WPT World Championship Winner Dan Sepiol Bags Big at Rolling Thunder

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Dan Sepiol WPT Poker

Day 1 of the $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour (WPT) Rolling Thunder Championship is in the books. A total of 367 players came to play at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, California on Saturday.

But only 171 bagged chips and will come back on Sunday at 11 a.m. local time for Day 2, one of whom is Dan Sepiol, three months removed from one of the biggest wins in poker history. The two ClubWPT qualifiers — Gail Levine and Craig Parsons — were both eliminated before the opening session, which lasted eight levels of 60 minutes, concluded.

Registration remains open until the start of Day 2. Scott Eskenazi is the defending champion after having won this event last year for $361,600, beating out 590 players, a WPT Rolling Thunder record.

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Sepiol Reflects on Life Changing Win

Dan Sepiol WPT Poker
Dan Sepiol celebrates with his father after winning the WPT World Championship.

Sepiol, an accomplished tournament pro the past few years with Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) and the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC), earned a career-defining win in the $10,400 buy-in WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas in December. He outlasted 3,835 entries in the first ever $40 million guaranteed tournament for $5,282,954.

On Saturday, he finished with just under 190,000 chips, or about 120 big blinds. After he bagged his chips, he spoke with PokerNews to reflect on his life-changing win a few months back.

“I bought a car,” Sepiol said when asked if he’d made any big purchases after the WPT World Championship win. “I bought a Tesla Model X black, but that’s pretty much the only big purchase.”

Despite the massive score, Sepiol said he doesn’t plan to jump up in stakes and will continue “playing the same tournaments.” But when the 2024 WSOP comes around this summer, he will “play a little bigger” and anticipates playing a packed schedule.

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Sepiol admitted that the WPT World Championship victory is “still sinking in with me.” He now has a larger bankroll that could grow even more if he comes out victorious at the March 26 Rolling Thunder final table.

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The prize pool isn’t yet available and won’t be until registration closes. But the pot has already surpassed $1.1 million. At the conclusion of Day 1, Moshe Gavrieli bagged the chip lead with 335,000 chips, approximately 223 big blinds. Travis Egbert, with 285,500, is the closest to Gavrieli.

Many other big names beyond Sepiol bagged chips, including the following: Maria Ho (169,000), Xuan Liu (165,500), Andrew Moreno (140,000), Brock Wilson (123,000), Jeff Platt (115,500), Cherish Andrews (85,000), David Peters (67,500), and Ryan Riess (49,000).

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There are 10 levels scheduled for Day 2, and the field will almost certainly be in the money before the session concludes. The tournament is set to play down to a winner on Day 4, which takes place on March 26.

*Images courtesy of WPT/Drew Amato.

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