Dwyte Pilgrim Shocks The World

I knew about Dwyte Pilgrim before I met him. I had heard about the success he had on the WSOP Circuit. I respected him, and was hoping that I could follow in his footsteps someday. When I met him in 2010 we became friends. He won WPT Borgata in Sept. 2010 for a lot of money. We stayed relatively tight as our careers went forward. We both played every live tournament and were at almost every stop together. In Sept. 2012 I had my big win at Winstar and finally had money for the first time. He was ecstatic for me, and over the next 4 months we got even tighter. He would always text me (way more than we had ever exchanged texts in the past) encouraging things, building me up, etc. He would talk about how WE are about to do this thing TOGETHER, and stuff like that. I kind of knew that he may be treating me differently bc I won Winstar, but a lot of people were, so whatever. He seemed really happy for me.. But in my opinion, now, he was probably happy because he saw a huge opportunity to take advantage of our friendship. In my opinion, now, it seems clear that he attempts to get close to people to setup his con for one thing… Money.

In Dec. 2012 Dwyte approached me and challenged me to a bet. It was a POY bet for 2013. Whoever finished higher in the Card Player rankings at the end of the calendar year would win $5k + a vacation (minimum $2500 value– if no vacation, $2500 to be paid on top of $5k). He suggested it would be great publicity for us, we would travel all over the place together in 2013, etc. I don’t really gamble, but he convinced me and I accepted. I used to write blogs, and in my last blog of 2012 I announced the bet publicly. So people knew about it.

In Jan. 2013 we were at Borgata. It was the day before the WPT Main Event. I had just won a prelim a few days prior, and Dwyte knew I had money in the safe in my room. He texted me and asked if he could come to my room to talk about something very serious and it had to be in person. He showed up somber, and started to tell me a story. He said that his bank account had been frozen just days prior. He said he got a notice that it would be frozen for 40 DAYS as they cleared up the issue. He explained his story and then asked me if I could lend him $7500. I didn’t say yes. He continued and gave an elaborate explanation. I asked him to show me proof of his story. He said he didn’t have the paperwork on him, mentioned that we were close friends and asked me why he would ever lie about this. We went back and forth. He kept promising 40 DAYS, he must’ve said “40 DAYS” 40 times. I was weary, and I said to him, verbatim,

“If this story isn’t true, and I lend you money based on a lie, and I don’t get paid back, then it is the same as stealing”.

He agreed, got defensive, and once again mentioned our friendship as reason why he would never lie or steal from me. He promised when he got home he would show me the notice that said his bank account was only frozen for 40 days, along with his current balance. He also added that he obviously has the money, he won this tournament (3 years prior he won it for over $700k). He said I was the only guy who he’s close with who has money at Borgata. It was then that I finally agreed. I gave him $7500, for 2 bullets and pocket money. Mind you, we had a pending POY bet, so it would’ve been to my advantage to not give him $ to play. But our friendship was worth way more to be than the bet. He also just made me feel so damn bad so I gave him the money.

40 days came and went, and that is when his lies and stories progressed. I was upset about it, but was just hoping at that point he would just win something and pay me…

Now it’s June 2013 during WSOP. Dwyte gets into town and asks to meet with me. He told me he had been working out a lot the last few months and things with him were good. I was excited because I thought he was gonna pay me something. Instead he showed up and asked me to stake him. I couldn’t believe it. I now knew that there was no money. He kept asking me to help him out and put him in, and that way I can recoup money if he cashes. Once again I felt bad for my friend. I also agreed that the only way I could get any money was if he cashed something. I put together a small package of tourneys. Mostly Rio Daily and Rio Carnivale, among some other lower buy-in tourneys. He said at the time that he never cashed anything I put him in, but I later saw his records show he did cash 3x in the Rio Dailys that summer, so there was a discrepancy. Mind you again, we had a pending $7500 bet active, and putting him in tourneys could jeopardize me winning… But it didn’t matter…. Because it was clear that he had completely free rolled me on the bet. He made this bet with zero intention of paying, and with zero money. In 6 months his lies had finally caught up with him and I knew I had just been soaked.

