Las Vegas, NV (June 11, 2011) – Tyler Bonkowski is the dude.
The Canadian poker pro was declared winner of the most recent World Series of Poker tournament, held at the Rio in Las Vegas. The 14th tournament on this year’s schedule -- which includes 58 events -- was the $3,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em Championship.
The tournament started with 337 entries. Three days after it began, Bonkowski was the only player standing – make that sitting – at the final table. Piled high in front of his beaming smile were thousands of multi-colored poker chips and one very coveted prize – the WSOP gold bracelet. Bonkowski collected first-place prize money totaling $220,817.
Bonkowski is a 26-year-old pro from Regina, Saskatchewan. He spent three years in college before deciding he didn't know what to do with this life. So, instead he started playing poker full-time. During that first year, Bronkowski discovered something he was both suited to do and enjoyed.
Prior to his WSOP win, Bonkowski’s best tournament finished was a 14th-place showing at the 2011 Aussie Millions. He also took 19th-place in the 2010 Irish Open.
Bonkowski cashed three times at last year's WSOP. With each tournament played he steadily improved his skills and stamina. The investment paid off this year as Bonkowski endured a wide gambit of strategic situations -- being the chip leader at one point and also being desperately low on chips when playing heads-up.
Bonkowski was down by about a 12 to 1 margin at one stage, but was never rattled. He stuck to his game plan and waited for the cards to turn in his favor. When they did, Bonkowski was there patiently waiting ready enjoy the breeze of a wind in his sails.
The runner up was Brandon Demes, from Tempe, AZ. He is a 24-year-old poker pro. Demes put up a strong fight at the final table, but was never able to finish off the very determined Bonkowski. Second place paid $136,419.
Among the more notable players who cashed in this event were Jeff Shulman, who made the final table of the 2009 WSOP Main Event. Sorel Mizzi also cashed, along with Victor Ramdin.
The Official Report will be posted shortly to WSOP.com.