A $191,880 check can buy a lot of dresses, and Lily Kiletto walked off with both Tuesday night at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open.
Kiletto, who lived in South Florida for about a year, finished second in the World Poker Tour event behind behind Matt Giannetti of Austin, Texas, ($298,304) at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.
She also showed a flair for fashion, buying an average of a dress a day during her week at the Hard Rock, and even went so far as to buy a dress during a poker break earlier in the week, and changing into it for the tournament.
"Gee, that sounds obnoxious," she said, bashfully. "I can't help it. I just like clothes."
Kiletto, 30, was originally from Laos, the WPT says, then lived in Raymond, Wash., and has lived in Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. She is currently an investor and fashion designer, and formerly worked as a casino dealer, the WPT says.
She moved to Pompano Beach for about a year to play poker and fared well, cashing in events at the Isle Casino and Racing and cashing twice in this series at the Hard Rock. She says she plays mainly cash games, and moved back west "because I was getting sick of playing poker all the time."
It's the second year in a row a woman outplayed most of the men at the Lucky Hearts Poker Open, only to finish one spot short. No woman has ever won a World Poker Tour event.
"Oh, gosh, that would've been great, but I'm still very proud of the way I played," Kiletto said. Last year Diane "Gigi" Gagne of Clearwater finished second to Matt Juttelstad.
South Florida was well-represented, with locals taking spots three-four-five. Darryll Fish of Fort Lauderdale earned $125,921; Danny Shiff won $86,946 and Hayden Fortini $64,160. Matt Salsberg was the first final tabler eliminated ($50,968) when he got it all in with J-J against Fish's 5-7 only to lose to a straight.
Like much of tournament poker, one bad play can end a tournament. Kiletto's came six hands into head-to-head play when she raised with 7-8 of spades, then shoved all in with about 4 million million chips after Gianetti,holding about 7 million, re-raised. He flipped over a pair of 8s, and she got no help on the board.
"I made a move and I got caught," she said, perturbed at herself. "It was like, 'Oh, what do I do with these chips? Oh, give 'em away..."
The $3,500 buy-in event drew 369 entries -- and rebuys were allowed. That was fortuitous for Kiletto, who reached the final table via her re-entry.
"I lasted two hands the first time," she said. "I had my ace-queen against an ace-five and a five hit the board."
Giannetti joins an elite group of players that have won at least two WPT titles, which includes Carlos Mortensen, Gus Hansen, Michael Mizrachi, Daniel Negreanu, and Antonio Esfandiari.
The event was streamed on a 30-minute delay on WorldPokerTour.com. The televised WPT main event comes to the Hard Rock in August.