Dan Sepiol is the 2023 World Poker Tour World Champion

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Dan Sepiol scored a career-best bink by winning the World Poker Tour Championship’s $10,400 headliner, beating his second-best score by more than $5 million. Sepiol and his backers will divvy-up $5,282,954 after the 29-year-old won the $40 million guaranteed tournament.

Danny Sepiol
Dan Sepiol is the 2023 WPT World Champion, a title that came with $5.2 million.

“The big turning point was the big flip versus (third-place finisher Andrew Lichtenberger), jacks versus ace-king,” said Sepiol following his victory. “Just getting luckier than everyone else — that was my strategy, yeah. Try and pick my spots and get lucky.”

See players, it’s as easy as that.

After “Chewy” — Lichtenberger’s nickname from his days he wore a giant beard — was eliminated in third, Sepiol and Georgios Sotiropoulos made a deal during heads-up play that gave $4,167,246 for runner-up. And with that, the WPT World Championship series was over.

Sepiol was part of a field of 3,835 who were drawn to Las Vegas in part because of the enormous $40 million guaranteed by the Wynn and the WPT. Unfortunately for both, the guaranteed was missed by 165 players, leaving a $2,417,000 overlay. The top 480 finishers cashed, with a majority of the $40 million going to the final six players. They all won at least $1 million during a final table that took more than eight hours.

Despite missing the ambitious guarantee, the WPT World Championship set the WPT record for most entries in a Championship event along with the largest prize pool in WPT history at $40 million.

“The sincere hope for year two of the WPT World Championship was to improve upon the success of last year. With the help of player feedback, we feel that together we have met our goal,” said Adam Pliska, WPT CEO. “Thank you to all the players, qualifiers, fans, dealers, and Wynn staff. On behalf of WPT, I want to congratulate Dan on his incredible achievement and new place on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.”

Oh yeah. Sepiol also gets his name added to the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.

As stated, this cash is Sepiol’s largest by a mile. He does have two six-figure cashes — wins at a $1,100 Mid-States Poker Tour event in Iowa in 2021 for $162,781 and the $2,700 Deep Stack event at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open for his then-best $204,735 in August.

Sepiol’s poker life changed after he hooked up with brothers Jeremy and Justin Brown, who runs a stable of players through a group. Taylor Black, one of the group’s founders, gave insight to WPT’s Lance Bradley.

“I give a lot of credit to the Brown brothers (Jeremy and Justin), who brought him in, who said that ‘this guy’s got it’,” said Black told Bradley, who was one of the founders of the group. For me, it was like Danny always really had the hard part, which is he has the balls and the willingness to make plays in big moments, which you can’t really teach somebody.”

He continued:

“He’s had money and been broke a couple of times and we figured it out and his work with his current backer now, who’s a friend of his and he’s dealt with basically, he’s had a very normal poker existence,” Black said. “So I’d say he’s earned it. He’s worked hard. He’s also earned it not just in the hard work, but also in the swings. So yeah, I honestly couldn’t be more happy for him.”

The final table was filmed for television at Wynn Las Vegas and will air in 2024 on Bally Sports.

The 2023 Championship tour kicks off in January with the WPT Cambodia festival at NagaWorld Integrated Resort from Jan. 17-30.

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