Bonkowski Binks Canada’s First 2011 WSOP Title

Tyler Bonkowski

In a WSOP that’s been dominated by U.S. and U.K. players, Tyler Bonkowski added Canada to the discussion last night.

Bonkowski outlasted 337 players to win the 14th event of the 2011 WSOP, a $3,000 buy-in Limit Hold’em affair, which awarded $220k for first place as well as the coveted gold bracelet.

He's the first Canadian to win a bracelet at the 2011 WSOP.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “As a poker player the bracelet is what you want. You get a trophy to go along with your win.”

A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Bonkowski has been playing poker for seven years now and picked up the game when he was attending the University of Regina.

Bonkowski immediately took to the Limit Hold’em cash games and it wasn’t long before he dominated them.

“I would say 90% of the income of my entire life has come from Limit cash games,” he said.

Eventually online poker site 888poker decided to sponsor Bonkowski and he started appearing at more and more live tournaments.

“I started playing a lot more online MTTs,” he said. “That’s how you get better. Limit cash games started to get kind of boring at that point.”

As a Canadian, Bonkowski is still able to play online poker after most major online poker sites were forced out of the U.S. market after Black Friday

That’s not to say the lack of U.S. players online hasn’t had an effect on Bonkowski. 

“The Limit cash games have pretty much dried up,” he said. “The prizepools in tournaments are also smaller but seem to be juicier.”

Although he still plays a considerable amount online, Bonkowski is known to occasionally frequent Casino Regina in his hometown.

“We’ve got quite a few interesting characters,” he laughed. “I play the bigger tournaments they run, every three or four months.”

Of the 14 bracelets that have been handed out at the 2011 WSOP, 10 have gone to Americans, two to players from Great Britain, one to a Russian player and now one to a Canadian.

Bonkowski has plans to play approximately 10 more bracelet events at the 2011 WSOP.

The 2011 WSOP continues through July 19. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas be sure to check PokerListings’ Live Updates and News.

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