Braxton Dunaway Wins Monster Stack for $1,162,681; Now Headed to Son’s College World Series

Braxton Dunaway

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."

“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,” Dunaway explained. “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.”

Prior to 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 did indicate he will be returning for the 2023 WSOP Main Event in July.

“I’ll be back to for sure play the Main, that’s the plan,” Dunaway confirmed. “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.’”

2023 WSOP Event #39 Final Table Results

1Braxton DunawayUnited States$1,162,681
2Colin RobinsonUnited States$718,649
3Jesse RockowitzUnited States$541,376
4Loic DobrignaFrance$410,493
5Nicholas GerrityUnited States$313,297
6Joshua AdcockUnited States$240,695
7Joe CadaUnited States$186,149

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.

Final Table Action

Joe Cada
Joe Cada was in pursuit of his fifth gold bracelet.

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.

Jesse Rockowitz
Jesse Rockowitz

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,” Dunaway concluded. “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.”

Braxton Dunaway
Braxton Dunaway and his rail.

That does it for updates from this event, but there is still plenty of action to follow from the 2023 WSOP in our live updates hub here.

  • Braxton Dunaway of Midland, Texas topped a field of 8,317 entries to win the #WSOP2023 Monster Stack.

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Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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