- »The Five Biggest Live Poker MTT Winners From Arkansas
The Five Biggest Live Poker MTT Winners From Arkansas
Many famous people hail from Arkansas, The Natural State. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton hails from Arkansas. As do Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, and Billy Bob Thornton. The state is also home to several top poker players. The top five earners from Arkansas have $7,017,445 in combined winnings. These are that quintet of grinders.
Daniel Lowery, a Nine-Time WSOPC Ring Winner From Arkansas
Daniel Lowery lives in Peter Pander, Arkansas, and is the state’s biggest live poker tournament winner. Lowery has accumulated $2,038,349 in winnings, an impressive figure helped by the fact he has nine World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) rings on his resume.
Lowery’s first WSOPC ring victory came in May 2013 in New Orleans. His victory came with $22,912 in prize money. His first six-figure score came 16 months earlier when he finished second in a $1,600 WSOPC Main Event for $167,230.
He has since reeled in two more six-figure hauls. Lowery won $111,835 for a runner-up finish in a $1,675 WSOPC Main Event in Durant in March 2017. He bested that prize when he won the same tournament eight months later and banked a career-best $258,784.
Michael Lech, Second in Arkansas, Has Eight WSOPC Rings and One Bracelet
Michael Lech of Alma, Arkansas, is second in the state’s all-time money listings with $1,408,617 in winnings. Lech is second in the race to ten WSOPC rings in the state, too, having won eight so far in his career.
Lech recorded his first live cash in June 2011, a third-place finish in a $120 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event netting him $844. He put himself and Arkansas on the map at the 2016 WSOP with a $401,888 score. This was Lech’s reward for a second-place finish in the $888 Crazy Eights event.
His second-place finish in 2016 is his largest score, but his best result came four years later. Lech won the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Freezeout online at WSOP.com for a gold bracelet and $164,249 in prize money.
Michael Sanders Has Four WSOPC Rings to His Name
There must be something in the Arkansas water that makes its poker player shine at the WSOPC because Michael Sanders has four of their rings on his fingers. Sanders calls Russellville, Arkansas, home, but spends a significant time on the road grinding events.
Sanders has $1,405,454 in live tournament winnings, an impressive sum helped by a pair of six-figure prizes. He secured a career-best $123,430 in January 2012 when he finished third at WSOPC Choctaw. Fifteen months later, he won a $1,100 event in Choctaw for an additional $103,652.
Mike Cordell Secured a WSOP Bracelet in 2016
Mike Cordell of Little Rock, Arkansas, had more than 50 relatively minor cashes before hitting the big time in 2016. Cordell cashed at an alarming rate in low-stakes live events, but came good in a $1,500 tournament at the 2016 WSOP.
Cordell was one of 1,477 players to buy into the event. he was the last man standing a couple of days later, meaning he won the $346,088 top prize plus a coveted gold bracelet. His victory denied Belgian poker veteran Pierre Neuville his first WSOP title.
The victory gave Cordell a sizeable bankroll and even more confidence. May 2017 saw him win the $1,675 WSOPC Baltimore event for $148,171 and, of course, a WSOPC ring. He then put together a deep run in the 2018 WSOP Main Event, falling in 63rd for $129,930. Look out for Cordell at the upcoming 2021 WSOP in Las Vegas.
Sam Barnhart Has More Than $1M in Winnings
Sam Barnhart of Little Rock, Arkansas, followed the poker dream in 2011. The highly intelligent software analyst and researcher won a $1,600 WSOPC Tunica Main Event for $148,612. It gave him the confidence to take a year off work and grind the tournament circuit.
The gamble paid off because Barnhart won a bracelet, and $300,000, at the inaugural WSOP National Championships three months later. He followed those results up with a $378,796 score for finishing 17th at the 2011 WSOP.
More than two dozen cashes followed over the next four year, but Barnhart has not cashed in a live event since September 2015. Will he ever return?