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Area Native Qualifies for Final Table at 2019 World Series of Poker

Sunday, July 14, 2019 @ 12:07 AM

Posted by Chris Rossetti

Garry GatesLAS VEGAS – A man with local ties has made the final table at the 2019 World Series of Poker.

(Photo of Garry Gates. Photo courtesy of Garry Gates Facebook page. Photo by PokerNews)

Garry Gates, a Titusville native now living and working in Nevada, qualified for the final table late Friday night/early Saturday morning and enters the finals with the second-most chips (99,300,000).

Gates is a Cinderella story of sorts having toiled in the poker industry for 14 years in relative obscurity.

According to a blog Gates wrote for, a website he works for, he first went to Las Vegas in 2004 with nothing.

“In December 2003, I graduated (from Westminster) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English,” Gates wrote in his blog post. “Six months later, I packed my life into a 1999 Honda Accord and drove cross country to Vegas; no cellphone, no money and no idea what I was getting myself into.”

According to Gates’ post, he spent the next three years working part-time jobs and playing low-limit cash games around Las Vegas before meeting ESPN feature poker writer Gary Wise in 2006.

Gates went to work for Wise as a contracted writer on Wise’s new poker site “Wise Hand of Poker.”

That small break turned into more, as Gates, according to his blog post, ended up working as a consultant for the PokerStars Live Events team doing everything from Media Coordinator to VIP Player Liaison to Business Development Manager before becoming the Senior Consultant of Player Affairs.

While he played in the $10,000.00 to enter World Series of Poker Main Event almost every year, prior to this year his highest finish was 173rd in 2011 when he won $47,107.00.

Now, as a member of the final table, he is guaranteed $1 million and is very much in the running for the $10 million grand prize.

He currently trails only Hossein Ensan, of Germany, who has 177,000,000 chips.

Fellow American Zhen Cai is in third place with 60,600,000 chips.

(Full results can be viewed here).

Gates will continue his pursuit of the championship when play resumes at 6:30 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday. The final table will last three days.

See Gates’ profile on

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