From that point until now, I have tried to setup every/any payment plan with him. I have asked for as little as $1/day. Then $1/week and he still said no. I have good guy’d, bad guy’d, and everything in between. He has lied to me many times about money he has coming in but he never follows through.

I came across a guy named Nathan Burdette. He was a smaller stakes grinder, not a guy who had won any big tournaments. Nathan told me that he had looked up to Dwyte the way I did, that they had later met and became friends. He told me that Dwyte approached him and asked him for money but then never gave it back. This is his story..

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I mentioned the situation to another friend of mine and he exclaimed back at me with a story of Dwyte doing the same to him. He doesn’t want me to use his name and I respect that. To make a long story short, he did the exact thing to him in March of 2013. Dwyte gave him a story about the IRS freezing his bank account, etc. He lent Dwyte $10k based on the same story, and was promised to be paid back before WSOP started. As u can see… he told me the story in Jan and said “40 Days”, so the story was clearly a con tactic and never real. He also asked Dwyte for bank account records and Dwyte refused to produce any. He is upset and angry about the situation and feels helpless to collect.

After hearing the other 2 situations involving Dwyte, and all of his bullshit stories, I was plain fed up. I confronted him and told him if he doesn’t pay me I would write an article and out him as a conman. I told him that I would eventually take legal action against him if I needed to. (I have hundreds of texts between us, everything is very, very, clear) We went back and forth and he didn’t like what he was hearing and he fired back. He basically told me that if I kept talking to him that way that my life may be in jeopardy. He was even brazen enough to later text me more threats as well.

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He had previously threatened me over the phone. Then in texts, he references Bloods and Crips, in an attempt to scare me quiet. He also said that “it could happen in a blink of a breath” (whatever the hell that means) to allude to having me killed.

Recently, I found out that he would be receiving some money. I confronted him about it and asked him if he planned on using the money to pay a portion (a small portion) of our debt. He said he couldn’t do it. The fact is, it’s not that he can’t do it… It’s that he WON’T do it. It was then that I posted on Facebook and Twitter about the situation for the first time. The response that I got was overwhelming. I received dozens of notifications and messages regarding this situation. I was contacted by MANY people who had similar experiences with Dwyte, and they thanked me for posting this, possibly preventing them of becoming a victim. Others shared their stories with me, but most hadn’t lent him anything yet. One of the people who contacted me was my friend John. John showed me a screenshot of Dwyte asking him for a small term loan. In the message, Dwyte uses Brian Hastings name to vouch for the money. I immediately send it to Hastings and it turns out that Dwyte had scummed him too. Hastings put Dwyte in some tournaments, including a Purple Chip bounty tournament at Parx that he won. Hastings never saw any of the money, and Dwyte claimed that Parx refused to let him cash out. He gave Hastings a series of excuses that didn’t make much sense. Hastings also confirmed that he would never/did not vouch for Dwyte. It was ironic… Weeks earlier I checked Dwyte’s Hendon Mob and saw that cash at Parx. I immediately contacted Dwyte to pay me and he also gave me a story about not being able to cash out for a variety of reasons.

Another person who reached out to me after I originally posted about Dwyte was a woman I had never met. Here is our conversation..

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He not only scams a “fan” of his, but a woman who really needs the money. Once again, this isn’t some wealthy person. Dwyte will do this to ANY person. He even uses Antonio Esfandiari’s name to vouch, the same way he did used Brian Hastings’ name recently. There are many more stories to be shared. I promise you that if u ask around, more stories about him and many others like him will come to light. It’s a never ending con and it needs to stop.

As you can see, Dwyte will take advantage of anyone. The haves, the have nots, the flush, the bust, it just doesn’t matter to him. He’s a preservationist, a parasite, willing to survive by any means necessary. His prey is any human being with money, anyone he can take advantage of. He is a self serving con artist.

