Pennsylvania Online Poker Player Klodnicki Returns to WSOP Spotlight

Pennsylvania Online Poker Player Klodnicki Returns to WSOP Spotlight
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Philadelphia poker pro Chris Klodnicki announced himself to the card-playing world with an extraordinary breakout run in 2008, well before PA online poker sites were legal.

Well, this month Klodnicki reintroduced himself to the live-action world at the 54th World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He won his second WSOP bracelet and more than $733,000 in the $10,000 buy-in “Secret Bounty” No-limit Hold’em event.

Back in 2008, Klodnicki, who grew up in Voorhees, N.J., part of Philly’s sprawling three-state suburban area, made a name for himself earning more than $970,000 in live tournament play, including almost $592,000 for finishing 12th in the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas.

Klodnicki Wears His Philadelphia Sports Pride

Much like many others who might be prone to play poker at Pennsylvania online casinos, Klodnicki sometimes sits at the poker table wearing Philadelphia sports gear, such as Phillies baseball caps and Villanova T-shirts.

After his 2008 run, he continued crushing live poker events for the next few years and won nearly $3 million when he finished second in a high-roller event during the 2013 WSOP in 2013.

But of late, Klodnicki had sort of disappeared from live action, preferring online play.

That was until he earned that second WSOP bracelet. It was Klodnicki’s first cash at the WSOP since 2019.

Online Casinos Became His Preferred Arena

According to the Hendon Mob database, during 2021 and ’22, 19 of the Lehigh University grad’s 20 tournament cashes were in online play, such as those accessed by players using the WSOP PA promo code.

After his recent bracelet win at the WSOP, Klodnicki, who lived in Philadelphia’s Old City section for a time, explained that he had pulled back from traveling for poker.

“I think I'll play a little more next year,” Klodnicki said, according to “I don't know if I'll ever get back to playing full schedules, maybe when my kids are off in college. But I'll definitely be here more than the past few years, which was not at all.”

How Klodnicki Cashed in at WSOP Event

In winning his recent bracelet, Klodnicki outlasted Aram Oganyan ($453,226) of North Hollywood, Calif., with a miracle river card. Klodnicki started the last hand with Ace-Ace but Oganyan hit a straight-to-the-Jack on the turn. Then, the Ace of Hearts fell on the river to give Klodnicki an improbable full house of Aces-full-of-10s.

Players at PA mobile casinos can surely gain valuable poker-playing experience. The tournament that Klodnicki won was full of players listed from the Philly area or with Philadelphia connections who made it to the cashier’s window.

  • Aaron Mermelstein, of Philadelphia, finished 15th for $29,600.
  • Kane Kalas, son of the late Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, finished 18th for $24,504.
  • Well-known veteran Matt Glantz, of Lafayette Hill, who has 83 WSOP cashes, finished 24th for $20,617.
  • Fran Funaro, of Sewell, N.J., finished 60th for $11,876.
  • Bin Weng, of Philadelphia, finished 62nd for $11,876.
  • Reece Thomas, of Birdsboro, in Berks County, finished 63rd for $11,876.
  • Three-time WSOP bracelet-winner Paul Volpe, of West Chester, who has been known to sport Phillies and Eagles caps at the table, fished 73rd for $10,858.

More poker coverage and Pennsylvania casino promotions are available here at PennStakes whether you’re an aspiring WSOP player or you’re just learning the game.



Bill Ordine

A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.

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