Tony Dunst is the newest member of poker’s gold bracelet club.
The 31-year-old poker pro based in Las Vegas, who is perhaps just as well known for his regular appearances as a popular commentator on the World Poker Tour television series, thundered his way to his first career victory in a World Series of Poker event.
The always immaculately-dressed poker maven won the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament, which was played over three days and nights at the Rio in Las Vegas. The closing stages of the tournament took place as the 2016 WSOP Main Event was underway within the same venue.
Dunst collected $339,254 in prize money, making this one of the biggest wins of his career. This was his 25th time to cash in a series event. Surprisingly, Dunst had never finished higher than 8th in a gold bracelet event, which occurred in 2008. Nonetheless, Dunst had more than paid his dues on the tournament trail and cash games to reach this pinnacle. His contributions to the game through television appearances, writings, commentary, charity events, and special engagements have been immeasurable to the growth of the game.
Dunst won this victory by coming out on top at a final table which included a formidable lineup of foes. What was most interesting was the diversity of nations represented at the final table. Players came from the United States, Argentina, Great Britain, Spain, and Italy.
After Joshua Field busted out in third place, the crowning moment for Dunst came when he scooped the final pot of the tournament holding two pair, against Jason Rivkin, who finished as the runner up. His consolation prize amounted to $209,596.
As for the winner, Dunst is originally from Milwaukee. He’s been playing poker seriously since his teens. He burst upon the poker scene about ten years ago. He was instantly noticeable in a sea of shorts and hoodies as the player who almost always came dressed in a suit and tie while playing in public. Dunst parlayed his charm and talent for the game into a recurring role as commentator for the WPT. Always unpredictable as well as entertaining, Dunst tackles issues from poker controversies to strategy discussion. He’s become one of the game’s most recognizable television personalities.
Moreover, he can also play poker pretty well, it appears.
This exciting tourney attracted 2,452 entrants which created a prize pool totaling $2,206,800. The top 368 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: Jason Rivkin, a 29-year-old graduate student from Cliffside Park, NJ finished as the runner up. He put up a tough fight, but wasn’t able to overcome Dunst’s pronounced chip lead over the course of the hour-long heads-up battle. Rivkin now has eight cashes in WSOP events. He received $209,586 for this deep run.
Third Place: Joshua Field, a 26-year-old poker pro from Villa Park, CA finished in third place. This was his sixth cash in ’16 and 24th in-the-money finish overall at the series. He received $153,015. This was his fourth final table appearance.
Fourth Place: Francisco Araujo, a 24-year-old poker pro from Buenos Aires posted the highest finish of any player from Argentina, this far, with his fourth place showing. Araujo, who cashed in a WSOP event for the first time, collected $112,724. This was his third straight year to play in an event at the WSOP.
Fifth Place: Matas Cimbolas, a 23-year-old poker pro from London, UK cashed for the fifth time at the ’16 series, and seventh time overall. Fifth place paid $83,804. This was his first time to make it all the way to the final table.
Sixth Place: Sergio Cabrera, a 27-year-old poke pro from Granada, Spain ended up as the sixth-place finisher, which paid $62,880. Cabrera has now cashed ten times dating back to the 2012 WSOP.
Seventh Place: Levon Torosyan, a business owner from Los Angeles, CA came in seventh place. This was his third time to make it to a final table after coming in 3rd in and event in 2008 and 4th in 2014. Torosyan received $47,622.
Eighth Place: Raffaele Castro, from Lugano, Italy took eighth place. This was his first time to cash in a Las Vegas event. However, Castro did finish fourth in a WSOP Circuit event played earlier this year at Casino De Campione (Campione, Italy). Castro pocketed $36,406.
Ninth Place: David Sciacqua, from Naples, FL is a business owner of a company called Interiors by Agostino. His grand design to redecorate the final table and renovate the chip stacks of his opponents failed to materialize. However, Sciacqua did collect $28,097 in what was his first cash ever at the WSOP.