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  1. Super Bowl 55 is just hours away, and it is a matchup for the ages, as Patrick Mahomes leads the Kansas City Chiefs into battle, looking for their second straight Super Bowl title. Standing in their way is the most successful playoff quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, leading his new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Some of the biggest names in poker are betting on in the big game, and not just on which team is going to cover the spread. Tony Dunst Two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner and current World Poker Tour commentator Tony Dunst says that he is holding off on betting the game, for now, content to wait and see how the line moves closer to the contest on Sunday. “I don’t have a side yet. I want to wait and see if the Bucs get more points approaching the game.” Dunst is leaning towards the underdog and said that while he hasn’t bet on the game yet, he did go to the casino and place a bet on Tom Brady to win the MVP award, getting good odds too, at +230. “There’s a decent gap between Bucs money line price and Brady MVP...but if Bucs win, I think Brady is a massive favorite to win MVP considering how spread out their offense is and how much QBs are favored for the award,” Dunst said. Dunst also added that he will likely bet all the unders on Kansas City wide receiver Byron Pringle, under the condition that Sammy Watkins ultimately plays, which he is expected to do at this point. According to Dunst, “If Watkins plays, Pringle may not see a touch.” David 'ODB' Baker Another multiple bracelet winner, David 'ODB' Baker proved he is a man of many talents in 2020, when he and fellow poker pro Mark Gregorich took down the Las Vegas Super Contest. They also finished tied for second in the Circa Sports Million. All in all, the duo took home nearly $800,000 total. Of course, Baker is ready to make some bets on the final football game of the season. For the die-hard New England Patriots fan, it was a bit difficult to hide his bias towards the former Patriots Quarterback, Tom Brady. “I think the (Tampa) defense and the running game lead the GOAT Brady to title number seven! I think this is a tight one and I don't have a ton of confidence. Buyer beware I'm a huge Brady fan and want to see the GOAT get another,” Baker said. However, unlike Dunst, Baker decided to go a bit off the board with his MVP pick, instead opting for a player who has been on fire in the playoffs, and is also getting great odds. “Anyone can pick the QBs as an MVP but I want to go off the board. I'm seeing MVP odds at over 30-1 on Playoff Lenny [Leonard Fournette] and I will take a longshot here. I also really like the overs on all Fournette props. I think they will feature the running game and attempt to limit Chiefs possessions. If the Bucs fall down early you don't have to worry about Lenny getting pulled as he is the passing down back anyway,” Baker said. Chris Moneymaker So that’s two poker pros on the underdog in this one, but one player who disagrees with them is 2003 WSOP Main Event winner Chris Moneymaker. While the avid sports bettor said that he didn’t have any player props yet, he was rather straightforward when asked who he thinks will win the big one. “Chiefs.” When asked to elaborate, Moneymaker was once again kept it short and simple. “Mahomes and Kelce.” To be fair to Moneymaker, he’s not wrong. The dynamic duo will likely be the determining factor in the outcome of the game, one way or the other. If the Bucs are able to slow the big tight end down, it will stymie the effectiveness of Mahomes. But if the two are able to hook up all night, it will be a long day for Tampa Bay and their backers.
  2. On Saturday night, Keven StamdoggStammen (pictured) took down the World Poker Tour Championship for $1.3 million. The season finale had a brand new location at Borgata in Atlantic City this year with a more affordable buy-in of $15,400 and 328 entrants turned out. In the end, PocketFivers ruled the day, as Stammen brought home his first WPT title and will have his name engraved in the tour's Championship Cup. Stammen led the way entering the WPT Championship six-handed final table, holding 113 big blinds, or 50 more than the next closest player. It took 34 hands for the first player to be knocked out, as Abe Korotki ran A-7 into PocketFiver Ryan g0lfa D'Angelo's A-J. The 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure final tablist was ahead the whole way, rivering a jack to boot, and Korotki exited in sixth place for $235,000. Curt Kohlberg doubled through Stammen to trim the latter's death grip on the final table after A-10 out-raced pocket fives. Then, Stammen took a pot worth 3.15 million in chips off D'Angelo after the latter called a bet on the river with top pair, but Stammen showed the nut flush. Stammen continued to dominate, opening 19% of pots through the first 100 hands, the second most of any player. Kohlberg, meanwhile, busted in fifth place at the hands of Byron Kaverman after he came out on the losing end of a flip. D'Angelo hit the rail in fourth place after shoving for his final seven big blinds and coming up short. One hand before that, Tony Bond18 Dunst (pictured), a WPT host, doubled up through D'Angelo. However, Dunst still sat on a dangerously short stack and busted shortly thereafter in third place for $452,000. It was Dunst's third WPT final table. Stammen had a 2:1 chip lead entering heads-up play against Kaverman, who has had six WPT cashes since November and ultimately took the chip lead before ceding it back for good. On the 151st hand of final table play, Kaverman 3bet all-in with pocket fours and Stammen snap-called with A-8. Kaverman was ahead until an ace on the river sealed the deal, giving Stammen his first WPT title in his third WPT final table: 1st Place: Keven StamdoggStammen - $1,350,000 2nd Place: Byron Kaverman - $727,860 3rd Place: Tony Bond18Dunst - $452,729 4th Place: Ryan g0lfaD'Angelo - $363,930 5th Place: Curt Kohlberg - $286,292 6th Place: Abe Korotki - $235,341 Stammen joins a solid group of past WPT Championship winners: Season I: Alan Goehring - $1,036,886 (111 entries) Season II: Martin de Knijff - $2,728,356 (343 entries) Season III: Tuan Le - $2,856,150 (647 entries) Season IV: Joe Bartholdi - $3,760,165 (605 entries) Season V: Carlos Mortensen - $3,970,415 (639 entries) Season VI: David Chiu - $3,389,140 (545 entries) Season VII: Yevgeniy Jovial Gent Timoshenko (pictured) - $2,149,960 (338 entries) Season VIII: David Williams - $1,530,537 (195 entries) Season IX: Scott Seiver - $1,618,344 (220 entries) Season X: Marvin Rettenmaier - $1,196,858 (152 entries) Season XI: Chino Rheem - $1,150,297 (146 entries) Season XII: Keven StamdoggStammen - $1,350,000 (328 entries) Congrats to Stammen on his WPT win! Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. This weekend in New Jersey online poker, the Garden State Super Series on PartyPoker/Borgata Pokercame to an end. pst34 (petey3412on PocketFives) won Event 19 Low, a $10,000 Guarantee, taking home $3,952. Winning Event 19 Mid was eyeAMyou, who pocketed $6,916 after chopping with PocketFiver hort336. Event #19 High attracted 509 runners to produce a prize pool of $114,165. There was a six-way chop at the final table, with Rich Pker4DummiesRodrigo finishing in first place and cashing for $8,487. PocketFiver Normam slystyle012 Michalek took the top prize of $15,750 as part of the final table deal. Finding himself in the winner's circle of GSSS Event #20 ($50,000 Guaranteed Six-Max) was Tony Bond18 Dunst (pictured), who bested a field of 137 runners to win $16,584. Dunst was in New Jersey covering the final table of the WPT Borgata Open in Atlantic City and also participated in the Monster Invitational held at Borgata. Brian Willis (WillisNYCon PocketFives) was the winner of the WSOP.com$25,000 Guarantee Sunday Major, adding $7,000 to his bankroll. Winning the 888 Big Sunday $10,000 Guarantee was ShoveNpray, who banked the top prize of $3,000. Congrats to all PocketFivers who cashed this weekend. Visit PocketFives' New Jersey poker community for the latest news and discussion from New Jersey players. ------------------------------------------------------- PartyPoker/Borgata Poker $5,000 Guarantee for Friday, September, 19th at 9 pm had 138 runners. 