Varkonyi playing at the 2009 World Series of Poker Champions Invitational
|Residence||Great Neck, New York, U.S.|
1961 (age 56–57)|
New York, U.S.
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
Varkonyi was born in and raised in NYC. He first started playing poker as an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
After his graduation in 1983 (with degrees in EECS and from the MIT Sloan School of Management), he was an investment banker in Brooklyn, New York for a number of years before beginning to play tournament poker.
Varkonyi is most well known for winning the 2002 World Series of Poker Main Event, taking the $2 million prize. In the final hand, Varkonyi's defeated Julian Gardner's on a board of , resulting in Varkonyi's full house defeating Gardner's flush.
In the WSOP Main Event the following year, Varkonyi was at the televised feature table, playing in defense of his championship. Two-time world champion Doyle Brunson was also featured at the table for a while. Later in the broadcast, 1998 world champion Scotty Nguyen was also at the feature table and they played several hands together. In the 2003 World Series of Poker, Varkonyi's chance of a repeat championship was dashed when his met Nguyen's .
He cashed in the main event in 2007, finishing in 177th place in a field of over six thousand players, winning $51,398.
In the 2009 WSOP, Varkonyi competed with 19 other former WSOP main event world champions in the first ever Champions Invitational tournament. He finished the tournament in second place, being defeated in heads-up play by 1983 world champion Tom McEvoy.
At the 2011 WSOP, Varkonyi cashed in the Main Event for the third time in his poker career. He finished in 514th place in a field of 6,865 players, earning $23,876.
World Series of Poker Bracelets
|2002||$10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship||$2,000,000|
Personal life and family
Varkonyi currently resides in Great Neck, New York, with his wife Olga, who also plays poker, and two daughters. He named his first daughter Victoria after his World Series win. His second daughter is named Valerie.
Olga made an appearance at the 2005 World Series of Poker main event, finishing in the money in 238th place.