Watch Chicago’s Dave McGowan Pull $250K Bounty at WPT Wynn; Ren Lin Nabs $150K

While the World Poker Tour (WPT) $10,400 World Championship was playing down to a final table, Wynn Las Vegas was busy hosting another one of its popular Mystery Bounty tournaments.

The $1,600 buy-in event attracted 3,715 entrants over a trio of starting flights, and on Monday the surviving 404 players returned for Day 2 action. They were already in the money but were also battling for bounties ranging from $500 up to $250,000 in addition to 15 Virgin Voyage Cruise Packages that had been added.

Up for grabs was a top bounty of $250,000, while four $100,000 bounties were available. From there, players had a shot at eight $50K bounties and 10 bounties apiece at the $25K and $10K price point. There were also $5,000, $2,500, $1,000, and $500 bounties available.

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Winner, Winner, $250K Dinner

Dave McGowan
Dave McGowan

It took just over four hours of play when the field had been reduced to approximately 130 players before the big $250,000 envelope was drawn. Dave McGowan, a 40-year-old from Chicago who works in finance, had scored five eliminations and was waiting for the right time to redeem his tickets.

He used two up and drew small bounty amounts, and then just before the second break of the day decided to redeem the other three.

“I had five bounties. I definitely got lucky on at least two of the five,” he said. “My girlfriend, Jackie, has been here with me all week. I texted her that I was going to pull, so I asked her to come down and watch. My buddy Todd came too. Having friends and loved ones watching makes it even better.”

He continued: “I feel pretty good. I understand how lucky I was to pull it. Really happy about it, obviously. This event has been fantastic and this is the cherry on top. I think in these tournaments you have to understand what the bounties are worth, and I tried to amass as many chips as I could and then calling very light to exploit that.”

McGowan is no stranger to poker success in Vegas. Back in October 2021, he finished runner-up to Gediminas Uselis in the MSPT Venetian $1,600 Main Event for $210,202. Not including the bounty, McGowan has nearly $600K in lifetime tournament earnings according to the Hendon Mob.

The best part is McGowan isn’t done. As of publication, he still has chips and not only an opportunity to go deep in the tournament but also at more bounties.

“I think they say it’s better to be lucky than good, and I think I have to agree at this point,” he said. “But we’re still in this tournament, we have a bunch of bigs, so it’d be pretty sweet to take the $250K and then run deep in this thing.”

Ren Lin’s Back-to-Back Big Draw

Ren Lin
Ren Lin

Back in October, GGPoker team member Ren Lin had a deep run in the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic at Bellagio, ultimately finishing in eighth place for $129,000. He was able to top that amount on Monday thanks to a pair of back-to-back big envelope draws.

On the second break of the day, Lin got in line to redeem some tickets. One of them was for a $50,000 bounty, and while that was thrilling, the next one was twice as good as he pulled $100,000!

Like McGowan, Lin was still alive in the tournament, which meant he had more opportunities at big money. The tournament isn’t expected to conclude until the early morning hours of Tuesday, but PokerNews will be sure to include results in our next side event recap from the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.

Did You Know the World Poker Tour is Online?


The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world’s largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories around the world.

WPT Global offers a large deposit match bonus: 100% on deposits up to $1,200 (using any payment method). New players depositing a minimum of $20 automatically receive this match bonus which is unlocked in $5 increments (credited straight to the cashier) for every $20 of rake contribution.

Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.

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Chad Holloway

Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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