27 spots were paid with 1st place paying $1,180. The final 9 finishers were: 1 tensevener - $1,180 (jawtenseven) 2 Flawlessbinkage - $823 3 callmemayb - $621 4 perryl - $512 5 Onallis33 - $435 6 Napstars - $357 7 LITTLELUCIANA - $279 8 BlckJck - $202 (BlckJck) 9 Pepstargnar - $140 ------------------------------------------------------- PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #17 Low - $1,000 GTD PLO 6Max for Friday, September, 19th had 179 runners buying in for $5. 36 spots were paid with 1st place being $183. The top 6 finishers were: 1 Halloween - $183 2 popsy - $125 3 millertime4244 - $96 (millertime4244) 4 jrsygmblr - $80 5 thearmature-1 - $65 6 lolfishaments - $52 (mikewebb68) ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #17 Mid - $2,500 GTD PLO 6Max for Friday, September, 19th had 140 runners buying in for $20. 27 spots were paid with 1st place being $434. The top 6 finishers were: 1 FrankiePugs89 - $434 2 pokerstud77 - $327 (akbongu) 3 Tropicana - $269 4 knumbnuts4 - $243 5 easymoney82 - $176 6 LuckySpewy - $145 (ykwon17) ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #17 High - $10,000 GTD PLO 6Max for Friday, September, 19th had 135 runners buying in for $100. 27 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,167. The top 6 finishers were: 1 misclick - $2,334 2 kskiff0206 - $1,628 3 ManBearPig - $1,229 4 shipit24 - $1,014 5 AEIOwnYou - $860 (ALLin2k5) 6 LarryO - $706 ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata Poker $5,000 Guarantee for Saturday, September, 20th at 9 pm had 140 runners. 27 spots were paid with 1st place paying $1,180. The final 9 finishers were: 1 Pepstargnar - $1,075 2 NbK44 - $957 3 kingmen348 - $630 4 Alan1431 - $520 5 falcao - $441 (rooney) 6 Frogfucious - $362 7 ArmaniRabbani - $284 8 steveg12345 - $205 9 cashed-up - $142 ------------------------------------------------------- PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #18 Low - $1,000 NLH 1 x Rebuy + 1 x Big Add-on for Saturday, September 20th had 162 runners buy in for $5. 27 spots were paid with 1st place paying $316. The final 9 finishers were: 1 misclick - $316 2 MushroomStamp - $221 3 PocketProfits - $167 (PocketProfits) 4 jaywentz1976 - $137 5 nas1225 - $117 (nas1225) 6 JoeDeertay - $96 (JoeDeertay) 7 ScottBaumstein - $75 8 Jenger420 - $54 (Jenger) 9 SamsonSimpson - $37 ------------------------------------------------------- PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #18 Mid - $10,000 NLH 1 x Rebuy + 1 x Big Add-on for Saturday, September 20th had 240 runners buying in for $20. 54 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,675. The top 9 finishers were: 1 rodalmighty - $1,675 2 JRCOMPS6815 - $1,117 3 JoeDeertay - $792 (JoeDeertay) 4 easymoney82 - $655 5 Pepstargnar - $528 6 JohnnyDrama - $431 (JohnnnyDrama) 7 misclick - $345 8 laumserg - $259 (Mergulas) 9 pure_reason - $179 ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #18 High - $20,000 NLH 1 x Rebuy + 1 x Big Add-on Saturday, September 20th had 218 runners buy in for $50. 45 spots were paid with 1st place paying $4,190. The final 9 finishers were: 1 honeybunch - $3,857 2 TonyL0c0 - $2,564 3 laumserg - $1,950 (Mergulas) 4 tusker42 - $1,600 5 antwany - $1,282 6 Everytime - $1,008 (Lydiard) 7 nowitsover - $789 8 doctor_DNA - $592 9 JFlynn0606 - $427 ------------------------------------------------------- PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #19 Low - $10,000 GTD NLH for Sunday, September 21st had 431 runners buy in for $50. 72 spots were paid with 1st place paying $3,952. The final 9 finishers were: 1 pst34 - $3,952* (petey3412) 2 JamesJBraddock - $3,940* 3 Katonik - $2,013 4 Frankie6636 - $1,281 (LifeGr1nder) 5 JohnnyDrama - $854 (JohnnnyDrama) 6 ned_plimpton - $683 (Gags30) 7 drew1115 - $561 8 JoeDeertay - $439 (JoeDeertay) 9 mz531 - $317 *Final Table Chop ------------------------------------------------------- PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #19 Mid - $20,000 GTD NLH for Sunday, September 21st had 377 runners buying in for $100. 72 spots were paid with 1st place being $6,916. The top 9 finishers were: 1 eyeAMyou - $6,916* 2 hort336 - $5,800* (hort336) 3 pOtOfGrEeD - $3,243 4 Jamdizzi777 - $2,064 5 AbNORMalities - $1,376 (slystyle012) 6 Kingtutt - $1,101 7 Smoeseph - $904 8 porkchopbd - $708 9 SBlast2711 - $511 (Sblum2711) *Final Table Chop ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #19 High - $75,000 GTD NLH for Sunday, September 21st had 509 runners buy in for $200 for a prize pool of $114,165. 72 spots were paid with biggest prize paying $15,750. The final 9 finishers were: 1 Muck_Your_Life - $8,487* (Pker4Dummies) 2 Pepstargnar - $8,750* 3 JerseyJack77 - $7,550* 4 AbNORMalities - $15,750* (slystyle012) 5 ExiledLegend - $10,000* (EXILEDLEGEND) 6 seven3deuce - $9,000* 7 Michael - $2,626 8 Grimmy101 - $2,055 9 bhy101 - $1,484 ------------------------------------------------------- PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #20 Low - $10,000 GTD NLH 6Max for Sunday, September, 21st had 318 runners buying in for $50 for a prize pool of $19,310. 63 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,051. The top 6 finishers were: 1 LuckySpewy - $3,051 (ykwon17) 2 magneto23 - $1,979 3 ickytoy - $1,448 4 KingFi - $1,139 (KingFi) 5 Jaybone - $898 (Jaybone2315) 6 greasylakechef - $734 ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #20 Mid - $20,000 GTD NLH 6Max for Sunday, September, 21st had 140 runners buying in for $100 for a prize pool of $31,845. 63 spots were paid with 1st place being $434. The top 6 finishers were: 1 joey1way - $3,924* 2 TMac15 - $3,623* (njhockey15) 3 Everytime - $3,137* (Lydiard) 4 MarkusVonDubni - $1,879 5 stringerbell24 - $1,481 6 pure_reason - $1,210 *Final Table Chop ------------------------------ PartyPoker/Borgata Poker GSSS #20 High - $50,000 GTD NLH 6Max for Sunday, September, 21st had 137 runners buying in for $500 for a prize pool of $73,705. 27 spots were paid with 1st place being $3,167. The top 6 finishers were: 1 TonyDunstWPT - $16,584 (Bond18) 2 Zdvol632 - $11,793 3 Jonuzi - $8,034 4 misclick - $5,749 5 hawes211 - $4,422 6 Pepstargnar - $3,243 ------------------------------ WSOP.com the $5,000 Nightly Guarantee R&A for Friday, September 19th had 182 runners buying in for $11 ($10+$1) each, 187 re-buys for $10 and 124 add-ons for $10, for a prize pool totaling $5,000. 20 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,404. The top 9 finishers were: 1 BKFlossy11 - $1,350 2 StevenD - $800 3 archegos - $500 4 MahaKala108 - $400 5 fuzzyworth - $350 6 BlckJck - $245 (BlckJck) 7 headsup - $195 8 draiman517 - $145 9 Mazaratti - $120 ------------------------------------------------------- WSOP.com $10,000 Guarantee for Friday, September 19th had 153 runners buying in for $27.50 ($25 + $2.50) R&A, 154 re-buys for $25, 104 add-ons for $25, totaling $10,275. 30 spots were paid with 1st place being $2,750. The top 9 finishers were: 1 Flawlessbink - $2,774 2 Scrappy - $1,618 3 T1mB3y_B33F - $925 4 Kilgore92 - $719 5 Pokaprayer - $617 6 Thrash123 - $514 (Thrash) 7 Dominiking - $390 8 Jermz - $247 9 bucknaked64 - $175 ------------------------------------------------------- WSOP.com $1,000 GTD NL Hold'em - KO Series Event #1 for Friday, September 19th had 84 runners. 10 spots were paid with 1st place $300. The top 10 finishers were: 1 MJaffeNJ - $300 2 iamskynet - $200 (Eatahoagie) 3 MrPerfect - $120 4 eatmynuts - $95 5 VMAN2014 - $80 6 TJGotcha1120 - $60 (TJGotcha) 7 fuzzyworth - $50 8 Gods_Work77 - $40 9 iheartboobs - $30 10 snouch13 - $25 (Snouch1313) ------------------------------------------------------- WSOP.com $2,000 GTD NL Hold'em - KO Series Event #2 for Saturday, September 20th had 73 runners. 8 spots were paid with 1st place $620. The top 8 finishers were: 1 Diapers - $620 2 SLHalper - $420 (s.l.halper) 3 ToppDogg - $260 4 MrPokerFace - $200 5 uriverme - $170 6 rpn397 - $130 7 SamuraiCat - $110 8 JaminOnFaces - $90 (jaminonfaces) ------------------------------------------------------- WSOP.com Weekend Warm Up $5,000 Guarantee R&A for Saturday, September 20th had 37 runners buying in for $55 ($50+$5) each, 37 re-buys for $50 and 24 add-ons for $50, for a prize pool totaling $5,000. 