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Henderson man's story of survival began long before his winning run at World Series of Poker

Posted: 11:31 PM, Jul 16, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-17 08:21:08-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — After his amazing run at the World Series of Poker Henderson resident Garry Gates shared the most incredible part of his story.

He talked to 13 Action News about the traumatic experience he survived in order to make an incredible showing in the most prestigious poker tournament in the world.

Playing for nine days, 10 hours a day, Gates described the experience as both exhausting and exhilarating.

"I've been a poker player for a really long time,” Gates said. “And making the Main Event Final Table is pretty much the Super Bowl of what we do."

Gates was eliminated after going all in against a Canadian player. Finishing fourth earned him $3 million in winnings.

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But playing the cards he’s been dealt took a whole new meaning after he and a group of friends escaped with their lives and only minor injuries from the Route 91 Harvest Festival on 1 October two years ago.

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"That experience taught me an awful lot,” Gates said. “I'm so grateful every day to just to be here. And now with this win it’s like a new lease on life.”

Since the tragedy he’s been committed to fully living in the moment.

Now the guy who moved to Las Vegas 15 years ago with plans to play professional poker doesn’t want to take a single thing for granted now that his recreational play has paid huge dividends.

"I get to take care of my kiddo,” Gates said. “My girlfriend and I are going be able to buy a house and be able to get her a nice ring and do all those things. And just live a good life."