Winnipeg waiter plans to keep pizza job despite $1M poker win

Winnipegger Patrick Serda may have handled a lot of dough at his job as a server at Pizzeria Gusto, but it pales in comparison to the nearly $1-million prize he won at a professional poker tournament in Prague.

High-stakes poker player still loves his job serving at Pizzeria Gusto

After playing poker professionally for eight years, Patrick Serda took home his biggest pot yet in Prague, nearly $1 million. (Submitted by Patrick Serda)

A Winnipegger who won nearly $1 million in an international poker tournament in Prague says he still wants to keep handling big dough of another kind at his job as a server at a local pizzeria.

Patrick Serda beat a field of 400 international poker players on Monday to take second place and a pot of €719,000, which is nearly $1 million Cdn.

"[It was] pretty surreal for the most part. I mean, it hasn't hit a bank account yet, it's just in my online account," Serda said.

"I haven't made any plans, but it's pretty nice in the end," Serda said.

The $1-million pot is his largest single win. While he has been playing a few years, he doesn't consider himself a professional player.  

Serda won $250,000 at an event in September.

"Obviously there's some confidence. I don't think I would be playing any tournaments that I didn't think I could win," Serda said.

Despite his jackpot, Serda still plans to return to Winnipeg and his job serving at Pizzeria Gusto.

"I'm super happy to go back. I love it there — great people and great regulars — and I'd be happy to go back," Serda said.

First, though, Serda has tournaments in the Bahamas and Australia in January.

Even though he is moving in a world of high-stakes poker players, he keeps in touch with his friends in Winnipeg who were with him when it all began.

"I've got a good group of friends that were in a group chat with me, and everyone was recalling stories the other day about different situations where it all started, six, seven, eight years ago, when we were all playing for nickels and dimes," Serda said.