3 spots were paid with 1st place being $2,000. The top 3 finishers were: 1 smaulerg - $2,000 (Mergulas) 2 JaminOnFaces - $1,250 (jaminonfaces) 3 dawudmh12 - $1,000 4 Bring_it - $750 ------------------------------------------------------- WSOP.com $3,000 Guarantee Re-entry for Saturday, September 20th had 56 runners buying in for $33 ($30+$3) each and 28 re-entries for a prize pool totaling $3,000. 6 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,050. The top 8 finishers were: 1 spleen - $1,050 2 ToppDogg - $660 3 GentilmanLee - $450 4 Diapers - $330 5 rumpthumper - $270 (zackbaker) 6 chritall - $240 ------------------------------------------------------- WSOP.com the $5,000 Nightly Guarantee R&A for Saturday, September 20th had 183 runners buying in for $11 ($10+$1) each, 180 re-buys for $10 and 107 add-ons for $10, for a prize pool totaling $5,000. 20 spots were paid with 1st place being $1,350. The top 9 finishers were: 1 GamerNJ - $1,350 2 killerqueen - $800 3 Acik13 - $500 4 Adversity45 - $400 5 archegos - $350 6 RyanEric - $245 7 XxHIT2HAWDxX - $195 8 usadodge - $145 9 ohnoreally - $120 (onreally) ------------------------------------------------------- WSOP.com $10,000 Guarantee for Saturday, September 20th had 136 runners buying in for $27.50 ($25 + $2.50) R&A, 157 re-buys for $25, 97 add-ons for $25, totaling $10,000. 25 spots were paid with 1st place being $2,750. The top 9 finishers were: 1 kingkyle1 - $2,750 2 Manhat10ite - $1,600 (Manhat10ite) 3 big.appl3 - $910 (big.appl3) 4 PoBoy1 - $710 5 cantbeatyou - $610 (mikewebb68) 6 Techno909 - $510 7 nickdevo2 - $390 (nickdevo1) 8 MidnightNova - $250 9 LuckySpewy1 - $180 (ykwon17) ------------------------------------------------------- WSOP.com $25,000 Guarantee-$215 ($200 + $15) for Sunday, September 21st had 107 runners. 20 spots were paid with 1st place $7,000. The top 9 finishers were: 1 Deuxexmachin - $7,000 (WillisNYC) 2 markdube - $4,050 (markdube) 3 bowmanbs - $2,325 4 jetsfan14 - $1,825 (itsmejon) 5 randomrags24 - $1,575 (fnasty97) 6 Exocomet - $1,325 (papsdee) 7 myGAME - $1,050 (Lav519) 8 RiVerSpiKer - $700 (spiker123) 9 Ashisit - $525 ------------------------------------------------------- WSOP.com $10,000 Guarantee - $109 ($100 + $9) for Sunday, September 21st had 128 runners for a prize pool of $12,800. 25 spots were paid with 1st place $3,276. The top 9 finishers were: 1 thriceisnice - $3,520 2 jshab1989 - $2,048 3 meatball20 - $1,165 4 pulseking - $909 5 irvgotti - $781 6 Jakep474 - $653 (jtsnakes) 7 bowmanbs - $499 8 jellyfish420 - $320 9 DesertFox - $230 ------------------------------------------------------- WSOP.com $3,000 GTD NL Hold'em 6-max - KO Series Event #3 for Sunday, September 21st had 74 runners. 8 spots were paid with 1st place $1,043. The top 8 finishers were: 1 smaulerg - $1,043 (Mergulas) 2 itWasThatOr0 - $707 (Gags30) 3 miw210x - $437 (miw210) 4 laszlo0864 - $336 5 Adversity45 - $286 6 jetsfan14 - $218 (itsmejon) 7 TMac15 - $185 (njhockey15) 8 PotSmokr - $151 ------------------------------------------------------- 888 Poker Big Sunday $10,000 Guarantee-$200 buy in for Sunday, September 21st had 52 runners. 8 spots were paid with 1st place $3,000. The top 8 finishers were: 1 ShoveNpray - $3,000 2 freddyfreak - $1,750 3 BALZovBRAIN - $1,220 4 BizWiz - $1,020 5 Showers - $810 6 Mapz_ - $710 (Mapz) 7 Luckyriver13 - $610 (Dogdaze84) 8 Lydiard - $510 (Lydiard) 9 Eddiegood86 - $370 (Eddiegood86) Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. This author met longtime PocketFiver and World Poker Tour host Tony Bond18Dunst (pictured) in Los Angeles during the American Poker Awards cocktail hour. When asked what else he was doing besides producing content for WPT broadcasts, Dunst quickly responded, "Playing daily fantasy sports," or DFS. We caught up with him during Monday's WPT Championship dinner break in Atlantic City. PocketFives: Thank you for joining us. How did you get into DFS originally? Tony DunstL I work for the WPT and we have a sponsorship deal with DraftKings that was originally arranged by Jonathan FatalError Aguiar. When he came on and started doing streams with me and described how smoothly the money flowed into the DFS economy, I thought it would be good to get into it. I really got into it and love sports, so it was a great match for me. PocketFives: There are a number of DFS sites out there, including DraftKings, FanDuel, and FantasyFeud. Do you primarily play on DraftKings? Tony Dunst: I did almost entirely DraftKings originally. I am doing mostly tournaments and some cash games. I am doing a whole bunch of sports like baseball, college basketball, pro basketball, and football. I enjoy watching them all and learning about each sport. Now I just need to get into hockey. PocketFives: How do you start being competent in other sports besides what you know? Tony Dunst: It's mostly doing your research. You can look at projections, read people's picks, and check out articles. You can take it all in. PocketFives: What's your biggest DFS cash so far? Tony Dunst: I had a weekend when I entered $2,000 worth of contests and won just under $150,000. That was the first weekend of the NFL playoffs. There was a $300 buy-in tournament that had $100,000 guaranteed up top. I had a lineup that won that tournament and I did well in other things too. I had been losing all season and had a big score right at the end. PocketFives: How do you have enough time to juggle WPT, DFS, and everything else you do? Tony Dunst: When I'm away from the WPT, my schedule isn't that demanding. I don't play a ton of poker. I write and read a lot, so I am free to concentrate on DFS and other things. I've been working on a book for a while, but I keep ditching everything I have and starting over. I am on my fifth attempt now. The book is about myself and my friends playing online poker and our experiences. Everyone has been willing to let me portray them as I remember them and I think it'll be really well-received. PocketFives: Give us some basic daily fantasy baseball strategy. Tony Dunst: Baseball is a strange game. It's about picking the right stack. You're trying to find stacks not owned by a lot of the field that will still score a lot of runs. It's finding teams likely to perform well, but not likely to be owned by that many people. For example, there will be a player whom everyone will be on one night and you need to look for a player a half-a-step down whose ownership will not be as significant. That's the guy you need to go with in GPPs, whereas the highly owned guy is who you go with in cash games. PocketFives: Will we be seeing you on the WPT next season? Tony Dunst: I'm signed through next year. I'm enjoying it. The show seems to be going well, according to what the producers have told me. PocketFives: Are you ready for the WSOP? Tony Dunst: It works out nicely since our season ends with this event and then we have a period during the summer where not much is happening. I am looking forward to hanging out with my friends. I enjoy the atmosphere of coming home to hang out with poker players, talk hands, and sit outside enjoying that nice Vegas weather. PocketFives: What do you do outside of poker and DFS? Tony Dunst: I work out. I lift weights and play tennis. I'm a big exercise proponent. I read. I watch "Jeopardy." I watch "Game of Thrones" and John Oliver's new show on HBO. I'm not terribly social when I'm at home; I'm more of a workaholic. When I'm on the road with the WPT, I'm a lot more social. PocketFives: What did you think of Alex Jacob's recent six-day run on "Jeopardy"? Tony Dunst: Alex did a bunch of the funny stuff on "Jeopardy" that I've always wanted to do. He's a very talented guy. I remember playing with him in poker games. He's very smart and a great player. If you want to give DFS a try, sign up forDraftKings, FanDuel,and FantasyFeud through PocketFives' links, make a deposit, and play in a real money game to get a free PocketFives baseball hat! US players are welcome.
