Oil company CEO strikes gold in $1,700 Main Event at Choctaw Durant.

13 January 2020 (Durant, Okla.) -- A climax to the World Series of Poker Circuit series at Choctaw Durant occurred Monday evening with the conclusion of its most lucrative tournament. When all was said and done in Event #10: $1,700 No-Limit Hold’em, Dustin Schoonover reigned as last man standing.

The 38-year-old from Texas ultimately took down a four-figure field of 1,065 entries to win his first WSOP gold ring. What ended up being a grueling three days of focused tournament poker stemmed from an unassuming beginning for Schoonover.

“I didn’t start till, hell, 10th round our something. I came up here to play cash,” Schoonover said with a laugh. “Got down to like 14, 15 thousand and just kept grinding, man.”

Schoonover joined in on the Main Event action late, around Level 10, during Day 1B on Saturday. At the end of Level 16, he bagged with a modest stack of 126,500, good for middle of the pack. In fact, Schoonover had a pretty quiet road all the way to the winner’s circle.

Toward the tail end of Day 2 is when Schoonover really began to make moves, chipping up to 1.2 million before the two-table redraw, then bagging 3,020,00, the third-larges stack in play at the time.

Day 3 restarted with 18 players remaining, including the likes of 14-time gold ring winner Maurice Hawkins, WSOP gold bracelet winner Jared Jaffee, as well as three-time gold ring winners Christopher Staats and Melisa Singh.

With experienced players still in the mix and the competition heating up, Schoonover seemed to fly under the radar, continuing his grind-it-out style of play.

Once the final table was reached, Schoonover broke out into some hands with the Day-2 chip leader Brant Jolly who sat directly to his left.

Matt Newcombe and John Skrovan were doing most of the work when it came to knockouts. Skrovan alone sent three final tablists to the rail before delivering a huge, fatal blow to Newcombe himself.

This set Skrovan up with a commanding chip lead, towering over his final two opponents, Schoonover and Jolly. Schoonover did the work of busting Jolly, which helped boost his stack a bit, but still went into heads-up at a nearly 4-1 deficit.

Things looked bleak for Schoonover. However, he held strong and two pivotal strokes of luck massively turned the tides in his favor. After that, Schoonover never looked back and raked in the Main Event honors.

Along with his first Circuit gold ring, the husband and father of two girls earned the top prize of $272,846. As President and CEO of his own oil company, Schoonover admitted he really wasn’t after the prize money.

“How much did I win?” Schoonover sincerely asked after his win. “I was playing for the ring.” When the significant sum was pointed out to him, Schoonover did provide some uses for it. “Man, I got a 13-year-old girl. We’re gonna send her to college wherever she wants to go. She’ll go to college and me and my wife will go on vacation.”

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