
Surprisingly, this victory came less than two weeks after finishing second in Steve sang for $473,282 in Event #4: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’ema tournament that attracted 6,012 runners.
Win a third gold bracelet
Vilandos won his last bracelet and a career-high $952,694, beating a field of 1,011 entries to win Event #50: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em. He did it by beating Kyle Jules heads-up while Dan Smithwho won her first bracelet last summer, took third place.
At the time of victory, Vilandos became the 58th player in WSOP history to win three or more gold bracelets.
“Well, it’s between now and the last two times I’ve won,” he said at the time when asked if it was his proudest moment. in poker. “Today my wife was here with me, and she shares this…she stayed with me through the last table. So I enjoyed it much better today. I was very calm and I was focused on my opponents, you know. There are very smart people who sat here. The last table was made up of very smart people. But I got lucky and played like I know how to play.
He added: “When you have your wife or your own people, you know, your own family, people who are next to you and shooting for you, shooting for you in the tournament. I mean, sure, that’s a lot. It means a lot to me.”
A retired Houston businessman, Vilandos played poker more for fun and believed his engineering background had helped him at the tables. It was at 101 Poker Richmond Spring Poker Classic $1,150 Main Event where Vilandos won his last tournament cash back in May when he finished in 59th place for $2,600.
David Plastic shared the unfortunate news on social media, and unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for the poker community to offer their condolences and share their memories.
“Peter was one of the first players to befriend me when I started coming to Vegas over 23 years ago,” the former Aussie Millions champion said. Pierre Costa. “Very sad. Condolences to his loved ones.”
Blair Rodman said: “Great player! I thought one of the all time amazing performances was when in 2009 he took 2nd out of 6012 in a 1km nl event and then days later beat 2056 to win a bracelet in a 1500!”
Adrian Sanders proposed: “Sad news! I loved dealing with Pete when I lived in Houston. I will never forget when he put someone to a decision for all their chips, they were asking him what he had. With his accent, he always answered with; “a pair, a straight and a flush draw.” We will miss him.”
PokerNews joins the rest of the poker community in extending condolences to the friends and family of Pete “Pete the Greek” Vilandos, one of the game’s true characters.
American editor, co-host of the PokerNews podcast and winner of the 2013 WSOP bracelet.