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Tony 'Bond18' Dunst Joins World Poker Tour

Posted at 10:42 2010-10-08

Former Australian resident Tony ‘Bond18’ Dunst, who posts on PokerNetwork as ‘LuckyTonyD’ is back in the US and taking the poker world by storm. After a deep run in the World Series of Poker saw him get plenty of camera time, he’s about to get a whole lot more after agreeing to take up a regular analyst spot with the World Poker Tour.

As a part of the revamp of the World Poker Tour under its new management, Dunst will form part of a broadcast team that includes booth stalwarts Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten, along with the return of Kimberly Lansing to the special comments and interview role. Dunst will take on a more detailed analysis role providing expert insight into big hands during a cut away scene that will air at least once an episode.

Dunst’s cut away spot will be known as ‘The Raw Deal’. Dunst joined the PokerNetwork Show podcast this week to chat about the new role and his year so far.

While he will be the consummate professional in his role as analyst, the 25 year-old has promised to not sell out or pull any punches as it is his straight-shooting opinions that have earned him a degree of popularity in the poker world. In an interview with ESPN, Dunst said "Really, I think they just wanted someone who can speak his mind in an honest way. I think they came up with this idea of a Simon Cowell figure, but I hope to be more like Jon Stewart -- critical but objective. They're obviously trying to appeal to a younger demographic."

It’s pretty clear the WPT is trying to recapture the mature market with this movement away from superficial analysis. Gone are the early days of the broadcast where the WPT was trying to introduce players to the game, they are now trying to engage a more poker-educated viewer group who want a deeper breakdown of the hands that matter. The hiring of Dunst is a step in that direction. It will be interesting to see what ground the WPT will be able to make up in a crowded tournament and televised poker market.

The Raw Deal is set to begin with World Poker Tour season IX which will begin screening in January throughout the United States on Fox Sports Net. Australian viewers can expect it on Foxtel sometime after the show has had its US run.

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Viewers will be seeing a whole lot more Tony Dunst on TV, after he agreed to a regular spot with the WPT Viewers will be seeing a whole lot more Tony Dunst on TV, after he agreed to a regular spot with the WPT

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