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Who Is The Biggest Winning Poker Player From North Carolina?
North Carolina is the 28th largest of the 50 United States but the ninth most populous. The Tar Heel State has a population of almost 10.5 million and several top poker players hail from there.
The five biggest North Carolina poker tournament players have $26,872,685 in combined earnings. That figure soars by more than $20 million with online poker tournaments taken into consideration.
Who are those five North Carolina superstars? Continue reading to find out.
Chris Hunichen is Number One in North Carolina
Chris Hunichen of Clayton, North Carolina is a legitimate poker superstar. Hunichen has won $8,130,642 from live events, including a $1,097,195 score. That came from Hunichen’s third-place finish in the 2019 partypoker LIVE MILLION Main Event in The Bahamas.
The man known as “Big Huni” is a beast of an online poker player. Hunichen spends a lot of time away from North Carolina in order to play in the biggest online events. Winnings of almost $13 million show off Hunichen’s online prowess.
His biggest-ever cash weighed in at $1,332,097. Hunichen was in Costa Rica when he finished second to Christian Rudolph in the $25,000 Poker Players Championship at GGPoker, missing out on a WSOP bracelet by one finishing position for the third time.
Greg Raymer, the WSOP Main Event Champion Hailing from North Carolina
Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina and this is where Greg “Fossilman” Raymer lives in. Raymer is best known for triumphing in the 2004 World Series of Poker Main Event. Raymer has $8,027,286 in live tournament winnings, with $5 million coming from that Main Event victory.
His Fossilman nickname comes from his love of collecting fossils. Raymer often uses a fossil as a card protector when he plays in live events.
Raymer can be found playing online poker, but not as much as he once did. PokerStars sponsored Raymer after his Main Event victory and he managed a WCOOP victory in 2007.
Anthony Spinella, the State’s Bad Boy
Anthony Spinella resides in Mexico but Waxhaw, North Carolina is his true home. Spinella isn’t afraid to speak his mind but mostly lets his skills do the talking at the table.
Spinella has more than $3.7 million in live tournament winnings and millions more online. He’s a WSOP bracelet winner after taking down the $1,000 online event in 2015. He also has a WSOP Circuit ring which he won in 2018.
The talented grinder hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2012. Police arrested Spinella and his two friends in a drugs bust. Law enforcement discovered 20,000 hits of LSD, ecstasy and nitrous oxide plus $15,000 cash. All charges were later dropped.
Spinella has put that episode behind him and got back to being a fantastic poker player.
Mark Newhouse the Serial Ninth Place Finisher
Mark Newhouse of Chapel Hill, North Carolina only has 22 recorded live MTT cashes yet has $3,507,756 in winnings. The second of those cashes was a victory in the $10,000 WPT Borgata Poker Open in 2006 worth $1,519,020.
Newhouse is more famous for reaching back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables. Both those final tables ended in ninth-place finished. He banked $733,224 in 2013 and an additional $730,725 in 2014. Amazingly, Newhouse tweeted about not finishing ninth again before doing exactly that in 2014!
Mike Sowers the Former Online Star
Thomasville, North Carolina is where you can find the uber-talented Mike Sowers. Sowers made his name in the online poker world where he won $3.5 million. He has another $3,427,707 from grinding live tournaments.
Sowers didn’t leave North Carolina to continue his online career unlike many of his counterparts. It seems a strange decision considering how good he was at the virtual felt. Perhaps he’ll return at some point, although his opponent will hope not!