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Let’s Go Buffalo! Jonathan Dimmig Wins Millionaire Maker

After the last hand of the special World Series of Poker Event #8: Millionaire Maker No-Limit Hold’Em, a loud cheer was heard throughout the room: LET’S GO BUFFALO!

“I played hockey all my life and, as everyone knows, I’m from Buffalo. The Sabres have never won a championship, the Bills have never won a championship…” the newest WSOP millionaire, Jonathan Dimmig, explained to

And what two well-known sports franchises couldn’t, a New York native poker player could. He made Buffalo proud by winning his own version of a championship for his favorite city. But unlike the NHL or NFL, he did not need months of specialized physical training and not even a puck or a football. Dimmig only needed four days including a never-ending 12-hour final table, two hole cards, and some very friendly community cards.

He did prepare heavily for this moment, though. According to him, he quit his full-time job one and half years ago to play poker, even if that meant just part-time. He also spends his time writing a novel that could very well have a happy ending…just like his journey.

Dimmig started the Millionaire Maker event thinking only about a min-cash:

My goal on the first day was just to make it through the day. I’d played the Main Event here all the last three years and never even cashed in that. So coming in, my goal was really to just get the money off my back and just cash. That’s really what I wanted to do.”

His plan, however, changed immediately after he reached the final table. He had the sixth biggest stack of the final nine:

I noticed some of the guys were just trying to get up the money ladder, and I don’t think like that. This is a life-changing event. I don’t want to look back in 30 years and say ‘what if?’ This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you got to go for it.”

The Buffalo native was on a real rollercoaster, starting up very aggressive and stealing as much as he could. He first doubled his stack on hand #22, check-raising the flop and moving all in on the turn with two pairs plus a flush draw. He also eliminated Andrew Dick in eighth place by calling with #ad#10d. Dick had only #kd#8h and bricked on all three streets.

After that, he went on to battle Day 3 chip leader Stephen Graner. In his last hand of the tourney, Graner rivered a straight on a #10s#7h#4d#6s#3c board and had a decision to make for his tournament life. Eventually, the former chip leader called, only to see his opponent holding a bigger straight. Graner finished the event in sixth place.

Going forward, Dimmig suffered several blows and had to make some tough decisions. He moved all-in with #kd#8d and was in very bad shape against Bradley Anderson’s #as#kh. Nevertheless, our hero spiked an eight and doubled up. He did the same thing later going for his tournament life with #kh#7d and getting called by James Duke, who held #ad#jd.

The run-good continued and Dimmig doubled-up once more after a flip to eventually eliminate Duke in third place and prepare his celebration.

The heads-up play lasted only five hands with the future winner going all-in on a monotone board and taking no chances on a paired flop.

Here are the final payouts:

  1. Jonathan Dimmig – $1,319,587
  2. Jeff Coburn – $815,963
  3. James Duke – $614,368
  4. Andrew Teng – $465,972
  5. Bradley Anderson – $355,913
  6. Stephen Graner – $273,854
  7. Jason Johnson – $211,394
  8. Andrew Dick – $164,118
  9. Maurice Hawkins – $128,150

Congratulation to Jonathan Dimmig on becoming a poker millionaire. He is just the second winner of this annual WSOP event; last year Benny Chen topped a field of 6,343 to win a whooping $1,199,104.

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Florian Gheorghe