  5. [caption width="640"] Ari Engel won the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event[/caption] Life-changing money was awarded at this year's Aussie Millions. The annual poker series Down Under ended with 732 entrants showing up for the Main Event. In the end, a former #1 ranked player on PocketFives, Ari Engel, took it down for USD $1.1 million. He joins the ranks of former Aussie Millions Main Event winners like Tyron Krost, Alexander Kostritsyn, Gus Hansen, Tony Bloom, and Ami Barer. Engel beat World Poker Tour host Tony 'Bond18' Dunst heads-up in a battle of longtime, accomplished online poker players. Dunst took $700,000 back to the US for his runner-up performance. "I'm not a partier," Engel said a few hours after his groundbreaking win. "I went out to dinner with friends and had a couple of drinks. I had to rearrange my flight schedule too, but luckily because of my status, I could change my ticket without a penalty." Engel headed back to the US two days later than he had planned, but $1.1 million probably made any travel headaches well worth it. Engel is no slouch in the live and online poker world, and success has been a staple of his career. However, playing in the Aussie Millions Main Event was a whole new animal. "The amount of money on the line made this experience totally different," Engel explained. "My biggest score before this was $190,000, so these were much bigger stakes and it was intimidating playing for that much money. I've never played for that much before." Despite jockeying for a seven-figure first place prize, Engel stayed composed, treating the tournament like any other, for the most part. "I've played millions of hands and tons of final tables, so you try to approach it like poker. But, there's no getting around that the stakes are too big for my bankroll. I wasn't at all comfortable with the stakes, but that's what happens." Engel approached the tournament one step at a time, eventually treating the final table like a seven-handed sit and go, albeit with a monstrous first place prize. No deal was made in the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event. Instead, according to Engel, Dunst's "investor wasn't interested in a chop." The former explained that he was practically begging to chop because the end game of the Main Event was "out of my comfort zone. Results-wise, it worked out, but I certainly would have wanted to split it." Heads-up play lasted almost four hours and both players held the chip lead on several occasions. Engel entered the final table with over one-third of the chips in play. Engel eliminated four players at the final table, ending with Dunst. Engel first recorded a live tournament score ten years ago in 2006, according to the Hendon Mob, and Dunst recorded his first one year before that. Both are longstanding members of both the live and online poker communities, making their encounter heads-up in Melbourne event entertaining for the entire industry. "Playing against Tony heads-up was pretty amazing," Engel admitted. "We have both been playing poker for years and years. We're friendly whenever we see each other. It was very interesting playing against a longtime poker pro and someone who had some of the best poker minds in the world on his rail and watching the stream. I also had a team working with me, but he had the best players in the world on his side. He is a very accomplished player himself and hangs out with these great players all the time." [caption width="640"] Tony Dunst finished second[/caption] Engel lived in Melbourne from age three to age 11 and still has plenty of friends in the Australian city, many of whom came out to see him battle against Dunst and company in the final stages of the Aussie Millions Main Event. "There's no place in the world I would have had a bigger rail," Engel admitted. "I had tons of friends there. A lot of them were into poker and a lot of them, not-so-much, but they came out anyway. I had family come see me. It was a really cool experience to have all of that support, especially given that the stakes were intimidating and my opponent was intimidating." Engel said that Melbourne was the first place he can remember living, way back at age three. "I grew up liking Australian sports and had an Australian accent and went to school here," he recalled. "It was a great place to be and I'd strongly consider living here. When I first got into poker, my parents moved to New Zealand, so there was a time when I was going to New Zealand a couple of times a year and visited Australia too. I went to the Aussie Millions in 2008 and 2009." Engel is well-known for his seven World Series of Poker Circuit rings, tied for second most all-time behind Alex Masek's nine. In 2014, the Aussie Millions champ won the Punta Cana Poker Classic Main Event for $177,000 and, one month later, took fifth in the Eureka High Roller for another $119,000. His first six-figure live cash was in 2008 in a $2,150 Borgata Deep Stack event in Atlantic City. Online, Engel was the third #1 player ever in the PocketFives Rankings, ascending the throne in September 2006 and holding it for five weeks. Two years ago, he won a PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker $109 No Limit Hold'em event for $187,000 after a four-way deal. Engel has had plenty of wins and top-tier scores, yet is still trying to convince himself to move up in stakes and play higher. After he pays his backers, Engel said he'll "potentially continue to move up in stakes, although I've basically been playing some of the highest stakes already. I'm not sure how many more high roller events I'd want to enter. As I get more confident and get a bigger bankroll, what's considered good value and not-so-good value changes. There are some people in the world who have an edge in every tournament they play, but I'm not quite there yet." The Aussie Millions emanated from the Crown Casino in Melbourne, where it has resided since 1998, and consistently delivers a world-class experience to players. "Crown is one of the nicest casinos I've been to," Engel lauded. "I've spent a lot of time grinding in some places that aren't very nice. Crown is in a nice part of the city and there are restaurants and things to do around it. The poker room is great. They have professional staff, which is what you'd expect from a major tournament. The casino and atmosphere are really nice." It also doesn't hurt to get out of the path of a major winter storm. "The fact that it's summer here and winter in the Northern Hemisphere means the traveling pros aren't as bitter as they normally are, so there's a good vibe," Engel observed. "Australians are also really nice and have treated me well."
  6. [caption width="640"] Ari Engel won the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event.[/caption] Ari Engel, the former #1 ranked online poker player in the world, made big noise Sunday in Australia, beating Tony 'Bond18' Dunst heads-up to win the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event and A$1,600,000 ($1,133,650 US). The final table began with Engel holding 37% of the chips in play with just six other players between himself and the first major win of his career. It didn’t take long for the first elimination. On just the third hand of the day John Apostolidis raised from UTG to 205,000. Action folded to Samantha Abernathy in the small blind and she moved all in. Apostolidis called and turned over [poker card="ah"][poker card="kc"] and found he was racing against the [poker card="qh"][poker card="qc"] of Abernathy. The board ran out [poker card="jd"][poker card="8c"][poker card="5d"][poker card="4h"][poker card="7c"] to keep Abernathy ahead and send Apostolidis out in seventh place. It took nearly a full hour before another player was eliminated. Engel raised to 135,000 from the button and Kitty Kuo moved all in for 690,000. Engel called and flipped over [poker card="9d"][poker card="9h"] while Kuo showed [poker card="as"][poker card="jd"]. After the [poker card="qc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="4d"] flop Ari was still ahead. Neither the [poker card="qs"] turn or [poker card="6c"] river were any help for Kuo and she was eliminated in sixth. Despite starting the final table with the shortest stack Dylan Honeyman managed to make it past two pay jumps before his tourney came to an end. Dunst raised to 125,000 from UTG, Engel called from the button and Honeyman made it 380,000 to go. Dunst four-bet to 800,000 forcing Engel to fold. Honeyman then moved all in for 1,500,000 and Dunst called. Honeyman had [poker card="jh"][poker card="js"] and Dunst had [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"]. The [poker card="jd"][poker card="th"][poker card="3c"] flop was a good on for Honeyman. The [poker card="kc"] turn was of no help for Dunst but the [poker card="qs"] river gave Dunst Broadway and eliminated Honeyman in fifth place. Following Honeyman’s exit, Alexander Lynskey spent nearly 90 minutes as the short stack before running into a monster. Engel limped from UTG and Lynskey moved all in for 1,600,000. Engel called and turned over [poker card="ac"][poker card="ad"] while Lynskey was drawing thin wiht [poker card="ah"][poker card="7h"]. The community cards provided absolutely no relief for Lynskey and he was out in fourth place. While Engel and Dunst continued to build their stacks it came at the expense of Abernathy. Dunst folded from the button and Abernathy moved all in from the small blind. Engel snap-called from the big blind and table [poker card="ah"][poker card="9d"] while Abernathy showed [poker card="th"][poker card="8d"]. The [poker card="ac"][poker card="jd"][poker card="9c"] flop gave Engel two pair but also gave Abernathy an open-ended straight draw. The [poker card="jh"] turn missed her as did the [poker card="8s"] river and Abernathy was eliminated, leaving Engel and Dunst to play heads-up for the title. Abernathy’s third place finish is the highest by a female in the history of the Aussie Millions. Engel and Dunst played heads up for nearly four hours with the chip lead swinging back and fort between the two players. On the last hand of the night Dunst raised to 325,000 from the button before Engel re-raised to 925,000. Dunst called and the two saw a flop of [poker card="ts"][poker card="4d"][poker card="2h"]. Engel bet 825,00 and Dunst called again. Engel bet again, 1,700,000 this time, after the the [poker card="jc"] turn. Dunst called to see the [poker card="9s"] river. Engel announced he was all in, sending Dunst into the tank. After a few minutes Dunst called all in and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="4c"] only to see Engel turn over [poker card="js"][poker card="7c"] for top pair, good enough to take the the title and the A$1.6 million top prize. Final Table Payouts Ari Engel - A$1,600,000 Tony Dunst - A$1,000,000 Samantha Abernathy - A$625,000 Alexander Lynskey - A$445,000 Dylan Honeyman - A$340,000 Kitty Kuo - A$270,000 John Apostolidis - A$210,000
