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2015 46th Annual World Series of Poker

Friday, June 24, 2016 to Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Event #41: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em MONSTER STACK

download official report     download official winner photo
  • Buy-in: $1,500
  • Prizepool: $9,351,450
  • Entries: 6,927
  • Remaining: 0
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EVENT UPDATES

06/29/16 10:04:28 AM PST
 
Mitchell Towner Wins the Monster Stack
 

 

Mitchell Towner has just won a million-dollar, monster-sized victory at 2016 World Series of Poker.

Four days ago, the University of Arizona college professor and self-admitted novice poker player would have seemed like the least likely candidate to wind up as the only player left sitting at a poker table where nearly 7,000 others hoped to be victorious, and the ultimate beneficiary of one of the largest cash prizes of the summer series.  He was one of the players many pros and veterans mentally target as “not standing a chance.”

Well, strange things happen sometimes in poker and even stranger things take place when the cards are dealt at the World Series of Poker.  Dreams do come true.  Even miracles happen.

Incredibly, this was the first time Towner had ever cashed in a poker tournament of any kind.  To say this was a stunning debut woul be an understatement.

“I’ve only played in like two events that were buy-ins of more than $100,” Towner confided afterward to a group of reporters who were stunned by the admission that someone with so little experience could outmaneuver such a huge field size.  “I want to give a shout out to some of the podcast guys, and the television coverage I saw on EPT events and others where they talk about hands.  I’m like a casual fan who invests maybe an hour a week in this....I really don’t play poker.”

The 29-year-old graduate of the University of Texas at Austin who earned his PhD in finance, appropriately enough, just a year earlier, won the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em “Monster Stack” tournament.  The competition was played over four days and three nights and just concluded on the ESPN main stage at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Towner collected a whopping $1,120,196 in prize money, making this the biggest win of his career.  It was his first time to cash at the WSOP, where he’d entered only one previous tournament.

Towner claimed his victory by coming out on top at a final table which included a highly-determined lineup with but one common goal – winning what would be a first gold bracelet.  Only David “the Dragon” Pham has previously won a WSOP title.  However, just by making it as far as the last table on Day Four provided each of the top nine finishers with a guaranteed six-figure payout.    In a sense, they were all winners already, freerolling for what could be a life-changing score.

“I played it pretty straightforward; I didn’t want to get into any marginal spots,” Towner said.  “Each time I would sit down, I would have some young wizard on my left.  I was like, play tight and then wait for a spot.  It seemed like some people would blast off occasionally, and of course I got hit with the deck at the right time and it all worked out.”

When the final two players had been established following several hours of play on the final day, Towner enjoyed about a 6 to 5 chip lead over a tough player named Dorian Rios in a heads-up match that could have gone either way.  With both players so deep and so many chips in play, a long marathon match was expected.

It didn’t happen that way.  Head’s up play lasted only a few minutes, with Towner applying constant pressure.

The ultimate moment of triumph came when Towner scooped the final pot of the tournament, holding A-7 against Rios’ 3-3.  After a 7 fell on board, Towner was declared the winner and Rios finished as the runner up.  Yet even the second-place finisher collected quite a consolation prize, amounting to $692,029.

“I came here for a conference and planned to play just one event.  I might play the Main Event, too,” Towner said.  “But after this, for me, it’s head back to work. I’m kinda’ young for a college professor, at age 29.  I even have some graduate students who are a bit older than me. Maybe when I get back (to the University of Arizona), they might look at me a little different now.”

Monster Stack tournaments were first introduced at the WSOP three years ago.  The unique deep-stack format gave players far more chips than normal, which then resulted in a longer tournament with far more hands played.

This tourney attracted 6,927 entrants which created a prize pool totaling $9,351,450.  The top 1,040 finishers collected prize money.

Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:

Second Place:  Dorian Rios (Anquo, Venezuela) -- $692,029

Third Place:  Stephen Nussrallah (Alpharetta, GA) -- $513,902

Fourth Place:  Daniel DiPasquale (Derry, NH) -- $384,338

Fifth Place:  David Pham (Cerritos, CA) -- $289,497

Sixth Place:  Andrew Moreno (Las Vegas, NV) -- $219,632

Seventh Place:  David Valcourt (Sept-Iles, QC – Canada) -- $167,838

Eighth Place:  Marshall White (Garner, NC) -- $129,197

Ninth Place:  Cody Pack (Cartersville, GA) -- $100,185

This was the 41st official event on this year’s schedule.  This still leaves 28 gold bracelet events still to be played at the 2016 WSOP.

06/29/16 02:05:06 AM PST
 
MITCHELL TOWNER WINS MILLION-DOLLAR MONSTER-SIZED VICTORY AT 2016 WSOP
 

 

Mitchell Towner has just won a million-dollar, monster-sized victory at 2016 World Series of Poker.

 

Four days ago, the University of Arizona college professor and self-admitted novice poker player would have seemed like the least likely candidate to wind up as the only player left sitting at a poker table where nearly 7,000 others hoped to be victorious, and the ultimate beneficiary of one of the largest cash prizes of the summer series.  He was one of the players many pros and veterans mentally target as “not standing a chance.”

