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Five Poker Stars Who Call Indiana Home
The name of Indiana, the Hoosier State, means Land of the Indians. It should be Land of the Poker Player, perhaps? Indiana isn’t a state known for producing elite poker players, but several Hoosiers are exceptional at poker.
Aaron Jones, Andrew Moreno, and Jessica Dawley are three players you’ve likely heard of. These Indiana natives have won $2.6 million between them. The top five winners from Indiana have won a combined $24,298,786. Who are those five superstars?
John Cynn is the Biggest Live Poker MTT Winner from Indiana
John Cynn hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, and is the state’s biggest winner by far. Cynn has $10,188,621 in live poker tournament winnings. The bulk of that impressive sum stems from Cynn’s largest career score.
Cynn won one of the largest poker tournament prizes of all time in 2018. The Indiana resident topped a field of 7,874 entrants in the World Series of Poker Main Event. Cynn’s reward for this epic victory was $8,800,000 in cold, hard, cash!
That result wasn’t a flash in the pan. Cynn won $650,000 by finishing 11th in the WSOP Main Event two years earlier. More recently, in March 2020. Cynn finished second in a $25,500 Super High Roller in Russia for $252,000.
The Late Mike Sexton is an Indiana Legend
Mike Sexton is the man who put Indiana on the poker map. The man from Shelbyville was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2009 for his services to poker.
There isn’t a person on this planet who did more for poker than Sexton. He created the Tournament of Champions concept so widely used today. He was the co-founder of partypoker, which sparked the online poker boom long before Chris Moneymaker ever dreamed of playing an online WSOP satellite.
Sexton’s poker prowess was there for all to see, too. Almost 60 WSOP cashes, a WSOP bracelet, and a World Poker Tour title helped him amass $6,708,146 in winnings. His stories suggest he won similar amounts from cash games and sports betting.
September 6, 2020 will be remembered as a dark day for poker because Sexton died. He lost his fight against prostate cancer but his memory lives on forever.
Former WPT Gardens Champion Roger Teska
Bloomington, Indiana is where you find Roger Teska hanging out. Teska’s first record live result came in January 2006 in the PCA Main Event. Teska won $16,900 for his 29th place finish.
He cashed several times over the next few years but never put in any serious volume. May 2011 saw Teska collect $371,665 for a fourth-place finish in a $25,500 WPT event in Las Vegas. He hardly played after that score, but returned with a bang in November 2018. This is when he won the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS World in the Caribbean for $2,000,000!
Teska followed that up with a victory in the WPT Gardens Poker Festival for $368,475 and a $104,718 score in a $20,000 buy-in event in Australia. His winnings weigh in at $3,390,694 at the time of writing.
Introducing Mclean Karr
Mclean Karr of Fort Wayne, Indiana quickly racked up $2,463,055 in tournament winnings at the start of his career. 2010 and 2011 saw Karr bank $2,076,675 in an incredible couple of years at the felt. This was around the same time Karr was crushing the online poker world.
Karr won the $10,000 WPT Bay 101 Shooting Stars event in L.A. for $878,500. This is still his largest-ever prize. Another $423,304 found its way to Karr seven months later at EPT London. Two more six-figure scores were had in 2011.
He no longer plays poker on a regular basis, instead, focusing on his business strategy acumen.
WSOP Regular Chad Eveslage
Chad Eveslage of Ramsey, Indiana has an exceptional record in low-to-mid stakes poker tournaments. He’s managed to accumulate $1,548,270 in earnings with a career-best score of “only” $148,380.
Evelsage heads to the WSOP every year, taking a break from his 40-acre farm. Forty-six cashes on the WSOP have earned him $672,873. Seven of those cashes were at final tables. Winning a WSOP bracelet is only a matter of time, surely.