NJ’s Funaro Wins $1.3 Million At WPT Wynn World Championship

Written By Hill Kerby on December 21, 2022
Frank Funaro WPT

If you still haven’t heard of Frank Funaro, it’s time to take note.

Funaro is one of the most exciting, up-and-coming poker players in the US, with a poker resume that already includes an online WSOP bracelet, three circuit rings and several other deep runs in major events.

On Tuesday, the Sewell native added another accomplishment to that list, taking fifth place in the World Poker Tour $10,400 World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas. It was the first seven-figure score of his career, good for more than $1.3 million.

Funaro outlasted all but four players out of a 2,960-entry field, which created a WPT record $29 million prize pool. The tournament was a six-day marathon, eight if you count all three Day 1 starting flights.

“I’m feeling good. It was my time to die,” Funaro told PlayNJ.com later Tuesday evening after the tournament finished. “It was a great experience. I had a lot of fun and have no regrets.” 

Frank Funaro was due for a $1-million score

Funaro has been putting in volume in both the live and online scenes for years now. He was a staff pick to win a WSOP bracelet in 2021, though the prediction appeared to be a year early since he won his first bracelet this past October.

These runs and several more WPT scores helped prepare him for the ups and downs that come with long days at the felt, where he amassed large stacks on Days 2 and 3 before losing a pot at the end of Day 4 that dropped him to 14th in chips with 37 remaining.

An 18-hour Day 5 on Sunday played down to the final six. Funaro chipped up early but found himself eighth in chips with 10 remaining on the final table bubble. He found a double to enter the final table of nine in the middle of the pack but was immediately crippled. 

No one could put him away, though, and he made the final six a handful of hours later. Unfortunately, his final day only lasted 14 hands, coming to an end after he ran ace-ten into the pocket kings of eventual champion Eliot Hudon.

Borgata’s ‘The Return’ brings poker back to Jersey this January

With the holidays now upon us, we can look forward to January for live poker. 

Most notably, Borgata is getting back into the swing of running the large tournaments its become known for over the last two decades. Its ‘The Return’ festival will run from January 2-8, featuring five events, including a $3 million guaranteed Main Event.

The complete list of events:

  • $2,200 NLH Mystery Bounty (Event 1, Jan. 2-3) – $1M guaranteed
  • $560 NLH Satellite Qualifier to Main Event (Event 2, Jan. 3) – 1 in 10 win
  • $5,400 NLH Main Event (Event 3, Jan. 4-8) – $3M guaranteed
  • $2,100 NLH 1k Bounty (Event 4, Jan. 6-7) – $150,000 guaranteed
  • $1,100 NLH Survivor (Event 5, Jan. 7-8) – $100,000 guaranteed

Live and NJ online poker satellites are running, and Main Event registration is available online through December 31 on BetMGM Poker. In-person registration opens at Borgata on January 2.

Photo by WPT
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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby comes from a background of poker, sports and psychology. He brings all of that expertise into his writing, where he contributes content in the growing legalized sports betting, online casino and gambling industry.

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