Pete Chen wins Wynn Classic's $2,200 Mystery Bounty event, Donald Nimneh spikes $250K bounty

Dave Consolazio Poker Writer Photo
Dave Consolazio
Posted on: October 16, 2021 13:48 PDT

The Wynn Classic’s $2,200 Mystery Bounty tournament turned out to be a massive success. The event drew a whopping 2,333 entries over three starting flights to build a prize pool of $4,666,000, more than doubling the tournament’s guaranteed prize pool of $2 million. Pete Chen was declared the tournament’s winner after the final three players remaining agreed to a chop early Friday morning.

Pete Chen makes deal three-handed for the win

Of the 2,333 players who entered the $2,200 Mystery Bounty tournament, only 255 remained when Day 2 kicked off on Thursday. Pete Chen was one of those 255 remaining players, but he actually wasn’t in his seat when play resumed on Thursday. He was over at the Rio playing another Day 2 in the WSOP Event #26 $1,000 Freezeout tournament. After being eliminated in 20th place for a $6,074 payout, Chen made his way over to the Wynn to take his seat in this event.

Chen’s stack had been blinding off in his absence and had shrunk down to 315,000 chips from the 471,000 chips he started the day with. But once he was back in action, Chen was able to build his stack up and was the chip leader when the final table began.

When the final table got down to three-handed, Chen agreed to a chop deal with Ezequiel Waigel and Kevin Klunder. The three players were fairly even in chips, and Day 2 had already been going for over 16 hours. Chen earned a trophy and $289,193 for first place while Waigel locked up $263,627 in second place. Klunder took down $261,440 in third.

Donald Nimneh wins big in popular mystery bounty format

This event’s massive success proves how popular the mystery bounty format can be. Given how much most poker players love to gamble, it makes sense that there would be some major appeal to a tournament that dishes out huge cash prizes at random.

This event is different from standard bounty tournaments that have a fixed bounty amount for each elimination you score. It also differs from progressive bounty tournaments that have each player’s bounty value go up every time they score an elimination. By contrast, mystery bounty tournaments assign a random secret bounty to every elimination. Only players that advanced to Day 2 are eligible to win them.

When cashing in their bounties, players have the chance to “sweat” the amount they’ve won, which is sealed in an envelope. Omaha truck driver Donald Nimneh was the big winner on Thursday, randomly pulling the tournament’s largest bounty prize of $250,000. Keven Stammen, David Mzareulov and Raffaele Sorrentino also pulled in six-figure bounties as the three winners of the $100,000 prizes. Third-place finisher Kevin Klunder was one of the six players to secure a $50,000 bounty.

Tournament directors around the world should be taking note of how popular this event was. Players who missed out on this one will have another shot at the mystery bounty format in the Wynn Classic in November when the series has a $1,600 mystery bounty tournament scheduled with a guaranteed total prize pool of $1.5 million and a top mystery bounty prize of $100,000 on the line. Opening flights for that event run November 15-17.

Final Table Payouts

1. Pete Chen: $289,193*
2. Ezequiel Waigel: $263,627*
3. Kevin Klunder: $261,440*
4. Daniel Rezaei: $125,160
5. Florian Duta: $96,404
6. Onur Unsal: $73,778
7. Matthew Zarcadoolas: $60,131
8. Ray Medlin: $49,918
9. Johan Martinet: $41,563

*Deal Reached

Featured Image Credit: Flickr - WPT