The third-largest tournament of the summer played to a winner on Wednesday at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, with a Texan finding the winner’s circle for a seven-figure payday. After five days of action in the $1,500 Monster Stack, Braxton Dunaway came out on top for almost $1.2 million.
The 40-year-old player from Midland notched his first gold bracelet as well as the largest win of his career. A regular on the Texas poker club scene, Dunaway is a family man who works in the oil and gas industry.
The new champion called his wife and four children immediately after the win. He planned to meet the family in Omaha, Nebraska, on Thursday for his son’s baseball game.
"They're at the College World Series,” Dunaway told WSOP.com. “My son is in a tournament during that (event), which is for teenage boys. He won his first two games today and he’s guaranteed like five more games. I'll be there, we'll catch some games, and just hang out on vacation.”
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Massive Win in a Massive Event
Fitting for the tournament’s name, the Monster Stack typically sees huge numbers and has become a signature event at the WSOP. This year’s tournament brought in 8,317 entries for an $11.1 million prize pool.
Dunaway started the final table eight in third place, but Connecticut’s Nicholas Gerrity had twice his stack when the cards got in the air. As the action played out on PokerGO, plenty of eyes were also on 2009 WSOP Main Event winner Joe Cada, who was seeking his fifth bracelet.
However, that effort came to an end via Dunaway about a half-hour into the action. On a short stack Cada moved all in with AcKd and received a call from Dunaway with AhJc. The Michigan pro seemed to be in good shape but a Queen right on the flop sent him to the exit door in seventh place.
Just a short time later, Kentucky’s Joshua Adcock also suffered a bad beat to Dunaway when his Ace-King fell to the Texan’s Ace-Queen. Dunaway continued to surge after that, taking a major chip lead and continually applying pressure to opponents. He went on to eliminate two more before finding himself heads up against Arizona’s Colin Robinson.
The battle was over pretty quickly when Dunaway moved all in on the river with two pair. Robinson thought a while before calling with just a pair of deuces, scoring $718,649 for runner-up. Dunaway was magnanimous, but thrilled after the win.
”I want to say that all the people who were at the final table were really nice, great opponents, good players,” Dunaway said. “I got extremely lucky a few times, but you have to win one of these things. It was just my turn, it's just awesome.”
Two More Texans Grab Wins
That wasn’t the only resident of the Lone Star State to score a WSOP bracelet on Wednesday (or early morning hours of Thursday). In the $1,500 Mixed Omaha Hi/Lo, Tyler’s William Leffingwell topped a field of 1,091 to take home his first bracelet and top prize of $253,651.
In the $500 No Limit Hold'em Freezeout, San Antonio’s Jay Lockett also found the top spot. He bested a field of 5,342 entries for $262,526 and his first bracelet as well. The trifecta of wins made it quite a night for Texas poker players.
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