  7. [caption width="640"] Seth Davies beat out 470 other players to win the WPT Canadian Spring Championship. (Joe Giron photo)[/caption] Just over 10 days ago, the World Poker Tour put a bow on Season 14. Thursday afternoon in Montreal, Quebec, the first champion of Season 15 was crowned with the conclusion of the WPT Canadian Spring Championship at the Playground Poker Club. It also likely going to become known as the Seth Davies show. Davies came into the six-handed final table with the second biggest stack behind only Ruben Perceval. That didn’t stop him from being active and he found himself playing the role of executioner early and often on his way to the first major win of his career and the $226,893 first place cash. Tony Dunst, making his fifth WPT final table appearance, wasn’t able to add to his chip stack on Thursday and was the first player eliminated. Thomas Taylor threw in a UTG raise to 100,000 and Davies called before Dunst moved all in. Taylor folded, but Davies called and tabled [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"], while Dunst showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="qh"][poker card="5c"][poker card="4h"] flop didn’t help Dunst, but the [poker card="3d"] turn gave the partypoker ambassador extra outs. The [poker card="ks"] river wasn’t one of them and he was left with the second sixth place finish of his WPT career. While that hand propelled Davies into the chip lead, the next elimination put Davies in a position to control the table the rest of the afternoon. All he had to do was call two all ins in front of him while holding the best hand. Action folded to Guillaume Nolet on the button and he moved all in for 695,000 (14 big blinds). Taylor came over the top from the small blind for 2,500,000. Davies called from the big blind and watched as Taylor showed [poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"] and Nolet showed [poker card="ah"][poker card="7h"] before flipping over [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"]. The board ran out [poker card="jd"][poker card="4h"][poker card="3c"][poker card="jc"][poker card="6s"] and Davies eliminated Taylor in fourth and Nolet in fifth and suddenly found himself with 7,835,000 of the 12,465,000 chips in play with only three players remaining. It took only another eight hands to reach heads-up play. Davies opened from the button to 130,000 before Joel Miller made it 350,000 from the small blind. Perceval cold four bet all in for 3,300,000, forcing Davies to fold but soliciting an all in call from Miller. Perceval showed [poker card="kc"][poker card="kh"] and Perceval turned over [poker card="qc"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="8d"][poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"][poker card="8d"] board brought no relief for Perceval and he was out in third place, while Miller had climbed to within striking distance of Davies’ lead. When heads-up play started, Davies held 6,780,000 and Perceval had 5,680,000. Perceval eventually took a 3-2 lead over Davies, but that was as close as Perceval would get to the title. After 90 minutes of one-on-one action, Davies re-took the lead and never gave it up again. Just 45 minutes after getting the big stack back, Davies finished Perceval off for good. Davies raised to 275,000 and Perceval called to see a flop of [poker card="th"][poker card="9d"][poker card="4h"]. Perceval checked, Davies bet 375,000 and Perceval threw in a check-raise to 1,075,000. Davies called. The turn was the [poker card="7h"] and Perceval lead out for 800,000 and Davies called again. The river was the [poker card="5d"] and Perceval moved all in for 2,880,000. Davies called and after Perceval showed [poker card="8d"][poker card="7c"] tabled [poker card="kh"][poker card="td"] to take the pot with a pair of tens. The $3,500 CAD ($2,720 US) buy-in event attracted 417 players. Final Table Payouts Seth Davies - $226,893 Ruben Perceval - $148,833 Joel Miller - $95,512 Thomas Taylor - $70,628 Guillaume Nolet - $53,025 Tony Dunst - $42,479
  8. After nearly five weeks of events, the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event kicked off on Saturday with 764 players showing up for Day 1A action. And while the Main Event was kicking off, five other events continued including three that awarded bracelets to some well-known players. The 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event Gets Underway Day 1A is traditionally the smallest WSOP Main Event starting day of the three on the schedule. Most players play Day 1C to minimize the amount of travel and time off so the seemingly low turnout for Day 1A is really nothing to be concerned about. The 764 players who showed up for play on Saturday actually represent a slight increase of 2015. The biggest stack from Day 1A belongs to Gary Sewell with 312,500. He’s one of just two players to top the 300,000 mark as Alvaro Lopez finished with 306,200. Mathew Ashton overcame a tough table draw to finish with 212,600. Ashton played with Andy Black, Greg Mueller and James Akenhead for most of the day but still managed to end up in the top five. Dan Shak also had a Day 1A to remember after building his stack to 208,400 - good enough for the top ten. Just 567 players advanced to Day 2A. Included in that group are Shannon Shorr, Blake Bohn, Matt Matros, Jon Turner, Jonathan Little, Thor Hansen, Doc Sands, Alex Kravchenko, Andy Frankenberger and Matt Glantz. There were more than a few notable players to hit the rail on Saturday. Included amongst them was Billy Baster, Naoya Kihara, Greg Mueller and Calvin Anderson. Day 1B gets underway at 11 AM PT. Day 1A Top 10 Chip Counts Gary Sewell - 312,500 Alvaro Lopez - 306,200 Scott Neuman - 226,000 Sean Case - 222,500 Matthew Ashton - 212,600 Alexander Barlow - 212,100 Joep Raemaekers - 211,170 Carl Carodenuto - 210,800 Dan Shak - 208,400 Derek Chang - 205,200 Event #62: Jens ‘Jeans89’ Kyllonen Wins $25,000 High Roller Pot Limit Omaha [caption width="640"] Jens Kyllonen took down the K PLO High Roller on Saturday[/caption] Just three players returned on Saturday to play down to a champion and a seven-figure payday. Once Dan Smith was eliminated in third, it took Jens Kyllonen nearly 2.5 hours to eliminate Tommy Le to win the first WSOP bracelet of his career. “I can’t remember having a rush like I had today,” Kyllonen said. “I had some big wins online and back in 2011 I won a million in a single day. But other than that, this is the biggest one.” Kyllonen, known as ‘Jeans89’ online, found the final table to be a little bit softer than you’d expect in a $25,000 buy-in PLO event. “I don’t want to get into other people’s mistakes at the table in this tournament, but online I play against tougher opposition.” The win marks just the third WSOP cash of Kyllonen’s WSOP career and his only two previous results came in the Main Event. Final Table Payouts Jens Kyllonen - $1,127,035 Tommy Le - $696,558 Dan Smith - $487,361 Ryan D'Angelo - $347,641 Veselin Karakitukov - $252,909 Dmitry Savelyev - $187,724 Ludovic Geilich - $142,227 Sean Winter - $110,035 Event #63: Tony Dunst Wins First Bracelet in $1,000 No Limit Hold'em [caption width="640"] Tony Dunst now has a WSOP bracelet to go with his WPT title.[/caption] Tony Dunst might be best known as part of the World Poker Tour broadcast family, but like many of his colleagues in that group, Dunst can play at a high level too. He proved that on Saturday night when he won the first bracelet of his career in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event. Dunst beat Jason Riykin heads-up for the bracelet and $339,254 first place prize. Finishing third was Joshua ‘jjprodigy’ Field. The controversial figure earned $153,015 for his finish. Final Table Payouts Tony Dunst - $339,254 Jason Rivkin - $209,596 Joshua Field - $153,015 Francisco Araujo - $112,724 Matas Cimbolas - $83,804 Sergio Cabrera - $62,880 Levon Torosyan - $47,622 Raffaele Castro - $36,406 David Sciacqua - $28,097 Event #64: Kyle Bowker Wins $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo [caption width="640"] Kyle Bowker won his first bracelet on Saturday.[/caption] Continuing Saturday’s trend of established players winning the first bracelet of their career, Kyle Bowker won the $3,000 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event, earning almost $300,000 along the way. “This is a game not too many people play,” Bowker said.* “But I play it all the time online.*I’d rather be playing a final table in this game than any other.” Scott Clements, who has over $1 million in lifetime WSOP earnings in Omaha Hi-Lo tournaments, finished eighth for $24,409. Final Table Payouts Kyle Bowker - $294,960 Kate Hoang - $182,281 Jarred Graham - $124,360 Richard Ashby - $86,422 Chris Ruby - $61,196 Noah Bronstein - $44,171 Daniel Lowe - $32,510 Scott Clements - $24,409 Paul Taylor - $18,702 Event #65: $1,000 Ladies Championship Reaches Final Table Just nine of the 112 players that began Day 2 of the Ladies Championship event remain after 10 levels of play. Leading the pack by a large margin is Wendy Freedman with 909,000. No other players has even 700,000. Amanda Baker, who has cashed in this event three times included a seventh place result in 2013 bagged up the second biggest chip stack. Amanda Musumeci ended Day 2 with 403,000. Vanessa Selbst, celebrating her birthday, was eliminated in 23rd place. Ebony Kenney finished 16th. The final table resumes at Noon PT on Sunday. Final Table Chip Counts Wendy Freedman - 909,000 Amanda Baker - 675,000 Courtney Kennedy - 567,000 Barbara Johnson - 416,000 Amanda Musumeci - 403,000 Xiu Deng - 376,000 Natalia Breviglieri - 357,000 Yaxi Zhu - 221,000 Nicole Schwartz - 185,000 Event #67: Dan Smith Leads $111,111 One Drop High Roller Final 13 Dan Smith went straight from busting out of the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller in third place to a seat in the $111,111 One Drop High Roller and started building his stack. His work paid off and Smith ended Day 2 of the event with the chip lead and 22,500,000 - nearly 50% more than any other player. The day began with 88 Day 1 survivors plus a few last minute entries - including Smith - and ended with just 13 players remaining. Taylor Paur was elminated on the bubble setting off a frenzy of bustouts to get from 28 to 13. Some of those who managed to make the money in the biggest buy-in event currently on the 2016 WSOP schedule include Jason Mo, Rainer Kempe, Isaac Baron, Kyle Julius, Jeff Gross and Dario Sammartino. The final 13 players return at 2 PM PT to play down to a winner to allow all players to play Day 1 C o the Main Event. Final 13 Chip Counts Dan Smith - 22,500,000 Brian Green - 14,865,000 Jack Salter - 12,790,000 Joe McKeehen - 7,160,000 Koray Aldemir - 7,140,000 Fedor Holz - 5,365,000 Niall Farrell - 5,100,000 David Steicke - 4,375,000 Adrian Mateos - 3,830,000 Scott Seiver - 2,685,000 Nick Petrangelo - 2,400,000 Brandon Steven -1,985,000 Antonio Esfandiari - 1,650,000
  9. [caption width="640"] The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is hosting the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party this November.[/caption] Set at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in sun-soaked Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, partypoker’s Caribbean Poker Party is sure to be one of the most anticipated poker events of the year. Now, the online poker site is giving players even more reason to make the trip after doubling the guarantee of one of the events, the partypoker Million, to an impressive $2,000,000. The addition of the extra cash coupled with the $1 million earmarked for the WPT Caribbean tournament means that, aside from working on their suntans, players will be vying $3 million across two great tournaments. The festivities kick off on November 19 with the $5,000 buy-in World Poker Tour event and wrap up on the November 25 with the final day of the $2,750 buy-in Million. Players dreaming of white sandy beaches but lacking a travel budget will have the chance to win one of several $8,000 packages, up for grabs on partypoker starting September 5. Lucky winners will enjoy airfare for two, all-inclusive accommodations, the $2,750 Million buy-in, plus loads of bells and whistles sure to make the trip a memorable one. Sign up now for partypoker and get a 100% bonus on your first deposit and start playing your way to a seat in the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party. Several big names in the poker world have already confirmed their attendance, including poker pro Sam Trickett, and partypoker ambassadors Mike Sexton and Tony Dunst. "After launching the first partypoker Million in 2002, it will be fantastic to see how the event has grown and with qualification starting at $0.01 and ten $8,000 packages per week up for grabs on partypoker from September it offers more value than ever," said Sexton. "I look forward to a week of unforgettable action in paradise on and off the felt." Trickett, who boasts an astronomical $20 million in live tournament cashes, looks to add even more titles to his resume while relaxing with friends. "The Caribbean Poker Party is going to be a fantastic event, I’m looking forward to going with a big group of friends and it’s brilliant to hear that the Million guarantee has been doubled to $2 million," said Trickett. Also coming to the party is boxing superstar Carl Froch, who can’t wait to put his live poker training to the test. "I’m looking forward to a week of poker in paradise and my first live tournament action outside of my home town,” he said. "Playing the partypoker Million and WPT Caribbean is the ultimate test and I’ve been putting in the hours, preparing myself for the differences between online tournaments to ensure I will be at the very top of my game." Both events allow players to re-enter one time. Of course, partypoker will take full advantage of the idyllic Punta Cana backdrop and has packed the schedule with an array of outdoor sporting events and cocktail parties. Players can play water polo, golf or volleyball on off days or enjoy the beach on their own.
