Ranked number one on the all-time money list of Thai poker players, Phachara Wongwichit is a well-known name in the poker community.
Besides his successful poker career, he's known for being a great ambassador of this game that's quickly gaining popularity in his home country.
With all of this in mind, let’s take a close look at Wongwichit’s career path as a player and influential figure in the poker world.
An Illustrious Poker Career
As a child, Phachara Wongwichit used to play competitive chess and was an up-and-coming chess talent.
Like many other great poker players, Phachara honed his tactical skills through chess, which helped him develop a strategic mind.
This proved very useful, especially during the early years, when he first started playing poker professionally.
Born and raised in Thailand, he never changed his country of residence, even after achieving great poker results. He still resides in Merrimac, Thailand.
Like some other successful Thai players such as Phanlert Sukonthachartnant and Pakinai Lisawad, Phachara decided to stay in his home country and enjoy its easy-going atmosphere, nice weather, and the very affordable cost of living in Merrimac.
Of course, a significant reason for his decision was that Thailand offers an excellent gambling atmosphere and a perfect environment for online poker players.
In fact, Thailand is known for having a significant number of poker and gambling sites like ufascr69, that are exclusively available to Thai players.
With more lenient gambling laws than its neighbors, the country is a trendy destination for poker players from all over the world.
This is precisely where Phachara honed his poker skills before moving into the professional world and signing up for his first tournament in 2011.
As a promising talent, he didn’t wait long for success. His first cash came in October of the same year. He managed to finish 3rd in the Gold Coast Championship in Australia, taking home a modest but significant prize of $3,180.
2016 – First Major Poker Success
Wongwichit’s first major success came in January of 2016. Playing in Australia, the country where he made his first steps into professional poker, Phachara Wongwichit finished the runner-up in the 2016 Aussie Millions Poker Championship in Melbourne.
This won him a little over $118,000 and opened the doors to get involved with other notable tournaments that year.
He finished the year with 4th place on the World Poker Tour in South Korea and the win in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour in Macau.
Winning the APPT in Macau brought him the second-highest profit of the year, as he won $41,412 for championing the tournament.
2018 – Big Breakout and Continued Success
In 2018, he experienced the most successful poker year of his career to date. He started the year by finishing second in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, winning over $113,000 for his efforts.
An impressive amount on its own, this was just the lead-up to what was to come in the following months.
Playing in the 2018 Wynn Summer Classic in Las Vegas, he took 2nd place in a No Limit Hold’em tournament, winning an impressive $204,000 in the process.
After concluding 2018 by taking home $17,000 from the European Poker Tour in Prague, he didn’t fall off track going into the next year.
Although he didn’t quite manage to land such massive wins as in the year before, Phachara didn’t waste any time putting in the poker hands and racking profits in 2019.
In June of 2019, he landed a sixth-place finish in the DeepStack Championship Poker Series in Las Vegas, which won him a little over $69,000 and established his place as one of the top Asian poker players.
He finished 2019 with two massive achievements in November, coming in 3rd in the Jeju Red Dragon tournament and winning the World Poker Tour in Cambodia.
His most recent notable result came at the end of August of 2020, in the WSOP Online 2020 No-Limit Hold’em Main Event.
Even though he finished in 27th place, he went home with a very rewarding $55,880 for his tournament placement.
Aside from his earnings, Phachara Wongwichit has been recognized for his success on several occasions.
He is the consecutive winner of the GPI National Player of the Year award, having won in 2018 and 2019.
By the end of 2020, Phachara amassed 73 cashes and four titles in his career, including one WSOP final table.
The Future of Thai Poker
Although Phachara Wongwichit has had a significant influence in shaping the Thai poker scene in the past, he’s far from being alone in popularizing the game in the country.
If you were to look at the younger generation of Thai poker players, the list is impressively long and full of some promising potential.
This has mainly been due to the healthy position the Thailand poker industry has been in so far.
It’s no secret that Thailand has become a top destination for many poker players of all nationalities over the past few years.
The country has been a breeding ground for poker potential, with players such as Kannapong Thanarattrakul and Thanisorn Saelor already achieving notable success in their first couple of years on the circuit.
One thing is sure, with strong, experienced poker players like Phachara Wongwichit still around and so many young talents coming up in the Thai poker ranks, the future of Thai poker looks very bright.