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The Five Biggest Poker MTT Winners From Hawaii
Hawaii is the youngest of all 50 U.S. states and one that is 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland. It is not the first state mention when you think of poker players, but Hawaii has produced some incredible poker talent over the years.
The five biggest poker tournament winners from Hawaii have $7,176,060 in combined earnings. That is an impressive tally considering the state’s location and lack of major tournaments. All five of those big winners have netted seven-figure sums during their careers; these are those five stars.
Brandon Eisen Is Number One In Hawaii
Brandon Eisen is number one in the Hawaii all-time money listing with $1,750,634 in winnings. Most of that sum stems from grinding events in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Eisen had 11 recorded cashes on his resume when he jetted off to the 2014 World Series of Poker. The largest of these weighed in at $6,364. He decided to enter the $1,111 Little One for One Drop event alongside 4,495 others. The decision turned out to be one of the best the man from Mililani, Hawaii, made.
He ran out of steam at the final table, but not before securing third place, which was worth $283,895. Eisen beat that impressive sum four years later when he took down the $5,250 SHRPO Main Event. The victory came with a $771,444 top prize!
Kainalu McCue-Unciano The Million Dollar Man From Hawaii
Kainalu McCue-Unciano of Kapolei, Hawaii, was a relative unknown until he started stringing together some impressive results from 2017 onwards. McCue-Unciano won more than $110,000 that year and started making a name for himself.
2018 was even better because McCue-Unciano won almost $210,000. The following year, however, is what made the poker world sit up and take note.
McCue-Unciano won almost $1.3 million in 2019, which is the bulk of his $1,721,453 winnings. He won the $1,500 Monster Stack event for a cool $1,008,850 and a WSOP bracelet. His seven-figure score is the only $1 million+ prize won by a Hawaiian; the bracelet was the third secured by the state’s grinders.
He banked another $192,862 after using his new wealth to enter the $100,000 buy-in High Roller. McCue-Unciano finished 12th in what was a star-studded field.
Michael Chow Is One Of Three Hawaii Natives To Win a WSOP Bracelet
Michael Chow resides in the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu, although you usually find him in Las Vegas. Chow is third in the Hawaii rankings, courtesy of $1,326,551 in live poker tournament earnings.
Chow has enjoyed plenty of success at the tables. He came close to winning a WSOP bracelet in 2006 when he finished seventh in a $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event. Chow won a bracelet in 2010 after triumphing in a $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event, which netted him a career-best $237,463. He has finished sixth and second in other bracelet-awarding events.
Lisa Hamilton Is The Best Hawaiian Female Player
Lisa Hamilton of Honolulu, Hawaii, was the state’s first recipient of a WSOP bracelet. Hamilton took down the $1,000 buy-in Ladies Event at the 2009 WSOP and walked away with $195,390.
That princely sum remained Hamilton’s largest score for seven years. That was until Hamilton finished second in a WSOP Circuit event at Bally’s Las Vegas for $200,310. Incredibly, Hamilton won more than double that sum only two years later. A fifth-place finish in the $10,400 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic saw Hamilton’s bankroll swell by $451,880.
That trio of big scores, coupled with her other results, helped Hamilton amass $1,301,245 in winnings.
Shaun Suller Shone Brightly in 2013-14
Shaun Suller is another Honolulu resident who loves playing poker. The man fifth in the Hawaii standings, with $1,103,316 in winnings, enjoyed a purple patch between 2013 and 2014.
Suller scooped $101,444 when he finished third in a $1,675 WSOPC Main Event at Caesars Palace in February 2013. Suller won $303,793 only nine months later, this time at the Bellagio.
The best was yet to come in March 2014 when a third-place finish in another WPT Main Event saw Suller reel in $477,470. This is still Suller’s best-ever result at the poker table.