  10. [caption width="639"] Mike Sexton's final season with the World Poker Tour gave him a grand sendoff as he won his first career WPT title.[/caption] After 15 seasons in the booth and countless memorable moments, Mike Sexton’s run as the voice of the World Poker Tour is at an end. The WPT announced Sexton’s retirement today as he transitions into the next stage of his poker career. Sexton’s final season as co-commentator of the World Poker Tour was one to behold. The Poker Hall of Famer notched his first career WPT Main Event win in November at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal and was in the thick of the WPT Player of the Year race where he eventually finished third. As a result of his win, Sexton is eligible to play in the event he played a major role in creating, the WPT Tournament of Champions, each year. Replacing Sexton in the booth is the former host of WPT’s Raw Deal, Tony Dunst, who has previously subbed in for Sexton in a limited capacity. Dunst will officially start as Vince Van Patten’s new partner when the first taping of Season XVI takes place this later this summer from Choctaw. Although Sexton is longer with the World Poker Tour, there is plenty to celebrate as Sexton’s role as a broadcaster and ambassador helped launch the WPT to where it is today. “Today is a bittersweet day in WPT history. As we announce the end of Mike Sexton’s incredible tenure as WPT co-commentator, the World Poker Tour celebrates the internal promotion of Tony Dunst to one of poker’s most visible positions. Mike, along with Vince Van Patten, is more than just a part of one of the longest-running commentating pairs in sports broadcast history.Mike will forever be a cherished member of the WPT family, and his impact will forever shape the core of this company and the entire industry, ” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. Dunst’s role grows with his movement into the booth after first joining the WPT in Season IX. Dunst won an open casting call to host WPT Raw Deal and appeared in over 140 segments in the time since. A former online professional, Dunst is also a member of the WPT Champions Club thanks to his Season XII win in St. Maarten. WPT is yet to announce a new Raw Deal host and Dunst is being welcomed to the broadcast team with open arms. “Tony has become a friend over the years, and I have increasingly come to admire his talent and dedication. Tony’s knowledge of the game was highly evident during WPT Raw Deal segments and occasions when he joined Mike or me in the booth, and it is without question that his commentary will elevate World Poker Tour broadcasts. It is my pleasure to welcome Tony into the booth full time, and I look forward to another great partnership starting with Season XVI,” said Van Patten. Sexton is far from finished being an ambassador for the poker world, as his new position with partypoker entails. His formal title with the company is yet to be announced, but it is known that Sexton will be taking on an executive role. The voice of a poker generation, Sexton’s contributions to the game are unmatched. Sexton has been with the World Poker Tour from when they first launched in 2002 and leaves on a high note. “It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the World Poker Tour since its inception in 2002. When the World Poker Tour launched, it was a dream come true, and to be there from the beginning and see how the WPT changed the poker world forever by essentially turning poker into a televised sport has been amazing.It's been quite a ride over these 15 seasons, and one that I've been extremely blessed to take,” said Sexton “I’d like to thank Steve Lipscomb for his vision to create the World Poker Tour, Adam Pliska for bringing the WPT to incredible heights, and the entire WPT family for all they do and have given me. I'd like to mention everyone, but there’s simply too many to name. They know who they are, and without them, the WPT wouldn’t have become what it is today.”
  11. [caption width="640"] After a stellar year of tournament results, Jason Rivkin is nearing the point of leaving poker as a full-time living. (Will OC photo)[/caption] There are many schools of thought about how to be a successful poker player on a long-term basis. Some suggest specializing in a single game and increasing your edge as much as possible while others would say it is better to have a diverse background to have an edge in many games. Jason 'RivJ' Rivkin has chosen to go with the latter approach and it is paying off wonderfully for him. The 29-year-old Rivkin’s background is in high-stakes cash games but in 2016, he had his best year playing No Limit tournaments. Rivkin finished second to Tony Dunst in the final $1,000 buy in event of the World Series of Poker and earned over $209,000 for his effort. Fast forward a few months later, Rivkin took home another silver medal in the WSOP Circuit Main Event at Cherokee. There is more to Rivkin that just poker. Rivkin started an MBA program at Monmouth University in 2014 with the intention of being able to work full-time once he graduated, and supplement his income with poker. As Rivkin puts it, he was in a prolonged downswing and "couldn’t justify torturing myself for a living just to get by." Rivkin came up in the online mixed game world and the first live cash game he ever played in was the $20/$40 Seven Card Stud game at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. He prefers to play mixed cash. “I like the speed of the game and the controlled environment. You can never lose your stack in a hand. Disciplined play is valued over wild aggression,” said Rivkin. That same disciplined play that Rivkin refers to is necessary to run deep in tournaments. Rivkin claims that No Limit Hold’em tournaments were always an "afterthought" to him but as he started to notice the large prize pools forming around them, he decided to adjust his schedule to play more. The pivot in Rivkin’s game obviously paid off over the summer when he nearly achieved his dream of winning a World Series of Poker bracelet. Rivkin was disappointed he was unable to close out the victory but overall, he is satisfied with the result. "My dream in poker has always been to win a bracelet. For 13 years I’ve dedicated myself to the game; a process that I assumed wouldn’t be validated until I won a bracelet. But as I grew older, dreams encountered reality. As bitter as a second place finish feels from a competitive standpoint, the reality is that the money earned gives me much more than a bracelet or a ring ever could. Just to be on poker’s biggest stage is a thrill of a lifetime." In total, Rivkin earned over $455,000 in tournaments last year and is now, according to him, set up for future success thanks to the financial independence that his results have given him. Rivkin isn’t planning on increasing his tournament schedule based on his 2016 but is instead more focused on going back to his bread and butter of mixed cash and preparing for the long-term future. "It was hard to set expectations for 2017 since tournament success is extremely unpredictable. I want to keep my bankroll healthy by playing cash. I want to improve myself and strengthen my relationships. I want to set myself up for the next 20 years. My success in 2016 has allowed me to play the high stakes cash games I can thrive in," said Rivkin. "From a personal standpoint, I have enjoyed the freedom of financial independence. I never have to doubt why I started to play this game in the first place. As an added bonus, I will have my MBA by the end of the year." Many poker players dream of a day where they have enough money stuffed away to not have to play the game for a living and Rivkin is heading in that direction. He will have a world of options open to him once he receives his MBA and it will be interesting to see what the future holds as that step in his life completes. "Now as I’m finishing up my degree, my goals have changed. I hope to use my business acumen to start and manage a business. Everything is moving in the right direction. Momentum is a real thing in poker."
