Braxton Dunaway wins over $1 million and first WSOP bracelet

21 June 2023

Braxton Dunaway

Braxton Dunaway (photo by WSOP)

The 2023 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Event #39: $1,500 Monster Stack began with 8,317 entrants but on Wednesday night only seven returned to play down to a winner. Each was guaranteed at least $186,149 out of the $11,103,195 prize pool, but of course, everyone had their eyes firmly fixed on the $1,162,681 prize.

When the dust settled, 40-year-old family man Braxton Dunaway, who hails from Midland, Texas and works in the oil and gas industry, emerged victorious to claim the seven-figure first-place prize and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

His first order of business after the last card was dealt was to call his wife, Stephanie, and their four children – Jordyn, who just graduated college; Macy, who is 17 and a senior in high school; Hayes, who is in ninth grade; and eight-year-old, Sawyer.

"Our little girl who runs the whole show, the boss of the family, we call her 'Bossy Saucy,'" said Dunaway, who indicated he'll be flying to Omaha, Nebraska in the morning to meet his wife and two youngest children.

"They're at the College World Series," said Dunaway. "My son is in a tournament during that, which is for teenage boys. He won his first two games today and he's guaranteed like five more games. I'll be there, we'll catch some games, and just hang out on vacation."

Before the victory, Dunaway had $333,318 in lifetime tournament earnings according to The Hendon Mob, which included a prior career-best of $62,500 for finishing in 142nd place in last year's WSOP Main Event. While Dunaway is catching the first flight out in the morning, he indicated he will return for the 2023 WSOP Main Event in July.

"I'll be back to for sure play the Main; that's the plan," said Dunaway. "I've just been gone so long I need to get home, do laundry, and sleep in my own bed. I still can't believe it. It's just amazing. I told my wife, and she said, 'You've got to be kidding me.'"


Others to cash the tournament were Day 3 chip leader Xuming Qi (11th - $89,644), Ashley Frank (16th - $56,980), Tyler Hancock (23rd - $45,980), Nate Silver (32nd - $37,233), Michael "BrockLesnar" Holtz (62nd - $20,730), Kyle Julius (79th - $14,540), and bracelet winner Gershon Distenfeld (93rd - $10,499), who once again donated all his winnings to charity.


2009 WSOP Main Event champ Joe Cada started the day as the short stack, and unfortunately for the four-time bracelet winner, his quest at a fifth came to an end quickly when his ace-king was outdrawn by the ace-jack of Dunaway when a jack spiked on the river.

Not long after, Joshua Adcock three-bet jammed holding ace-king and was in prime shape to double through Dunaway, who had ace-queen. Unfortunately for him, Dunaway came from behind again, this time spiking a queen on the river to score another knockout.

Nicholas Gerrity, who began the final table as the chip leader was next to go after losing a flip with ace-six against the pocket deuces of Jesse Rockowitz, and then France's Loic Dobrigna followed him out the door after three-bet jamming with ace-deuce only to run smack dab into the two red queens of Dunaway, who held to take a big chip lead into three-handed play.

The final three battled for a long time before Dunaway put Rockowitz to the test on the turn. The latter called it off with second pair and a gutshot straight draw, which was ahead of Dunaway's open-ended straight draw and queen kicker. Unfortunately for Rockowitz, his tournament came to an end in brutal fashion when a queen spiked on the river.

Dunaway took a more than 3:1 chip lead into heads-up play against Colin Robinson, and it didn't take long for the Texan to finish things off. In the final hand, Robinson called it off on the river with a pair only to see Dunaway roll over two pair for the victory.

"I want to say that all the people who were at the final table were really nice, great opponents, good players," said Dunaway. "I got extremely lucky a few times, but you have to win one of these things. It was just my turn, it's just awesome."

Final table results:
Place Player County Prize
1 Braxton Dunaway United States $1,162,681
2 Colin Robinson United States $718,649
3 Jesse Rockowitz United States $541,376
4 Loic Dobrigna France $410,493
5 Nicholas Gerrity United States $313,297
6 Joshua Adcock United States $240,695
7 Joe Cada United States $186,149

Related Links
Ranked Online Poker Rooms
World Series of Poker Gaming Vendor Information


(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)
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