Poker Coverage: Poker Legislation Poker Tournaments U.S. Poker Markets

Mitchell Towner Wins 2016 World Series of Poker $1,500 Monster Stack No-Limit Hold'em Event

29-Year-Old College Professor Defeats 6,927 Entries To Win $1,120,196 and His First Gold Bracelet


Before the 2016 World Series of Poker 29-year-old Mitchell Towner had never cashed in a major poker tournament.

“I’ve only played in like two events that were buy-ins of more than $100,” Towner told reporters.

The University of Arizona college professor was in Las Vegas for a conference and thought he try his hand in one event. He posted the $1,500 buy-in for the 2016 WSOP Monster Stack no-limit hold’em event and was one of 6,927 players with their eyes on the bracelet. After four days of intense action Towner emerged victorious, capturing his first WSOP title and the massive $1,120,196 top prize.

“I want to give a shout out to some of the podcast guys, and the television coverage I saw on [European Poker Tout] events and others where they talk about hands," said Towner. "I’m like a casual fan who invests maybe an hour a week in this, I really don’t play poker.”

Whether he ‘really’ plays poker or not, he has now won over a million dollars and a WSOP gold bracelet.

Towner came into the final day of play in sixth chip position with 26 remaining. He outlasted plenty of tough competition on the final day including Irish poker legend Donnacha O’Dea (21st – $39,027), six-time WSOP bracelet winner T.J. Cloutier (14th – $61,598), Matt Affleck (10th – $78,264), Andrew Moreno (6th – $219,632) and two-time bracelet winner David “The Dragon” Pham (5th – $289,497).

In the end it came down to a heads-up battle between Towner and Venezuela’s Dorian Rios. Towner began with a slight chip lead, but was able to take a 3-to-1 advantage before the final hand arose. With blinds of 400,000 – 800,000 Rios limped in from the button and Towner made it 3.3 million to go. Rios then announced that he was all in and after some thought Towner made the call with the ADiamond Suit7Club Suit. He was flipping against Rios’ 3Heart Suit3Club Suit.

The board ran out JHeart Suit9Club Suit7Heart SuitKDiamond Suit9Spade Suit to give Towner the superior pair, securing him the title and sending Rios to the rail in second place. For his deep run he earned $692,029.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Mitchell Towner $1,120,196 1320
2 Dorian Rios $692,029 1100
3 Stephen Nussrallah $513,902 880
4 Daniel Dipasquale $384,338 660
5 David Pham $289,497 550
6 Andrew Moreno $219,632 440
7 David Valcourt Dube $167,838 330
8 Marshall White $129,197 220
9 Cody Pack $100,185 110

For more coverage from the summer series, visit the 2016 WSOP landing page complete with a full schedule, news, player interviews and event recaps.