  12. Sometime next spring, loyal World Poker Tour fans will tune into the WPT Choctaw broadcast on Fox Sports and might be a little bit startled, not so much by what they see, but rather what they hear. After serving as the lead commentator and de facto voice of the WPT for 15 seasons, Mike Sexton retired before the start of Season 16. When it came to filling that void, WPT executives and producers didn't have to look far. Tony Dunst, who had been hosting The Raw Deal segment during WPT broadcasts since 2010, was ready and willing to take on the challenge. So when Season 16 begins airing in 2018, with action from WPT Choctaw as the first televised event, it’ll be Dunst working alongside Sexton’s longtime broadcast partner, Vince van Patten. WORKING FOR PEANUTS Choctaw, Oklahoma is approximately 850 miles from Madison, Wisconsin, but the same city that gave the world Phil Hellmuth, is actually where Dunst’s journey to the WPT commentary booth began. It’s where Dunst grew up, and looking back now at his childhood, he knows he was different from the other kids in a lot of ways. “I was definitely a very weird kid. I would get obsessive about things to a degree that was sort of unnatural for a kid,” said Dunst. “In high school, for example, I got very obsessive about dieting and lifting, and I would eat the same 4-5 meals every day for months on end, to the point that my friends would tease me.” None of the teasing ever really bothered Dunst. He was hyper-aware that his approach to learning new things or conquering goals was different than most of his peers and he had a gut feeling early on that, even though he didn’t know which direction it would ultimately take, he was going to have a very unique career path. “Even back then, I had an ability to focus on things in a very singular way, and I also remember thinking pretty early on in life that the usual 9-5 job, with a boss, a sort of ‘more safe’ career, was not for me,” said Dunst. “I can remember thinking that at a very young age.” Like a lot of kids, he grew up dreaming of being a professional athlete of some sort. And like most kids, he eventually realized he wasn’t a good enough athlete for that to ever become a reality. He worked some part-time jobs through high school and they ended up shaping his thinking towards what he wanted to do with his life - or maybe more importantly, what he didn’t want to do. “I started working at 13, selling peanuts at the stadium, and then I worked at Subway making sandwiches and then I sold shoes in the mall,” said Dunst. “All these kinds of jobs where you’re getting $5 or $6 an hour, and being told what to do by the people above you, and I was like, ‘Man, there’s gotta be something better than this’.” Even though he didn’t want to pursue a corporate-type job, early on he toyed with the idea of becoming a stockbroker. Admittedly, Dunst says he was attracted to the risk involved, but also the potential for making enough money to afford a certain type of lifestyle. Nice suits. A nice car. All of that good stuff. LUNCH MONEY TO BIG MONEY [figcaption=https://www.pocketfives.com/profiles/admin/albums/article-images/596074-tony-dunst-wpt-main-red.jpg]After working for Subway and selling shoes, Tony Dunst decided a regular career just wasn't for him.[/figcaption] While the money would certainly have been nice, the Wall Street dream came with too many rules and too many bosses. He never really pursued it after he realized that didn’t fit with his personality. His desire for a high risk-high reward career never wavered though. “When I was 16, I was reading books about blackjack and card counting and became absorbed in the casino world and stories about gamblers,” said Dunst. “At 17, poker started to become popular, the World Poker Tour came on TV and my friends always wanted to play these home games.” With buy-ins of just $5 and $10, it’s hard to imagine these high school home games were anything but buddies just trading the same money back and forth, week after week, but Dunst figured out very quickly that he was doing pretty well in these games. Tony Dunst the Home Game Crusher was making way more money than Tony Dunst the Sandwich Artist and having way more fun than Tony Dunst the Shoe Salesman. It was 2002, and online poker was in its infancy. Chris Moneymaker was still doing the books for some restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee and the world was over a year away from the Boom. Dunst was already playing online poker though. He discovered sites like Paradise Poker and Planet Poker while looking up poker strategy online. “I had already started to buy strategy books, and was really curious as to how you win at this game. Back then most people were just playing for fun, it was just kind of a ‘mess around’ type thing,” said Dunst, who began winning online almost immediately. “Early online poker was pretty laughable at the low stakes.” Even though Dunst, by this time a senior in high school, had found an early version of his personal utopia, his parents still had expectations that Dunst would get a college education. “My parents were, of course, concerned that being a professional gambler was not a realistic career choice,” said Dunst, who attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he majored in theater arts. Dunst eventually dropped out of college to play full time. To say his parents didn’t approve would be an understatement. “They were terrified, of course, and I think a lot of players in my generation experienced that and it created some riffs in the relationships between players my age and their parents at times,” admitted Dunst. Getting his parents to change their mind wasn’t easy, but Dunst simply relied on the obsessive nature he first displayed as a teenager. That, combined with a little help from PocketFives, got them to come around. “I just kept playing for years and they just sort of grew to accept it,” said Dunst. “I eventually had such consistent success online that my mom would see the results on PocketFives and would send me a message, ‘I saw you won that tournament for $20,000. That’s great!’.” GETTING RAW It was around that time that another opportunity, one that looked and felt more like a real job than anything he’d ever really had, came along. Despite Dunst’s previous dislike of a corporate job, he pursued this one with vigor. “The last nail in the coffin was getting the job with the World Poker Tour, because then it wasn’t just ‘you’re a gambler relying on this very unstable form of income. Now you’ve turned it into a career’,” said Dunst. Dunst’s Raw Deal hosting job almost didn’t happen though. In 2010, while trying to revamp their weekly shows, the WPT put out an open casting call for a new segment. They were looking for somebody who could dissect hands on camera in an entertaining and edgy way. Dunst was definitely interested, but had a scheduling conflict that meant he couldn’t get to the live audition that the finalists were asked to attend. The WPT was keen on Dunst though, and made arrangements for him to come in a week later and audition on his own. He nailed it. “It was the first audition I ever went out for. It was the first job interview I ever had pretty much my entire adult life,” said Dunst. Hosting the Raw Deal meant being willing to critique other people’s play, a challenge he was more than willing to accept thanks his extensive playing experience. “I tried out for that job at 25, so I had already been in poker for eight years. I’d played a lot online and live. I hadn’t been that successful live but, especially in my early 20s, I thought I was hot shit. So, I probably walked in there feeling like, ‘of course I belong here’.” Over the next seven years, Dunst become a valued member of not only the broadcasts, but also of the WPT organization. Through all of it, Dunst learned that while he probably wasn’t cut out to be a stockbroker riding the subway to get to the office for 7 am, he enjoyed working with others and creating something unique. “I learned how much I enjoy collaborating with other people. I liked the social element of having a job,” said Dunst. “I enjoyed the creative process of watching this footage and saying ‘Okay, how are we going to turn a poker hand into enjoyable or funny commentary?’ How do you highlight something interesting about the decisions these people are making, be they positive or negative, and do it in a way that your casual viewer is going to both enjoy and understand.” Along with doing the the Raw Deal segments, which he shot in studio in Los Angeles, Dunst also handled commentary on some of the live streams that WPT did at various events. While it gave Dunst exposure to an even bigger audience, it also allowed him even more opportunities to work with the WPT producers and talent. “You’re working in an environment where you’re all working towards a common goal, a shared goal with your co-workers,” said Dunst. “You’re relationship with those people is going to be as important to your success in that endeavor as the product or commentary that you create.” [figcaption=https://www.pocketfives.com/profiles/admin/albums/article-images/596075-tony-dunst-playing-wpt.jpg]With nearly $3 million in live earnings, Tony Dunst brings a wealth of playing experience to the booth.[/figcaption] None of this meant that Dunst stopped playing poker though. Just the opposite. He continued to travel the world, and even began playing more WPT events. He posted his first WPT cash in the Five Diamond Poker Classic in 2011, finishing 18th in what is one of the toughest fields of the year. Then he final-tabled the Jacksonville bestbet Open, finishing fifth. He posted another pair of cashes during the next season before pulling off the dream scenario. In November 2013, Dunst, who played online under the name ‘Bond18’ made the final table of the WPT Caribbean event at a hotel named ‘Casino Royale’ - the name of the Bond film where the super spy finds himself playing high stakes poker. He went on to win the event, adding a signature win to his resume and $145,000 to his bankroll. He continued to add to that resume by making back-to-back final tables of the WPT Championship event in Atlantic City, finishing third in 2014 and sixth in 2015. All told, Dunst has cashed in 11 WPT main tour events, earning $984,779. He's also had success outside of the WPT, including a World Series of Poker win in 2016. That came just over five months after he finished runner-up in the Aussie Millions Main Event. His career earnings now sit at $2.9 million. A WISE INVESTMENT [figcaption=https://www.pocketfives.com/profiles/admin/albums/article-images/596073-dunst-punta-booth.jpg]Tony Dunst will now work alongside Vince van Patten to bring the action to life on WPT broadcasts.