2019 WSOP: Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Event won by Nicholas Haynes for $62,248

On May 31 (Saturday) an Aria poker dealer was able to snag his very first gold bracelet after winning Event #1 of the 2019 WSOP. He says working as a dealer is a big part of the reason he was able to win his first WSOP bracelet.

2019 WSOP Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Event
Buy-in: $500

Date: May 29 to June 1, 2019

Entries: 685

Prize pool: $297,975

Nicholas Haynes outlasted a player field of 685 to take home the prize money worth $62,248.

Born in Michigan but grew up in Tampa, Florida, the 39-year-old Haynes currently works at the Aria for the past year and a half.  He was actually scheduled to start summer work that Saturday as a dealer for the WSOP. Since he won, there’s been a change of plans. He said, “I will not continue being a WSOP dealer at this point, but I am an Aria dealer and I will continue to deal there.”

He added, “One of the things that really jumped out at me was that an Aria dealer has won two years in a row. There’s a lot of incredible players there and I watch them and just pick up little bits here and there and over time you just become better. I feel like they were very instrumental in my play today. That’s why I’m thankful for my job and the players there.”

Haynes brought with him a small blue dog bone necklace with the words “Rudy” as his lucky charm. Rudy was Haynes’ pet dog for 13 years, but died due to a fast-growing cancer 2.5 years ago. He said, “He was one of the biggest things in my life, so I brought his tag with me for good luck.”

Final Table Action

To win this event, Haynes beat WSOP Media Relations Manager Isaac Hanson in a heads-up match. He entered the third and final day third in chips with Hanson being the chip lead.

The game started with six players remaining. Jeff Fast, a dealer at the Niagara Falls, Ontario, was the first to be eliminated for $9,776.

The next to hit the rail was Adam Lamers, a member of the WSOP live updates team for PokerNews. He got $13,421 for 5th place.

A 30-year-old Casino Caribbean pit dealer named Jesse Kertland settled in 4th place for $18,758.

As he lost two hands in a row during three-handed play, 43-year-old Montego Bay poker dealer Jorge Ruiz was eliminated on the third spot for $26,642.

This is Haynes very first cash score in the WSOP and it’s just his 4th recorded cash in his poker career. He now has $65,036 in total live earnings, according to The Hendon Mob.

Last year, it was also an Aria poker dealer and floorman named Jordan Hufty who took down this event, the 2018 WSOP Event #1: 565 Casino Employees NLHE. The prize pool generated was $283,000. He outlasted a player field of 566 entrants to win his first-ever WSOP gold bracelet and he also got to take home the biggest score of his poker career worth $61,909.

2019 WSOP Event #1: $500 Casino Employees Event Final Table Results




Prize (USD)


Nicholas Haynes




Isaac Hanson




Jorge Ruiz




Jesse Kertland




Adam Lamers




Jeffrey Fast





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