Houston Firefighter Scott Dulaney Extinguishes the Opposition in Event #31 of 2023 WSOP

Houston firefighter Scott Dulaney

An explosive final table which lasted only three hours, ended when Scott Dulaney bested long-time chip leader Sridhar Sangannagari in a brief heads-up battle.

Dulaney pocketed $194,155 for first place and of course, a coveted WSOP gold bracelet. The Fireman from Houston, Texas was a popular winner, with an enthusiastic rail – which grew larger and more vociferous, the closer he got to the bracelet.

As with so many events at the 2023 World Series of Poker, Event#31: $600 Mixed No-Limit Hold'em/Pot-Limit Omaha Deepstack was a record-breaker – with a large turnout of 2,758 entries, which generated a prize pool of $1,406,580.

Event #31 Final Table Results

1stScott DulaneyUnited States$194,155
2ndSridhar SangannagariUnited States$120,004
3rdWillie SmithUnited States$89,551
4thBjorn GravlienNorway$67,359
5thZachary VankeurenUnited States$51,072
6thCharles CombsUnited States$39,037
7thMichael HoltzUnited States$30,081
8thBarny BoatmanUnited Kingdom$23,371
9thKeith KrumwiedeUnited States$18,308

Dulaney started the day sixth in chips and stayed afloat until action reached the final nine, where he sat seventh in chips.

The final table was dominated at the start by Sangannagar. The Goldman Sachs Vice President tore through the table, claiming the scalps of Zachary Vankeuren and stalwart British pro Barny Boatman along the way.

He held the chip until it was heads up but by that time there wasn’t much in it and Dulaney overcame him in short order.

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Winner’s Reaction

It was an emotional scene as the final hand ended, as Dulaney ran to the rail to embrace his wife – his rail celebrating wildly. When the dust had settled, Dulaney summed up his feelings.

“I’m really excited, kinda reeling at the moment,” Dulaney said afterward. “But I knew it was gonna happen and I plan on winning multiple Omaha bracelets this week, this year. I think all the best Omaha players in the world come from Houston and I’m trying to prove it this summer.”

On the subject of his favorite card being a nine, Dulaney explained, “Basically, it’s one of the lowest pairs you want to get involved in big Omaha pots with, but I’ll take the lowest of the low if I’ve got to. I’m a ‘come from the bottom’ type of guy. Everybody in Houston knows that’s my hand and I’m a Houston player through and through.”

Asked what aspects of firefighting helped his poker skills, Dulaney’s response was unequivocal: “All of them. I take aggressive firefighting tactics and apply them to the poker table. I’ve always done that and now it’s paying off.”

As far as celebrations go, Dulaney said, “I’m gonna go spend some time with my kids because they’re upstairs and I haven’t seen them.” But the perpetual poker player in him couldn’t resist adding, “I may jump in another tournament if I can tonight. If I can get in that Omaha still, I’m probably going to late reg for that, to be honest with you.”

Final Day Action

Barny Boatman
Barny Boatman

The final day got underway with 112 players. That number was thinned down extremely quickly, with the three-table redraw taking place before the day’s second break. A mere two hours later, the tournament was down to nine players. The main beneficiary during that period was Boatman.

With 24 combatants remaining, Boatman was sitting on a miserly stack of 900,000. By the time the event reached its final table, he had torn through the field to sit second in chips with a mighty 12,500,000.

Also on display was Boatman’s customary wit. When one player mistook him for the late David "Devilfish" Ulliott, Boatman quipped, “I was better-looking than him when he was alive”. Unfortunately, his run good ran out when his Jacks couldn’t hold against ace-deuce.

Boatman fell to Sangannagari early on in the final table action, and the Goldman Sach Vice President looked sure to take it down before Dulaney got on an unstoppable roll. Sangannagari knocked out fellow American Vankeuren in fourth and looked destined to claim the bracelet with half the chips in play.

But Dulaney was not to be denied and when he knocked out Willie Smith, the stacks had got a lot closer. He doubled through Sangannagari shortly afterward and a few hands later had him all in and covered.

Dulaney claimed his victory in a hand of pot-limit Omaha. Having worn a cap throughout, displaying his favorite card in the deck, it seemed inevitable that the final river of the tournament would come a nine.

Scott Dulaney
Scott Dulaney and friends.

That ends the PokerNews coverage of this event but you can keep up with all the other World Series of Poker news over at the 2023 WSOP hub.

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  • Houston firefighter Scott Dulaney topped a 2,758-entry field to win #WSOP2023 Event 31 for $194,155.

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