[/figcaption] While the Raw Deal gig helped him convince his parents that he’d made the right career choice, it also gave him valuable experience that wound up paying off later. While each segment was only a couple of minutes long, the time it took to film each one gave Dunst time to get comfortable working with the lights and cameras bearing down on him. “Speaking on camera is something that you gradually get better at over time. You learn to not let your eyes move down on a teleprompter. You speak more coherently, more smoothly. You learn the timing,” said Dunst. “It can be tempting when you first start speaking on camera, to talk really fast. You have to calm your nerves. And that dissipated over time.” Dunst isn’t quite sure how many Raw Deal segments he filmed over the years, but estimates it’s close to 150. That means there were at least that many players whose play Dunst was publicly critical of. Being candid and critical, knowing that he’d be talking to those players at some point on tour is also something he’s taking with him to his new role. “(The Raw Deal) was great practice, both the collaborative process of working with other people, but also understanding the nuance of interacting with players after you do commentary or criticism of them,” said Dunst. “That’s going to be important, because in these events, I’m in the fields, I’m hanging around at the events, I have to have relationships with these players, and then I’m expected to critique them at a very sensitive time for them.” The days of micro-analyzing and critiquing just a single hand from every final table are over for Dunst. Working alongside van Patten as commentator means he’s going to be calling the action now and making sure the viewers at home know exactly what’s happening at all times and what it means as the final table plays down to a champion. “It’s more of a play-by-play (role) now. I think it’s pretty hard to make a deep dive in strategy when we’re trying to keep the action moving on the show, and it’s just not my responsibility the way it was with the Raw Deal,” said Dunst. Stepping into a role that a Poker Hall of Famer and one of poker’s greatest ambassadors held for a long time isn’t something Dunst did lightly. Having already established himself on the broadcasts made the decision to take the new job even easier - but some kind words from Sexton also put Dunst at ease. During a WPT dinner honoring Sexton, he went out of his way to make sure the WPT staff in attendance knew that Dunst was ready for the new role. “He just had some very kind, encouraging words, which he said publicly in front of a lot of people,” remembered Dunst. “He said, ‘WPT has nothing to worry about - they’re in really good hands with Tony’.” While calling the action of every televised WPT final table is the nitty gritty of the job, Dunst has been around long enough to know that filling Sexton’s shoes involves much more than getting the suits of the cards on the flop, turn and river right every time. He has a legacy to live up to. “I think it adds some pressure to uphold the image of an ambassador that Mike projected so well in his time with the World Poker Tour,” said Dunst. “I think that if you’re going to have that role with the WPT, I think there is an expectation that you will always portray poker in a positive light.” With that in mind, Dunst plans on being at as many WPT events as he can - including the non-televised variety. Even making appearances at WPT National or WPTDeepStacks events is something Dunst plans to do, if only to give him an opportunity to mix it up with poker players and fans at all levels. “I think also being willing to to share your experiences in the poker world is important in this role as part of the standard that Mike set,” said Dunst. “Coming after somebody with the presence of Mike Sexton is a challenge in a way, but on the plus side, Mike himself, the WPT, the players, they’ve all helped make this transition feel pretty natural and welcoming for me.” ALL IN THE FAMILY Inside the WPT itself is where Dunst sees his third and final transition that comes with the new job. If the Raw Deal gig cast Dunst as the cool big brother in the WPT family, being the commentator means it’s time to take on something bigger. “My role in the family is a little more in a position of leadership I guess you would say now,” said Dunst. “I think that just being present for almost everything that we do is really important. Even if I don’t have a very active role in whatever that activity is, or the event is that day, being present when you’re in my position is really important.” More visibility on the broadcasts, an expectation of ambassadorship in the poker industry, and a position of leadership within the walls of the WPT is a lot for anybody to take on. When Dunst was offered the job, he embraced everything that came with it. All to live out a fantasy he had as a high schooler watching the WPT on TV while beating his friends in those $5 and $10 home games. “It’s one of, if not the best position in the entire poker industry. I watched this show when I was a kid. Back then I was like, ‘Oh I hope I can be on the WPT one day as a player’. As a host, seemed almost too good to be true,” said Dunst. “I enjoy this kind of work, I enjoy this type of role. I knew what taking it meant. And I felt like, I already live out of a suitcase and just hang out at poker tournaments all the time. So if you want to pay me to do it, no problem, man.” Photos provided by World Poker Tour and Joe Giron/
  13. [caption width="640"] Phil Hellmuth joins the WPT broadcast team as the new host of the WPT Raw Deal. (WPT photo)[/caption] Tony Dunst made the move from hosting the World Poker Tour's Raw Deal segment to the commentary booth for Season XVI of the WPT, leaving a large void to be filled. In grand fashion, none other than Phil Hellmuth is joining the WPT team as the new Raw Deal analyst. The move comes as the WPT season heads to Los Angeles for the Legends of Poker event at the end of August. Similar to Dunst, Hellmuth’s role will be to provide insight and analysis on hands that play out over the course of the WPT television broadcast on Fox Sports. Previous to the World Poker Tour, Hellmuth served in a comparable role on ESPN’s World Series of Poker episodes when he gave commentary during his segments of “White Magic.” Given his experience both as a player and commentator, Hellmuth is a natural fit for the Raw Deal and the WPT looks forward to having him on the broadcasts. World Poker Tour CEO Adam Pliska voiced his pleasure in welcoming Hellmuth to the team. “It is the World Poker Tour’s great pleasure to welcome Phil Hellmuth as our new WPT Raw Deal analyst. It takes a unique ability to be the WPT Raw Deal analyst, and the World Poker Tour is confident that it has found the perfect successor to Tony Dunst in Phil Hellmuth. Phil’s insightful poker analysis comes with the right amount of edginess, and his poker résumé speaks for itself, exemplifying all the WPT looks for in its Raw Deal analyst.” Known for voicing his full opinion at the table and as a member of commentary team, Hellmuth looks forward to bringing that same energy to the WPT. “I am honored to join the World Poker Tour as the new WPT Raw Deal analyst. Becoming a part of the World Poker Tour family has been a career dream of mine, and I’d like to thank Adam Pliska for providing me this exciting opportunity. Backed by my decades of poker experience, I look forward to offering no-holds-barred commentary and analysis as host of the WPT Raw Deal.” Hellmuth’s first appearance will be for the WPT Choctaw tournament, which concluded play on August 8.
  14. One look at #WSOP gives even those with the slightest interest in poker a severe case of FOMO. The first week of the 49th Annual World Series of Poker had it all. Big names fighting for multimillion-dollar scores and players mixing it up both on and off-the-felt. It’s impossible to catch everything that’s happening at the Rio in Las Vegas but here are some of the highlights we enjoyed that will make you feel like you’re in the thick of the action yourself. So Many Rings When you want to stretch your bankroll, perhaps a single table satellite is the way to go. Just beat a soft field of 9 other players and next thing you know you’re vying for a gold bracelet. Well, maybe the field isn’t that soft. On to week two!
  15. Tony Dunst topped a 1,361-entry field to win World Series of Poker Online Event #21 ($777 Six Max NLHE) to give him the second WSOP bracelet and a $168,342 payday early Wednesday morning. Dunst eliminated four of his final five opponents at the final table and held the chip lead for all but a few moments on his way to victory. The win comes four years after Dunst, also a World Poker Tour commentator, won his first bracelet in a $1,000 NLHE tournament. Dunst's path of destruction at the final table started with Jon Turner as the first casualty. Dunst raised to 300,000 from UTG before Turner moved all in for 462,593 on the button. Dunst called and showed [poker card="kd"][poker card="jd"] while Turner tabled [poker card="ac"][poker card="9d"]. The flop came [poker card="jc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="4c"] to give Dunst top pair and Turner second pair. Neither the [poker card="4d"] turn or [poker card="th"] river was any help for Turner and he was out in sixth. Dunst waited all of two minutes before busting another player. Krista 'Pollux' Gifford moved all in from the button for 764,508 with [poker card="kc"][poker card="th"] and Dunst moved all in over the top from the small blind with [poker card="kd"][poker card="ks"]. The board ran out [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"][poker card="4d"][poker card="6h"][poker card="8s"] to give Dunst the pot and eliminate Gifford in fifth place. Four-handed play last 15 minutes a blind versus blind battle saw one player sent home. From the small blind, 'ilosestackz' moved all in for 1,555,996 with [poker card="jd"][poker card="8c"] and 'paymycollege' called from the big blind with [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"]. The [poker card="ad"][poker card="7c"][poker card="4s"] flop gave 'paymycollege' a strangle hold which stayed through the [poker card="2h"] turn and [poker card="8h"] river to eliminate 'ilosestackz' in fourth. Dunst resumed his role as table captain and 15 minutes later sent the tournament to heads up. Alec 'Tango_Bravo' Parslow raised to 350,000 from the small blind and Dunst moved all in from the big blind. Parslow called and then tabled [poker card="ad"][poker card="kd"] to Dunst's [poker card="as"][poker card="9h"]. The [poker card="ts"][poker card="7d"][poker card="5s"] flop gave Parslow to reason for concern. The [poker card="8h"] turn gave Dunst an open-ended straight draw. The [poker card="jd"] river completed that straight toeliminate Parslow in third and gave Dunst 65% of the chips in play. Over the next 15 minutes, 'paymycollege' took a slight chip lead before losing all but half of a big blind when Dunst made a flush again their straight on a [poker card="7s"][poker card="5s"][poker card="4d"][poker card="3s"][poker card="qh"] run out. Two hands later it was over. 'paymycollege' shoved from the button for 230,992 with [poker card="6c"][poker card="3s"] and Dunst called from the big blind with [poker card="ah"][poker card="as"]. The board ran out [poker card="qh"][poker card="8c"][poker card="7c"][poker card="4s"][poker card="jc"] to eliminate 'paymycollege' in second and give Dunst the second bracelet of his career. Final Table Payouts Tony Dunst - $168,342 paymycollege - $103,940 Alec Parslow - $72,215 ilosestackz - $50,779 Krista Gifford - $36,203 Jon Turner - $26,199 Faces in the Crowd For the 13th time this Series, Ryan Laplante managed to work his way into the money before busting in 99th for a $1,524.32 score. Both Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth also earned a cash on Tuesday. Negreanu finished 30th for $5,144.58 while Hellmuth came in 114th for $1,429.05. Among the other notables who cashed on Tuesday were Alan 'GladiusIII' Goehring (26th - $5,144.58), Ari Engel (39th - $3,429.72), Vanessa 'ContainsNuts' Kade (55th - $2,000.67), Ryan 'bitc0in' Riess (60th - $2,000.67), Ian 'apokerjoker2' Steinman (69th - $1,810.13), Jason Somerville (87th - $1,619.59), and Event # 1 winner Jonathan 'Art.Vandelay' Dokler (89th - $1,619.59).

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