Thomas Evans Zanot, a Las Vegas poker player, now has a much larger bankroll after hitting a $6.4 million Pai gow jackpot at Flamingo Saturday night.
Although it’s only January, the hit will likely be one of the largest jackpots Las Vegas will see all year. In October, a gambler hit a $3.5 million Pai gow poker jackpot at nearby Harrah’s, a Caesars Entertainment property like Flamingo.
To win the top progressive jackpot in Pai gow, a popular table game played at most casinos, the player must first place a wager on a side bet and then hit a seven-card straight flush. Every poker player knows just how difficult it is to get a five-card straight flush in Texas hold’em, so imagine how infrequently the seven-card version spikes. Hence, why the progressive jackpot is often so massive.
Poker Player Wins Life-Changing Money
Zanot, who is originally from Arizona, has over $1.1 million in live poker tournament cashes, according to Hendon Mob. He plays numerous low to mid-stakes events, although he might now move up in stakes thanks to the life-changing money he won this weekend at Flamingo.
His most recent tournament cash came last month during the WPT World Championship series at Wynn Las Vegas, a 33rd place finish in the record-setting $10,400 buy-in championship event for $99,600.
Zanot’s run was deep as he outlasted most of the 2,960-entrant field. At the World Series of Poker, he has 60 cashes in bracelet events and another 12 in Circuit ring tournaments, but has yet to win a bracelet. Last summer, he recorded 10 cashes at the Series, mostly min-cashes.
The jackpot winner said on Twitter that he was down about $375 over approximately 11 hours of play, totaling 300-400 hands, before he hit the lucky hand.
As shown in the picture above, Zanot’s jackpot hand included the following seven cards — and because the Joker in Pai gow counts, the Joker card was used in place of the , completing the seven-card straight flush.
The first three cards he was dealt were the A-8-9, followed by four cards that will forever change his life. He won more on Saturday than most WSOP Main Event runner ups are paid.
With one lucky $5 chip, Zanot took home a check for $6,443,401, the first major jackpot in Las Vegas of 2023.