It’s unlikely that Dwyte will pay me back, because he has zero honor or integrity. I thought his name meant a lot to him. He always seemed very proud of his name, and his legacy. That is why it baffles me that he would risk ruining it all, instead of doing whatever he could to restore or maintain it. Had he agreed to pay me $1 or $10 or $20 when he saw me, I would’ve continued to protect his name. If he showed me any consideration at all as a friend, or even as a human being, I wouldn’t have gone public like this.

This may decrease the chance I get paid, but it also decreases the chances that ANY OF YOU who have read this piece get taken advantage of for money by Dwyte, or guys like Dwyte. I feel that we need to self govern in the poker community. Our voices together are loud, and at times we have been able to make a difference. It should be the same when it comes to issues like these.

Thanks for reading.
Aaron

9 Comments

  1. November 3, 2015    

    Thanks Aaron for putting this out to the poker community. I personally met Dwyte thru friends a few years back, and instantly did not like his persona. He just didn’t rub me right and I never let a friendship build. As I watched his big win at Borgata, just his over all demeanor made me feel uncomfortable, it was just too “gangsta” like for my taste. Later I heard he was looking for backers and a friend asked me if I would be interested in a group backing….I didn’t even take a breath in and said NO. These kinds of people hurt our community and industry as a whole. Seems more and more are coming to light and I hope players will be more diligent in choosing who to be friends with and who to lend money too. I admire your courage to bring this out to the poker public, and wish you luck in your recovery attempts.

  2. November 3, 2015    

    Never met the guy, but my first gut impression of him from his TV time was that he is an arrogant slimy POS. No surprise that he is a criminal scammer, yipping bout gang bangers.
    Makes him look like a typical ghetto rat….

  3. Patrick's Gravatar Patrick
    November 3, 2015    

    wow man sorry to hear about these details, especially between two people who have blood, sweat, and tears to make it in the poker world and when finally do, this is the garbage you run into….. shame on him..

  4. Berkey11's Gravatar Berkey11
    November 4, 2015    

    Can’t possibly decrease the likelihood of you being paid bc it was in fact an absolute 0% chance he paid you, or anyone else. Sorry to hear you were burnt; I hope you pursue outing him to the fullest. Too many of these parasites in the game and the jaded nature of the community brushing it under the rug only lengthens the list of victims. Kudos for getting this story public. Hope to see more people come forward.

  5. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    November 4, 2015    

    On day 2 of the Borgata WPT Main (when he eventually won)… I was at his table. Don’t remember the specifics of the hand but I flop a set and he 4 bet jam on me (having me cover). He hit runner runner straight and proceeded to talk crap. Such a POS loud mouth. I was rooting for him to bust and of course poker god let him win the entire thing.

    Don’t like to kick somebody when they are down. But somebody like Dywte should be kicked and spit on. Hope you are reading this loser.

  6. brom's Gravatar brom
    November 4, 2015    

    I’ve known too many people like him and they use these type of “lend me $ bc of X and I will get you back next week/month”
    His persona is right on the money of a hustler/ pathological liar… This story should be posted in every casino as a reminder of how sociopaths manipulate honest people to borrow, aka steal.

  7. welther marmol's Gravatar welther marmol
    November 4, 2015    

    That sucks he beat you like that and took advantage of a ya’ll friendship smfh.And i would like to know how can i get down with bcp lol Im not a scum bag and i value my name in the streets and the poker world.

    • Mike lee's Gravatar Mike lee
      November 7, 2015    

      This guy is the biggest POS that has walked the casino floor. Scamming fucking POS maybe he should realize HIS life maybe gone in the blink of a breath. Total POS idiot. Cocky arrogant POS

  8. Al Forman's Gravatar Al Forman
    November 5, 2015    

    I’m very surprised with all these negative stories that are very obviously true, ALL THE CASINOS IN OUR COUNTRY FORBID HIM TO PLAY. IS THERE ANY JUSTICE?

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