WPT World Championship winner Dan Sepiol: "It's still sinking in"

Dan Sepiol heads-up at the 2023 WPT World Championship
Paul Oresteen
Posted on: March 25, 2024 20:15 PDT

Dan Sepiol had his moment in the sun last December when he took down the record-setting World Poker Tour World Championship for $5.2 million. Following a short conversation, it’s clear he’s still basking in the rays without the full weight of his win hitting him.

“To be honest, it’s still sinking in,” Sepiol said during a break in his first WPT event since the win. He’s nearing the money bubble on Day 2 of the Rolling Thunder Main Event, sitting comfortably in the top five chip counts.

Finding success the hard way

Sepiol grinded his way to $1.4 million in tournament earnings with only three six-figure scores before his signature win at the tail-end of last year. He cut his teeth bouncing around flyover states playing mid-stakes events against some of the toughest competition to adjust his game for.


“Those events prepared me well for when I moved out to Las Vegas,” he said. “I’m from Indiana and played a lot of Midwest tournaments.”

The eye of the storm

Sepiol has seen more attention during the last three months than in the previous several years. “The last few months have been different for sure,” he said. He also added the Global Poker Index Award for Best Final Table Performance to his mantle – something that was never on his radar.

“I’m a little more comfortable now with the big score,” he said. “I get recognized in poker rooms now, but besides that it’s the same old, same old.”

Go West, young man

Moving to Las Vegas in 2020 had a dramatic impact on his game. “I think it was me playing a lot and putting in volume,” Sepiol said. “I saw a lot of live hands and talked through hands with friends. I’m good buddies with Jesse Lonis and seeing him have a lot of success definitely motivated me.”

Armed with a robust bankroll and confidence in his game, will Sepiol jump up in stakes?

“I’m pretty much going to have the same schedule as the last few years,” Sepiol said. “I’ll play a little bigger during the summer and maybe cut out some of the smaller stuff.”

“I’ll play a couple of high rollers this summer,” he added. “I’m playing two $25ks and we’ll see how we go from there.”

Poker is the family's business

Sepiol’s WPT Championship win was made sweeter by having his dad on his rail. “He’s probably the main reason that I got into poker,” he said. “I’m from a gambling family and my first memory of playing poker was playing him in Seven Card Stud on the couch in elementary school.”

When Sepiol made the final table, his dad flew 2,000 miles across the country at the last minute. “It was amazing to have him there,” he said. “We had talked about that moment coming for a long time and it was really cool that he was there.”

We wanted to know how a $5 million windfall changes someone’s life and what’s the first big purchase – an exotic supercar, a new home, a round-the-world vacation?

Nope. A new car for his business.

Does he feel differently?

“Besides some money in the bank, I honestly feel the same.”

All photos courtesy of WPT - Drew Amato.