Jonathan Dimmig left Buffalo in 2012 for Las Vegas – and a chance to play poker.
Now he’s won a little more than $1.3 million in a tournament there.
Dimmig, a 2001 Kenmore East graduate, won the World Series of Poker tournament that began Saturday in Las Vegas and ran through Tuesday.
The tournament drew 7,977 competitors from around the world, according to Seth Palansky, vice president at Caesars Interactive Entertainment and a spokesman for the poker series.
Dimmig’s winnings tallied $1,319,587, Palansky said.
Dimmig, 31, reflected on his win Wednesday – as well as on his decision to leave Western New York to follow his dream.
“It was a tough decision,” said Dimmig, in a phone interview with The Buffalo News from Las Vegas. “My thought process was that, I didn’t want to look back when I was older and say, what if I never gave it a chance?”
Dimmig said his philosophy was this: “You have to chase your dreams, even if it’s a risky decision.”
“I just took it step by step. It was a four-day process,” said Dimmig, who spoke to The News a couple of hours before he was due at a ceremony to receive a winner’s bracelet from the series.
“They were chanting ‘Let’s Go Buffalo!’” Dimmig said.
Dimmig’s mother, Becky Dimmig D’Angelo of Tampa, said the family watched the Las Vegas event in locations all over the country, in order to cheer Jonathan on. “We are just ecstatic,” she said.
But, D’Angelo said, she isn’t coDimmig has two siblings and is married to Alicia Tombs. He said his next tournament is June 26, also in Las Vegas.
Dimmig said he wore a Buffalo Sabres shirt during the tournament for a special reason.
“There’s that cliché that we never win championships,” he said. “I always thought, ‘Well, what can I do to bring something to Buffalo?’ ”
“This is a little piece of championship-ness, coming back to the city.”