News that three-time World Series of Poker Panayote “Pete the Greek” Vilandos has passed away has reached the poker world. Vilandos, originally from Greece, and later a long-time resident of Houston, Texas, captured three WSOP titles amid other accolades in a career spanning several decades.
Vilandos passed away at age 82 from undisclosed causes. His death on July 24 was brought to the attention by his friend, professional player and famed rock photographer David Plastik. Plastik shared the news of Vilandos’s passing on Facebook.
Vilandos arrived in the United States from Greece in his late 20s, and worked full-time in engineering for decades. He also took up poker as a hobby, first in private games in Texas, then later took his skills on the road as a traveling pro.
Though he’s officially credited with nearly $3.3 million in recorded tourney cashes, his actual tourney winnings were likely significantly higher. His first officially recorded tournament cash dates to 1990, and he logged his first WSOP cash in 1993.
Vilandos would go on to experience significant success at the WSOP, where he participated for nearly three decades. He logged 40 cashes, made eight final tables, and closed out bracelet wins on three separate occasions. His first bracelet win came in 2005 in a $1,500 Pot-Limit Hold’em event, where he earned $148,500.
His two largest career cashes came over a decade later in his second and third bracelet victories, both of which came in big-field events. In 2009, he topped a 2,506-entry field in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event to win $607,256. In 2012, in a $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em tourney, he outlasted 1,000 other entrants for the bracelet and a $952,694 payday, his career best. Overall at the WSOP, Vilandos earned more than $2.5 million in his 40 cashes.
Vilandos’s final recorded tournament cash came in May of 2022, in a medium-sized tournament in his home town of Houston.
Featured image source: World Series of Poker