One of the aspects of the WSOP that keeps people coming back is that at any moment in any day at the series you could be sitting next to or talking with the next big winner and that very thing happened to me recently.
Late on the night of June 11, I was finishing up my day of work for PokerOrg at the WSOP. Having not had much to eat all day, I decided to treat myself to a meal at Jack Binion’s steakhouse right outside the WSOP playing area at the Horseshoe. A few familiar players who had already busted for the day were at the bar eating.
One of them sat down next to me and we started the generic talk about how the series is going, now much he bagged etc. I knew I had seen this player before and covered him, but as often is the case when you live report over thousands of players, the name can escape you. I asked him to remind me of his name.
“Braxton Dunaway,” he said. And I remembered where I had seen him before, at the WSOP circuit stop in Choctaw. He went on to talk about how his best career poker score was for just over $60,000 in for a Choctaw main event final table appearance. Little did he or I know at that time that in just 10 days, he would be winning almost 20x that amount and become the newest millionaire created by the WSOP.
Winning the Monster Stack
Late on June 21, Braxton Dunaway from Midland, TX won the $1,500 Monster Stack, beating the 8,317 record field for $1,162,681, which was more than triple his career total winnings to that point.
A look over his remarks indicates that he is mainly a local player, with lots of cashes coming in his hometown of Midland in west Texas, with two of his biggest scores being in the West Texas Poker championship there for ~$42,000 and $38,000. He only has cashes around Texas, Choctaw or in Vegas at the WSOP.
Are you next?
I started to notice his run as the Monster Stack as his name was among the chip leaders deep in the event with under 100 left. I remembered our talk and thought it was cool that I had just met him not long before and now here he was making the deep run. When he actually won the whole thing, it made me think of just how special the WSOP can be.
There are countless amounts of these type of players who come to the WSOP to compete in events like the Monster Stack for their shot at glory and inevitably, one of them will be the next champion. At any point, you could be talking to or connecting with the next one. And who knows it could even be you.