 

Well, strange things happen sometimes in poker and even stranger things take place when the cards are dealt at the World Series of Poker.  Dreams do come true.  Even miracles happen.

 

Incredibly, this was the first time Towner had ever cashed in a poker tournament of any kind.  To say this was a stunning debut would be an understatement.

 

“I’ve only played in like two events that were buy-ins of more than $100,” Towner confided afterward to a group of reporters who were stunned by the admission that someone with so little experience could outmaneuver such a huge field size.  “I want to give a shout out to some of the podcast guys, and the television coverage I saw on EPT events and others where they talk about hands.  I’m like a casual fan who invests maybe an hour a week in this....I really don’t play poker.”

 

The 29-year-old graduate of the University of Texas at Austin who earned his PhD in finance, appropriately enough, just a year earlier won the $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em “Monster Stack” tournament.  The competition was played over four days and three nights and just concluded on the ESPN main stage at the Rio in Las Vegas.

 

Towner collected a whopping $1,120,196 in prize money, making this the biggest win of his career.  It was his first time to cash at the WSOP, where he’d entered only one previous tournament.

 

Towner claimed his victory by coming out on top at a final table which included a highly-determined lineup with but one common goal – winning what would be a first gold bracelet.  Only David “the Dragon” Pham has previously won a WSOP title.  However, just by making it as far as the last table on Day Four provided each of the top nine finishers with a guaranteed six-figure payout.  In a sense, they were all winners already, freerolling for what could be a life-changing score.

 

“I played it pretty straightforward; I didn’t want to get into any marginal spots,” Towner said.  “Each time I would sit down, I would have some young wizard on my left.  I was like, play tight and then wait for a spot.  It seemed like some people would blast off occasionally, and of course I got hit with the deck at the right time and it all worked out.”

 

When the final two players had been established following several hours of play on the final day, Towner enjoyed about a 6 to 5 chip lead over a tough player named Dorian Rios in a heads-up match that could have gone either way.  With both players so deep and so many chips in play, a long marathon match was expected.

 

It didn’t happen that way.  Head’s up play lasted only a few minutes, with Towner applying constant pressure.

 

The ultimate moment of triumph came when Towner scooped the final pot of the tournament, holding A-7 against Rios’ 3-3.  After a 7 fell on board, Towner was declared the winner and Rios finished as the runner up.  Yet even the second-place finisher collected quite a consolation prize, amounting to $692,029.

 

“I came here for a conference and planned to play just one event.  I might play the Main Event, too,” Towner said.  “But after this, for me, it’s head back to work.”

 

As for the reception Towner expects to receive once he enters his next classroom as a gold bracelet champion and million-dollar winner, the humble winner became more introspective.

 

“I’m kinda’ young for a college professor, at age 29.  I even have some graduate students who are a bit older than me,” Towner said.  “Maybe when I get back (to the University of Arizona), they might look at me a little different now.”

 

Monster Stack tournaments were first introduced at the WSOP three years ago.  The unique deep-stack format gave players far more chips than normal, which then resulted in a longer tournament with far more hands played.

 

This tourney attracted 6,927 entrants which created a prize pool totaling $9,351,450.  The top 1,040 finishers collected prize money.

 

Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:

 

Second Place:  Dorian Rios (Anqoa, Venezuela) -- $692,029

 

Third Place:  Stephen Nussrallah (Alpharetta, GA) -- $513,902

 

Fourth Place:  Daniel DiPasquale (Derry, NH) -- $384,338

 

Fifth Place:  David Pham (Cerritos, CA) -- $289,497

 

Sixth Place:  Andrew Moreno (Las Vegas, NV) -- $219,632

 

Seventh Place:  David Valcourt (Sept-Iles, QC – Canada) -- $167,838

 

Eighth Place:  Marshall White (Garner, NC) -- $129,197

 

Ninth Place:  Cody Pack (Cartersville, GA) -- $100,185

06/28/16 10:58:16 PM PST
 
Hand #123: Mitchell Towner Wins Event #41 ($1,120,196), Dorian Rios Takes 2nd ($692,029)
 


Mitchell Towner - Monster Stack Winner ($1,120,196)

Dorian Rios completes on the button, and Mitchell Towner raises to 3,300,000.  Rios announces that he is all in, and Towner asks for a count.  Upon hearing the 24,000,000 total, Towner pauses for less than 30 seconds, then announces a call. 

Rios:   
Towner:   

The flop comes    , giving Towner the lead with his pair of sevens. The   turn maintains that lead. The   river does not help Rios, and he is eliminated in 2nd place, taking home $692,029.  Towner will win Event #41, taking home $1,120,196. 

A full recap of the event will be posted shortly.

Mitchell Towner - 103,905,000
Dorian Rios - Eliminated in 2nd place, for $692,029


Dorian Rios - 2nd Place - $692,029

06/28/16 10:56:33 PM PST
 
Hand #122: Mitchell Towner
 

Mitchell Towner calls from the small blind, Dorian Rios raises to 3,100,000 from the big blind, and Towner calls.

The flop comes    . Rios bets 2,200,000, and Towner calls.

