Braxton Dunaway escapes with the World Series of Poker Monster Stack title


Braxton Dunaway topped a whopping field of 8,317 entries in 2023 World Series of Poker $1,500 no-limit hold’em “Monster Stack” event, scoring five of six available knockouts in the final day on his way to earning $1,162,681 and his first gold bracelet.

Prior to this massive win, the 40-year-old Texas resident’s highest live tournament score was a fifth-place finish in 2019 WSOP Choctaw Circuit $1,700 main event for $68,390. With this latest win, Dunaway now has nearly $1.5 million in lifetime prize money.

In addition to the hardware and cash, Dunaway also earned 1,320 Card player Player of the Year points for winning this event. This was his first POY extensionQualified score of the year, but that alone was enough to see him climb the leaderboard to 167th in 2023 POY extension ranking presented by Global Poker.

This event took six days to complete, with two initial flights and another four days of action. The final day of this event started with seven players left and Nicholas Gerrity in the lead.

Joe CadaFour-time bracelet winner Joe Cada was the first to fall. 2009 WSOP the main event champion moved all-in with AK leading Dunaway’s AJ, but a jack on the river ended his run in seventh place. The $186,149 payday he secured at this event increased his lifetime earnings to nearly $14.4 million, more than $13.7 million of which came from box office receipts. WSOP.

The subsequent knockout also saw AK outrank Dunaway by an ace short. Joshua Adcock’s AK was dominating his opponent’s AQ, but a queen on the turn left Adcock in bad shape with a card coming. The river was no help and Adcock was eliminated in sixth place ($240,695).

Gerrity lost a coin flop preflop with A-6 to face bracelet winner Jesse Rockowitz’s pocket deuces. Neither player improved, and Gerrity busted in fifth place, earning $313,297. Loic Dobrigna followed suit when his A-2 ran into Dunaway’s QQ, who flopped a set and rivered to win the pot and narrow the field to three. Dobrigna took home $410,493 in fourth place.

About two hours after Dobrigna’s elimination, the three-way game ended when Rockowitz called all-in on the turn with second pair and a gutshot. He was up against an open-ended straight draw and an overcard to Dunaway. The river brought a queen, connecting with that overcard to give Dunaway the best hand. Rockowitz earned $541,376 for his third-place finish, bringing his lifetime earnings to nearly $2.3 million in the process.

Heads-up play began with Dunaway holding a nearly 5:2 chip lead over Colin Robinson. It didn’t take long for Dunaway to convert that lead into the title. In the final hand, he limped in with 9Club dress7Heart dress from the button. Robinson raised from the big blind with aDiamond dress2Suit in spades and Dunaway called. The flop came 7Heart dress3Suit in spades2Diamond dress. Robinson check-called a bet from Dunaway and the turn brought the 9Heart dress. Robinson checked again with his bottom pair and Dunaway bet with top two pair. Robinson called and the KSuit in spades completed the board. Checking once again, Dunaway bet enough to send Robinson all-in. After some deliberation, Robinson called with his pocket deuces and saw the bad news. Lui finished in second place, earning a career-best gross of $718,649 for his efforts.

Here’s a look at payments and POY extension points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings POY extension Points
1 Braxton Dunaway $1,162,681 1320
2 Colin Robinson $718,649 1100
3 Jesse Rockowitz $541,376 880
4 Loic Dobrigna $410,493 660
5 Nicholas Gerry $313,297 550
6 Joshua Adcock $240,695 440
7 Joseph Cada $186,149 330
8 Julien Loire $144,928 220
9 Julian Bogdanov $113,597 110

Visit the Card Player 2023 World Series of Poker page for schedules, news, interviews, and the latest results from the event. WSOP coverage sponsored by Global Poker.

Photo credits: PokerGO / Enrique Malfavon.

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