An underdog emerged as champion in the $2,650 buy-in, $500,000 guaranteed event at Lucky Hearts Poker Open when recreational grinder Ryan Dunn topped a final table that included a World Series of Poker Main Event champ, multiple gold bracelet winners, a Heartland Poker Tour Player of the Year, and a former Florida State Poker Championship winner.
Dunn banked $140,000 for winning the reentry event at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., which totaled 185 players and fell short of the guarantee, meaning there was an overlay in the prize pool.
Final Table Results
|1||Ryan Dunn||Tallahassee, FL||$140,000|
|2||Charbel Azzi||Methuen, MA||$82,500|
|3||Bryan Piccioli||Allegany, NY||$47,500|
|4||Jack Duong||South Plainfield, NJ||$38,500|
|5||Michael Laake||Punta Gorda, FL||$30,000|
|6||Sam Panzica||Saline, MI||$25,000|
|7||Aaron Massey||Elmwood Park, IL||$20,000|
|8||Hans Winzeler||Miami, FL||$15,000|
|9||Jonathan Duhamel||Boucherville, Canada||$10,000|
Just 27 places were paid in the tournament, with former November Niners Josh Beckley (27th) and John Dolan (21st) among those to make the money, as well WSOP Circuit champ Jake Bazeley (15th).
Dunn held the chip lead when the final nine players went on a dinner break on the final day of the tournament, but he only had 629,000 (53 big blinds) while the tournament average was 411,000, according to updates, so it was a tightly packed bunch.
First to go was WSOP Main Event champ and recent high roller crusher Jonathan Duhamel, with the Canadian leaving a table of only American competitors in his wake. He was followed by 2013 Florida State Poker champ Hans Winzeler in eighth. Then, 2014 HPT Player of the Year Aaron Massey went down in seventh when he couldn't recover after flopping top pair with ace-king in a three-bet pot when Charbel Azzi flopped a set of tens.
Dunn had worked his way to 1.3 million with blinds at 10,000/20,000/3,000, holding a nice lead over second-place Azzi's 750,000. The two of them outlasted a few more players, including bracelet winners Bryan Piccioli and Jack Duong in third and fourth, respectively, to go to heads-up play with Dunn leading 2-1.
Azzi doubled into the lead when Dunn five-bet shoved the only to run into the , but Dunn retook command after the two saw a flop. Azzi bet 100,000 holding an overpair, the , and Dunn called with for a straight draw. They got it in after the turned to give Dunn the straight, and he faded Azzi's outs to retake the lead. The Florida native was able to prevail from there, eventually making a preflop call for the rest of the chips with and winning against .
Dunn told tournament reporters afterwards that he resisted the urge to chop.
"When I got to heads-up, I just decided 'let's do this,'" he said. "I knew it would just feel so much better really winning this, and fortunately I did."
*Image courtesy of SeminoleHardRockPokerOpen.com.