The turn is the   and Rios checks. Towner bets 4,500,000 and Rios calls.

The   falls on the river and Rios checks again. Towner bets 11,500,000 and Rios calls. Towner shows    for a six-high straight, which is good against Rios's   , and he takes the pot.

Mitchell Towner - 78,905,000 (79 bb)
Dorian Rios - 25,000,000 (25 bb)

06/28/16 10:52:59 PM PST
 
Hand #121: Mitchell Towner
 
Mitchell Towner gets a walk in the big blind.
06/28/16 10:52:40 PM PST
 
Hand #120: Dorian Rios
 
Mitchell Towner calls from the small blind, Dorian Rios raises to 3,300,000, and Towner folds.
06/28/16 10:51:50 PM PST
 
Hand #119: Dorian Rios
 

Dorian Rios calls from the small blind and Mitchell Towner checks his option.

The flop comes    , Towner checks, Rios bets 1,100,000, and Towner folds.

06/28/16 10:47:44 PM PST
 
Hand #118: Mitchell Towner
 

Mitchell Towner calls from the small blind and Dorian Rios checks his option.

The flop is     and Rios checks. Towner bets 1,000,000 and Rios calls.

The turn is the   and both players check.

The river is the   and Rios checks. Towner bets 2,200,000 and Rios calls. Towner shows    and Rios mucks.

06/28/16 10:45:49 PM PST
 
Hand #117: Dorian Rios
 
Dorian Rios raises to 2,000,000 and Mitchell Towner folds.
06/28/16 10:45:21 PM PST
 
Hand #116: Mitchell Towner
 

Mitchell Towner calls from the small blind and Dorian Rios checks his option.

The flop is     and Rios checks. Towner bets 1,000,000 and Rios folds.

06/28/16 10:42:11 PM PST
 
Hand #115: Dorian Rios
 

Dorian Rios raises to 2,000,000 on the button, and Mitchell Towner calls.

The flop comes    . Towner checks, Rios bets 2,600,000, and Towner calls.

The turn is the  . Towner checks again, Rios bets 4,800,000, and Towner folds. 

06/28/16 10:40:45 PM PST
 
Hand #114: Dorian Rios
 

Mitchell Towner completes on the button, and Dorian Rios checks his option in the big blind. 

The flop comes    . Rios checks, Towner bets 1,000,000, and Rios calls.

Both players check the   turn.

The river is the  . Rios bets 2,600,000, and Towner folds.

06/28/16 10:40:32 PM PST
 
Hand #113: Mitchell Towner
 

Dorian Rios raises to 1,800,000 from the small blind and Mitchell Towner calls from the big blind.

The flop comes     and Towner checks. Rios bets 2,200,000 and Towner calls.

The turn brings the   and Towner checks again. Rios bets 3,700,000 and Towner calls.

The river is the   and both players check. Towner tables    for two pair, eights and sixes, and Rios mucks.

Mitchell Towner - 55,000,000 (69 bb)
Dorian Rios - 46,000,000 (58 bb)

06/28/16 10:37:33 PM PST
 
Hand #112: Dorian Rios
 

Mitchell Towner calls from the small blind, Dorian Rios raises to 3,300,000 from the big blind, and Towner calls.

The flop comes    , Rios bets 3,200,000, and Towner folds.

06/28/16 10:36:15 PM PST
 
Hand #111: Dorian Rios
 
Dorian Rios raises to 2,000,000 from the small blind and wins the pot.
06/28/16 10:33:41 PM PST
 
Hand #110: Mitchell Towner
 

Mitchell Towner calls from the small blind and Dorian Rios checks his option.

The flop comes     and Rios checks. Towner bets 1,000,000 and Rios calls.

The turn is the   and Rios checks again. Towner bets 2,200,000 and Rios folds.

06/28/16 10:32:03 PM PST
 
Hand #109: Mitchell Towner
 
Dorian Rios calls from the small blind and Mitchell Towner raises to 2,800,000. Rios folds.
06/28/16 10:30:10 PM PST
 
Hand #108: Dorian Rios
 

Mitchell Towner calls from the small blind and Dorian Rios checks his option.

The flop is     and Rios checks. Towner bets 1,000,000 and Rios calls.

The turn is the   and both players check.

The river is the   and Rios leads for 3,500,000. Towner folds.

06/28/16 10:28:43 PM PST
 
Hand #107: Mitchell Towner
 
Dorian Rios folds and Mitchell Towner wins the pot.
06/28/16 10:24:33 PM PST
 
Hand #106: Stephen Nussrallah Eliminated By Dorian Rios in 3rd Place ($513,902)
 


Stephen Nussrallah

Stephen Nussrallah raises to 2,500,000 on the button, and Dorian Rios shoves all in from the big blind. Nussrallah quickly calls for less, and the players table their hands. 

Nussrallah:   
Rios:   

The flop comes    , giving Rios the lead with trip fours. The   turn and   river do not improve Nussrallah's hand, and he is eliminated in 3rd place, taking home $513,902. 

Dorian Rios - 47,100,000 (58 bb)
Stephen Nussrallah - Eliminated in 3rd place, for $513,902



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