Five Poker Superstars Hailing From New Jersey

These five poker stars have New Jersey close to their hearts

New Jersey is the fourth-smallest U.S. state yet its influence on the poker world is immense. The Garden State has produced some ridiculously talented players over the years. Arguably the greatest poker player of all-time hails from tiny New Jersey.

The top five live poker players from New Jersey have racked up $73,399,195 in tournament winnings. They’ve also helped themselves to 15 World Series of Poker bracelets, including a Main Event title.

Phil Ivey: The Best New Jersey Has To Offer

Phil Ivey, the most famous poker player from New Jersey

You instantly think of Las Vegas when talking about Phil Ivey, yet he cut his poker teeth in New Jersey.

Ivey discovered poker while playing with colleagues at a telemarketing in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It didn’t take long for Ivey to realize he had a natural penchant for card games and that he could make more from poker than he did from his day job.

He was too young to play in Atlantic City casinos legally, so secured some fake ID. Jerome Graham was Ivey’s fake name and this is how he was known for a few years. Ivey spent so many hours playing poker in the casino that his opponents called him “No Home Jerome”.

Many consider Ivey to be the GOAT all-round player. He’s won 10 WSOP bracelets and $30,311,759 from live tournaments. Amazingly, none of Ivey’s bracelets come from Hold’em events; each one is in a mixed-game discipline.

Ivey has also won untold millions from playing in the biggest cash games in the world. He banked more than $20 million playing online poker cash games at Full Tilt alone.

Tom Marchese Is Another Las Vegas Resident From New Jersey

Tom Marchese lives in Vegas but he will always call New Jersey home

Parsippany, New Jersey will always be home despite Tom Marchese now living in Las Vegas. Marchese is one of those players who always seems to go deep in the tournaments he plays.

He burst onto the live poker scene in 2010 and never looked back. A third-place finish in a $3,500 Borgata Winter Open for $190,027 is Marchese’s first live score. He won a $5,000 buy-in event in Las Vegas a month later for $827,648.

Two years later, Marchese banked his first seven-figure prize. He collected $1,308,405 for triumphing in the $100,000 Super High Roller at the WPT World Championship. He’s since reeled in another six prizes of at least $1 million. The $19,136,194 Marchese’s won places him second in the New Jersey all-time money listings and 30th in the world.

Chris Klodnicki of New Jersey Should Have More Bracelets

Klodnicki of New Jersey should have several more WSOP bracelets to his name

Chris Klodnicki of Woorhees, New Jersey has one WSOP bracelet to his name but should have several more. It took Klodnicki 12-years to win that bracelet, taking down the $1,500 NL Hold’em event in 2017 for $428,423.

Klodnicki was delighted to get the proverbial monkey off his back, but so was the poker community. He’d managed three runner-up finishes, a trio of thirds, and 10 other top 10 finishes. One of those second-places saw Klodnicki awarded with his biggest-ever prize. Klodnicki lost heads-up to Anthony Gregg in the $111,111 One Drop High Roller in 2013. He missed out on a bracelet but picked up a massive $2,985,495.

The $10,103,725 Klodnicki has won places him third in the New Jersey all-time money listing.

Scott Blumstein the WSOP Main Event Champion

Scott Blumstein is a former WSOP Main Event champion

Every poker players dreams of winning the WSOP Main Event, Scott Blumstein managed it in 2017. The $8,150,000 he scooped makes up the bulk of his $8,595,159 winners.

Blumstein enjoyed plenty of success in low stakes live tournaments before hitting the big time. A $199,854 score in Atlantic City in July 2016 gave him a bankroll boost that allowed some shots at bigger buy-in tournaments. Boy did that shot taking work.

He left Morristown, New Jersey for the 2017 WSOP and didn’t record a single cash. He kept the best until last. Blumstein outlasted 7,220-opponents in the WSOP Main Event to bank the $8,150,000 top prize.

Blumstein still plays poker, although he’s not been able to reproduce his 2017 Main Event form.

Josh Beckley the 2015 WSOP Main Event Runner-Up

Scammer or misunderstood? We may never know

Josh Beckley of Marlton, New Jersey, shot to fame in 2015 when he finished second in the WSOP Main Event. Beckley secured a $4,470,896 prize while Joe McKeehan banked $7,68,346 for first.

The result makes up the bulk of Beckley’s $5,377,089 live tournament winnings. It looks unlikely he’ll be adding to his winnings total in the near future. Beckley last cashed in an online poker tournament in May 2018 and a live event in May 2019. He’s also removed himself from social media after being accused of scamming prominent member of the poker community. Rumors of Beckley being declared bankrupt continue circling.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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