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Five Poker Stars From Connecticut
Connecticut is the third-smallest state by area but the fourth-most densely populated. The state boasts of the highest per capita income of all 50 US states, along with some incredible poker talent.
The five biggest live poker tournament winners in Connecticut have almost $10.5 million in earnings between them. In addition, everyone in the top 14 places on the all-time money list has more than $1.1 million in winnings. Who are those five winningest players? These guys.
Mark Dube: The Biggest Winner From Connecticut
Mark Dube lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but grew up in Newburyport, Connecticut. Dube owns the top spot on the state’s all-time money list, courtesy of his $2,312,414 in winnings.
Nine victories adorn Dube’s Hendon Mob page, including one in July 2014 that earned him $377,467. That was Dube’s biggest first six-figure score of his career, an excellent way to smash through that barrier.
He has six more six-figure prizes on his resume. His second-place finish in the $3,500 WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open Championship in February 2015 earned Dube a cool $434,462.
Paul Darden is Number Two in Connecticut Despite Illness
Paul Darden of New Haven, Connecticut, has $2,226,633 in live MTT winnings. Darden achieved this impressive total despite not cash in a tournament since 2017. Darden spoke to PokerNews during the 2015 World Series of Poker (WSOP), where he revealed he has Multiple Sclerosis. It appears the debilitating nerve condition has forced Darden’s retirement.
Darden won a WSOP bracelet in a $2,600 Seven-Card Stud event in 2001. The $147,440 he won remained his largest live score for 4.5 years. His $300,000 prize for a fifth-place finish in the $10,200 WPT Event at the partypoker Million Cruise in 2005 blew that out of the water; pardon the pun.
Here is hoping Darden is as fit and well as he can be.
Connecticut’s Stephen Song Won a Bracelet Aged 23
Stephen Song resides in Greenwich, Connecticut, which is where he returned after becoming a WSOP champion. Song won the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2019 WSOP when he was only 23-years-old. Song’s bracelet victory netted him $341,854, which is still his most considerable live tournament cash.
2019 was a stand-out year for Song. Not only did he win a bracelet, but he took down a $10,000 buy-in event ($285,243) and a €2,200 EPT Barcelona side event ($205,341).
Last year was very quiet for Song. He cashed in six events as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world.
Ryan Eriquezzo Has Four WSOPC Rings and Two Bracelets
New Haven, Connecticut, is where you find Ryan Eriquezzo when he is not grinding tournaments. Eriquezzo enjoyed a breakout year in 2012, although he had some excellent results on his resume before then.
2012 saw Eriquezzo win the $1,600 WSOPC Atlantic City event for $191,194 plus his first WSCOP ring. Victory in that event came with a $10,000 entry to the WSOP National Championship a couple of months later. Eriquezzo took that down for a career-best $416,051 and a gold bracelet.
Eriquezzo was relatively quiet for a few years after his $620,529 winnings in 2012. He re-emerged in 2019 with a brace of WSOPC ring victories. First, he won the WSOPC Atlantic City Main Event for the second time. Second, he triumphed in the $10,000 Global Casino Championship.
Andrew Badecker is Another WSOP Bracelet Winner From the Constitution State
Andrew Badecker of Vernon, Connecticut, has $1,933,833 in MTT winnings, enough for fifth-place in the state standings. The bulk of Badecker’s winnings came in 2011-12, where he claimed $1,434,832 in winnings.
2011 saw Badecker finish third in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP. That result earned him $224,029. Five months later, Badecker banked $388,657 after winning a $2,700 buy-in event at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
Badecker won his only bracelet in 2012, doing so in the $1,500 No-Limit Shootout, which saw him secure an additional $369,371. He locked up the $192,300 fifth-place prize in the $10,000 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star event two months before his bracelet win.