Tony Dunst earned his spot as host of the “Raw Deal” segment on World Poker Tour broadcasts with his ability to break down key hands for viewers; insight earned from his time on the felt as a pro player.
Dunst’s cashes from around the globe earned him nearly $1.5 million in lifetime earnings and nearly a third of that came from his third place finish in the WPT World Championship in Season XII. While on the money bubble of this year’s event Dunst said, “Of course, I’m trying to win, but the priority right now is making the final table. Obviously, getting a win in the WPT Championship would be awesome.”
Dunst finished behind Byron Kaverman and Keven Stammen for $452,729 – but took more than that away from the experience. “I learned that it’s possible if you run good enough you can make the final table in a huge event like this,” he said. “It was a positive experience and the final table was real tough. It’s good practice for any event like this where all the players left are really capable pros.”
Dunst’s first WPT cash came a little over three years ago in Season X and it’s also when he began his hosting duties. Being part of the WPT crew occupies much of Dunst’s time, something he’s careful to balance out. “I actually spend a lot of time doing daily fantasy sports and take long breaks from poker,” he said.
“I don’t put as much effort into poker as I did a few years ago, or even last year when I was traveling around playing a lot of events,” Dunst continued. “I try to keep a moderate amount volume up but I haven’t been playing the WPT a lot lately.”
Though he was in this same spot a year ago, an event of this magnitude had Dunst isn’t lost on him. “I’m always nervous deep in tournaments. It makes me anxious and it’s kind of exciting,” he said. “It’s like a really thrilling movie where you don’t know what’s going to happen next. You really don’t have any idea – I could be here for the next two days or out in eight minutes. We have no idea.”
“Another trip to the final table means a nice score for me and I’ve got a decent piece of myself,” said Dunst. “I’d like to make another TV table and have back-to-back years – increasing my validity that I was a good choice for my position.”
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