This isn’t Tony Dunst’s first Main Event rodeo

Blaise Bourgeois
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Posted on: July 11, 2023 10:09 pm EDT

Roughly mid-way through Day 5 of the WSOP Main Event and a familiar face has been dominating on one of PokerGO’s feature tables, none other than the World Poker Tour’s own Tony Dunst.

At the time of writing, the 38-year-old has 5,080,000 chips with the blinds at 20,000/40,000/40,000, giving Dunst an incredible 127 big blinds at this stage of the tournament.

Dunst is far from just a pretty face in poker, however, having amassed multiple millions of dollars online over multiple decades under the name Bond18. The Wisconson-native has been a force on the live felt as well, accumulating over $4M in live tournament earnings after beginning his poker career while living in Australia (before getting kicked out of the country for three years for overstaying his visa).

Overall, Dunst has a poker resume that just about any player would be extremely jealous of. He is the proud owner of a pair of WSOP bracelets, three WSOP Circuit rings, and a WPT title.

The 2023 WSOP Main Event marks Dunst’s third-career Main Event cash but even though there are fewer than 250 players remaining, it would somehow be his worst-career Main Event cash if he were to be eliminated at this juncture.

We’ll take a look at Dunst’s top victories and look back at his previous Main Event scores.

2016 WSOP Event #63: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em – 1st, $339,254

The same year as his famous runner-up finish in the Aussie Millions Main Event ($700,000), Dunst continued running hot as he topped the 2,452-player field to win his first-career bracelet and $339,254.

Despite this, Dunst played down the victory and claimed he was just the fortunate recipient of some hot cards. 

“In the course of a year I probably play 30 or 40 tournaments, and it can seem like over the last couple of years it’s like ‘You’ve taken it to the next level,'” Dunst said. “But have you, or are you just suddenly the guy winning all the key flips at the end? The only major difference I can see in my game is that I feel more focused at the table.”

But that would not be the last time that Dunst would win WSOP hardware.

2020 Event #21: $777 No Limit Hold’em 6-Handed – 1st, $168,342

While the poker world stumbled and converted almost solely to online poker during the heart of the pandemic, Dunst clearly went back to his online roots.

Dunst, playing under the handle “Panoramic”, took down a field of 1,361 entries to emerge as the champion of the 2020 WSOP Online $777 NLH 6-Max event to win his second-career WSOP gold bracelet.

Dunst went into the final table with more than double the 2nd-place stack and earned a wire-to-wire victory, defeating James Pace in the wee hours of the night after nearly 11 hours of play.

2013 WPT Caribbean Main Event – 1st, $145,000

Back when a fresh-faced Dunst was on WPT Raw Deal, he would win the first major title of his career. At 28, Dunst took down former WPT champions Marvin Rettenmaier and Giacomo Fundaro at the final table en route to etching his name on the Mike Sexton Cup.

At the time, it was his third-largest score and also gained him a free seat to the pricy $15,400 2014 WPT World Championship. The win earned Dunst much more poker street cred as he was “just another online player” up to that time. It also probably gained him a few more World Poker Tour brownie points.

2006 WSOP Main Event – 198th, $42,882

Yes, the Jamie Gold year. Dunst was very much in the mix as a 21-year-old after making his first trip to the World Series of Poker.

Dunst would earn his first three WSOP cashes, including a super-deep run in the 8,773-player $10,000 WSOP Main Event to earn himself $42,882, which was nearly three times his previous high score and likely propelled his career in live poker.

2010 WSOP Main Event – 50th, $168,556

Credit: PokerNews

Tony Dunst took a very serious run at the title in 2010 and, in fact, was the Day 5 chip leader in the 7,319-player spectacle. Eventually, he would finish in a very respectable 50th place for what was then the second-biggest score of his live career.

During the Main Event coverage, Dunst earned himself a reputation that ESPN described as “young, smart, thoughtful, blunt, opinionated and brutally honest”, which helped land him a role with the World Poker Tour at just 25.

Of course, Dunst has only grown in the poker world over time and it may be just a few days before we have to refer to him as “2023 Main Event Champion Tony Dunst.”