The Biggest Poker Winners From New Mexico

Joe Serock is by far the biggest poker tournament winner to come out of New Mexico

New Mexico is where the critically acclaimed television series Breaking Bad took place, but it’s also the US state where several big poker winners hail from. The state’s five biggest winners have $6,6,37,393 in live poker tournament winnings between them. They don’t have any WSOP bracelets to brag about, yet, but have endured a couple of near misses.

Joe Serock Is The Biggest Winner In New Mexico By Far

Joe Serock hails from Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, although he now resides in San Diego, California. Serock is the state’s biggest winner by a large margin. His $4,099,439 in live tournament winnings are backed up by $2.3 million from the online poker world.

Serock’s first live cash came in January 2007 and the now-defunct PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. His 107th place finish earned Serock $11,797. He didn’t wait long for his first six-figure score because it came in June 2009. Serock finished second to Brock Parker in the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event at the WSOP and banked $341,783. Surprisingly, that result is still Serock’s largest-ever prize.

The man from New Mexico came close to winning a bracelet again in 2010 at the WSOP Europe festival. Serock, again, finished second, this time in the £5,250 Pot-Limit Omaha event. His £98,262 prize was worth $151,587 at the time.

Serock has a singular six-figure prize from the online tournament grind. He reeled in a $105,032 score in 2010 after winning the Sunday Brawl at Full Tilt Poker.

David Minto Won Big And Stayed in New Mexico

Alamogordo, New Mexico is where you find the state’s second-largest winner, David Minto. He finds himself second in New Mexico’s all-time money list despite only recording 10 live cashes.

Minto finished second in the 2005 Million IV for a cool $1,000,000 score. That tournament put a fledgling partypoker on the map, and Minto too. Minto showed up at the 2007 WSOP two years later and cashed in a brace of events, but he was never a prolific tournament player.

Minto’s 10 recorded live cashes weigh in at $1,035,677, but he’s not finished in-the-money since June 2016.

Jake Minter and His Impressive Two-Year Run

Jake Minter of Albuquerque, New Mexico has a poker story similar to David Minto. His Hendon Mob page shows a mere nine cashes, but winnings of $632,839. Minter finished 73rd in the 2005 WSOP Main Event and walked away with $107,950. Australia’s Joe Hachem won that Main Event.

Minter scooped a $333,600 prize a month later courtesy of a third-place finish in the WPT Legends of Poker Main Event in Los Angeles. A couple more cashes followed before Minter collected $154,705 for a 14th place finish in the $25,500 Fifth Annual Five Star World Poker Classic in Las Vegas. Carlos Mortensen won this tournament, the largest prize awarded by the WPT.

Minter walked away from the game despite his early success and hasn’t been seen at a major event since then.

Thupten Thondup Loves The WSOPC

Thupten Thondup of Sante Fe, New Mexico burst onto the live poker scene in 2016. Some $338,650 of Thondup’s $504,020 in winnings stem from this year.

Thondup kicked 2016 off in style by winning the WSOP Circuit Choctaw event for $20,089. His only six-figure prize came in June 2016, one worth $186,731. Thondup finished third in a $1,100 MSPT event in Las Vegas to secure this sum.

He finished the year the same way he started it, with an outright victory. Thondup triumphed in the $365 WSOPC Bicycle Casino for $77,300. Thondup’s last cash game in July 2019, surely we’ve not seen the last of him?

Robert Betts’ Two Big WSOP Cashes Saw Him Step Away

There must be something in the New Mexico water that makes its poker players win big then step away from the game. David Minto did it, as did Jake Minter, and Robert Betts.

Betts, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, bagged a $139,380 prize in 2005. He finished sixth in a $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the WSOP. Betts finished 39th in the 2006 WSOP Main Event and netted $247,399. Another WSOP Main Event cash in 2008 was the last time we saw Betts until September 2019. He turned out for a $400 buy-in event in Thunder Valley, Lincoln, but hasn’t been seen since.

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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