The cards came out and Patrick Knight was cursing. The Las Vegas resident and PokerGO employee jumped in a 64-player single-hand, heads-up flip and go with a World Series of Poker Main Event seat up for grabs. All players were all in and the player with the best hand advanced to the next round. Competitors didn’t even have to log in to the site to compete. Knight happened to be playing, however, and watched the action unfold and even filmed the results.
The first two rounds went smoothly and Knight advanced to the round of 16. He looked to be in trouble when his opponent landed a pair of sixes on the flop, but his 10-2 snagged another 10 on the river to advance again. Now with eight players remaining, Knight didn’t realize his avatar had flipped to the top of the screen. When the chips were shipped his way, he’d actually thought he lost and let out a few expletives at his “misfortune.”
An explosion of coins on screen instead advanced him on to the final four and put him in the money. But the Main Event seat only went to the winner. The next round saw him behind again but then rivering two pair to move on to the final. The cards were dealt and his 8s3s faced a tough KhQh. But once again the river delivered a 3 and the Main Event seat was his.
“It was crazy. I thought I was out but was looking at the wrong guy, but I was still filming it,” he says of his earlier confusion. “And then they deal me another hand and that's when I realized I'm still in the thing. There were some serious ups and downs.”
The 56-year-old poker player is now seated among the players in Day 1B Main Event field and hoping to cash in on that lucky streak.
Despite majoring in accounting from the University of Texas San Antonio, much of Knight’s life has centered around poker to some degree. He grew up playing nickel and dime poker in high school before moving on to betting and bluffing online in the early 2000s. He didn’t work long in accounting before landing a job at PokerStars.
That brought an interesting change in careers. At Stars, Knight worked in game security with his daily grind now not involving playing on the site, but trying to catch cheaters and colluders – preventing others from trying it or getting away with ir.
Knight later manned a PokerGO merchandise booth while playing some tournaments in Las Vegas in 2019. A little over two years ago, Knight accepted a job with the company heading up customer service and merchandise. That later led to another opportunity.
“In early 2021, the woman in charge of customer support asked if I wanted to work full time,” he says. “I said maybe and then I was just like, ‘Yeah, why not?’ It sort of turned out she was leaving and actually looking for a replacement.”
After seven years of working at PokerStars, Sin City was calling and Knight packed his bags and headed west for his new gig at PokerGO.
Now seated in the Horseshoe, some of those skills gleaned from years at the tables and in the industry will come in handy. After the second break in the day, Knight still had about a starting stack and was feeling good overall about how things were progressing.
The longtime player loves the challenge that comes with trying to get a read on opponents and determining if he has the better hand or that he may be able to get an opponent off a better hand. He connects some of the skills needed for these types of situations to his own professional career.
“It’s one of those games that’s challenging and a game of incomplete information,” he says. “That's what I like about customer support, and actually game security at PokerStars was that way too. You catch a couple cheaters by not just focusing on them. You focus on their friends, that's how you find the big cheating rings.”
This actually isn’t the first Main Event seat he’s won. PokerStars employees couldn't play on the site, so Knight instead played on PartyPokerin the 2000s. He says the two companies had an agreement where if an employee qualified on the other’s site, the travel arrangements were then arranged by their actual employer so that they could represent their own brand.
Knight was soon off to Vegas repping the Stars brand. That didn’t result in a cash, but he’s hoping the second time’s the charm this yeart. Either way, just getting to compete in such a grand event is a nice deal of the cards nonetheless.
“It's just fun to play, to be honest,” he says. “I'm trying not to be too results oriented, but it would obviously be exciting to have a deep run. But just being able to play is great because it's such a big deal to everyone, whether you're a pro or someone who's never played. It's just fun sitting here with these people. Some of them, it's their first time, some do it all the time. It's just different. You can't really do that in golf or basketball or anything, but in poker you can.”