By Nathan Carroll, Rakeback.com Staff Writer
Back in September, I wrote about some changes to the WPT program for the still upcoming ninth season. One of the new additions I covered was a recurring segment called Raw Deal, which was to be hosted by what WPT press releases at the time were calling "a brash, yet-to-be-named new analyst."
In the article, I talked up the wisdom of selecting a charismatic online player for the role, someone who could quickly prove his chops to a casual TV audience, while also appealing to the more intense online players who would already be familiar with him. Someone with the WPT must have been thinking along the same lines, because it's been recently announced that the segment host gig will go to one of the guys I suggested: Tony "Bond18" Dunst.
Dunst is well-known on the tournament circuit for his immaculate sense of style, rarely appearing dressed in anything less than a suit. At the table, he's chatty and amicable, the kind of person who tries to be friends with everyone. But beyond making a strong personal impression, Dunst stands out for his skills on the felt. With a Bellagio Cup title and nearly $700,000 in live tournament cashes to his name, he's clearly a force to be reckoned with.
Online, Dunst is a mainstay in mid- and high-stakes tournaments on all sites. In the last several years, he's achieved a positive ROI with cashes totaling over $1 million. And in addition to his obvious skill with the virtual chips, he's cultivated a strong presence online through his use of the virtual pen, blogging regularly and devoting much of his time and energy to various poker discussion forums.
Dunst recently appeared on poker columnist Gary Wise's regular podcast on PokerStatic.com, where he talked with Wise about his new WPT job. He revealed that the Raw Deal segment will have a strategic bent, and explained that he doesn't plan to hold anything back in debates over a certain play. He tells Wise boldly, "I like to think I can contribute a greater intellectual approach to the game for the World Poker Tour that's been lacking previously."
He also explains that he will continue to keep his own game sharp by playing online frequently and travelling to events. Far from being ineligible to compete in WPT tournaments now that he's a paid employee of the organization, Dunst says that he will be encouraged to stay visible and relevant both at WPT stops and other events on the pro circuit.
To catch Dunst's Raw Deal segment--and the rest of the great WPT coverage--tune into Fox Sports Net on Sunday nights starting in January.
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