- »Five Global Poker Stars Hailing From Lithuania
Five Global Poker Stars Hailing From Lithuania
Lithuania is not the first country that springs to mind when you think of poker stars. However, your view of the Baltic country may differ once you read about these five legitimate poker stars who call Lithuania home.
Basketball is the most popular pastime in Lithuania but poker is growing in popularity thanks, in part, to the rise of some of the country’s best players. The top five earning Lithuanian live poker players have combined winnings of $20,336,935. That is remarkable in a country where the average salary is only $21,516; the USA has an average wage of almost $52,000.
Antanas “Tony G” Guoga is the biggest poker name in Lithuania
Antanas Guoga is affectionately known as “Tony G” and is his country’s biggest name by far. Tony G hails from Kaunas, Lithuania, although he lived in Australia for a lengthy period of time.
Tony G is an astute businessman who founded PokerNews among other countries. He has his own health spa resort in addition to an online poker and sports betting site bearing his name.
Guoga prefers high-stakes cash games to tournament poker. Not that you would notice judging by his $8,823,531 in live MTT winnings. His fearless, sometimes unorthodox style, almost won him a WSOP bracelet in 2019. Tony G finished fourth in a €25,000 Super High Roller in Rozvadov, and won €799,045 ($882,942). That was his biggest score until he won a $100,000 Short Deck event in Cyprus for $1,196,000 in August 2021.
Matas Cimbolas swapped Lithuania for the United Kingdom
Matas Cimbolas calls London, UK, home but his heart is in Lithuania. Cimbolas is one of the best poker tournament players of his generation, one equally adept at the live game as he is online.
Cimbolas shot to fame in 2014 when he became the WPT UK Main Event champion. His online foes knew about him, but this was his first major live title. Cimbolas has since won three larger prizes than the £200,000 ($313,327) he won that day. These include a $600,060 score for a second-place finish in the 2020 WPT L.A. Poker Classic Main Event in February 2020.
This Lithuanian star has $5,366,203 in live event earnings.
Dominykas Karmazinas almost became an EPT champion
Dominykas Karmazinas almost became the first European Poker Tour winner from Lithuania. Karmazinas was only a teenager when he entered the €10,500 EPT Grand Final in April 2010. He battled his way to a third-place finish worth a cool €700,000 ($931,892). Nicolas Chouity of Lebanon took down the tournament for €1,700,000 ($2,263,166).
Karmazinas has not enjoyed the same level of success since that huge score. However, his $2,420,571 winnings show he has some serious poker skill in his locker.
Laurynas Levinkas has cashed in 16 different countries
Laurynas Levinskas calls Lithuania home, although he is rarely on home soil. Why? Because he loves traveling the world competing in poker tournaments. Levinkas’ $2,185,001 in winnings stem from results in 16 countries!
His first cash came in February 2012 in Brazil of all places. Cashes in the United States, Czech Republic. Spain, Cyprus, Montenegro, and Armenia followed. Levinkas, like Karmazinas, fell just shy of winning an EPT title. He finished second in a €10,350 High Roller at the 2014 EPT Prague stop for €412,910 ($514,389). That is still a career-high for the Lithuanian.
Kristijonas Andrulis put his country on the poker map
Kristijonas Andrulis plays nowhere near as much poker as he once did, but is still a big name in Lithuania. Some $1,189,997 of his $1,546,026 winnings came between 2010 and 2012. His loose-aggressive style was difficult to play against until opponents began adapting.
Andrulis won a €10,300 High Roller event at the 2010 EPT Tallinn stop for €123,495 ($163,682). It remained his best score until he banked $290,185 for a runner-up finish in a 2012 Bellagio Cup event.