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The Five Biggest Winning Poker Players From Colorado
Colorado is the home to dozens of natural attractions. The state is the home to the world’s largest flat-top mountain and the world’s deepest hot springs. Colorado is famous for producing some amazing poker players too.
The state’s five biggest tournament winners have just shy of $49.9 million in winnings between them. They have a handful of WSOP bracelets and other major titles on their resumes. Who are those top five players? Keep reading to find out.
Steve O’Dwyer Born in Colorado, Grinds in Europe
Steve O’Dwyer is one of the biggest winners in the world not just the state of Colorado. O’Dwyer’s winnings top the scale at more than $37.5 million! He cut his teeth in the online poker world and has $7.1 million in winnings there. Add $30,475,250 from his live poker exploits and you can see why O’Dwyer is feared at the tables.
Colorado Springs is O’Dwyer’s hometown but he lives in Europe these days. He set up base in Dublin, Ireland, but shows as being in the Netherlands when playing online events.
He moved to Europe to make travelling to the European Poker Tour easier and less of a drag. It is a move that paid off handsomely as he is one of the tour’s biggest-ever winners.
O’Dwyer has six seven-figure wins on his Hendon Mob page. The largest of these weighs in at $1,872,580, his reward for winning the 2015 PCA Super High Roller.
Checking out his results reveals no WSOP bracelets and only a handful of cashes in Vegas. This is because O’Dwyer is clever and stays at home grinding online poker while his fellow pros are grinding live at the WSOP!
Chance Kornuth Lives in Las Vegas But Colorado is Home
Chance Kornuth was born and raised in Denver, Colorado but now calls Las Vegas home. Kornuth is one of the game’s most likeable players, one always sporting a beaming smile. Don’t let the smile fool you, however, because Kornuth is a beast of a poker player.
He has racked up almost $7.5 million in live tournament winnings and has two bracelets. The first came in the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha event in 2010. Bracelet two arrives in 2018 when Kornuth won the $3,200 NLHE Online High Roller.
Kornuth is currently embroiled in a heads-up match against Phil Galfond. This shows Kornuth is equally adept at cash games as he is tournaments, which is something of a rarity.
Former Spelling Bee Champion Pratyush Buddiga
The best poker players tend to be intelligent because of the math involved in the game. Pratyush Buddiga is different, the man from Colorado Springs is a wordsmith.
Buddiga won the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee contest in 2002. His brother won it two years later. Buddiga was a relative latecomer to poker, discovering the game while studying economics at Duke University. He enlisted the coaching services of Mike “Timex” McDonald and never looked back.
Buddiga hasn’t recorded a live cash since 2017 but has just shy of $6.5 million in winnings. He’s engrossed in business right now but you don’t just quit poker, poker quits you!
Four-Time WSOP Bracelet Winner Loren Klein
Loren Klein of Golden, Colorado is probably the best poker player you’ve never heard of. This is especially true if you don’t keep up with the best pot-limit Omaha players. Klein is certainly that.
His $3,007,485 in live winnings is impressive if not particularly huge. His results, however, are ridiculous. Four WSOP bracelets adorn Klein’s wrists, all coming from PLO or mixed PLO/NLHE games. He won $1,018,336 in 2018 when he became the $10,000 PLO Championship champion.
Klein is only the third player in history to win bracelets in four straight years. He achieved this record in 2019. Doyle Brunson was the last player to achieve this between 1976-79.
Will Givens Found Poker While Studying at CSU
Will Givens of Centennial, Colorado discovered poker while studying at CSU. It was a profitable discovery because Givens has $2.56 million in live MTT winnings. His bracelet victory at the 2014 WSOP earned Givens $306,634. This is still his largest score although he has five other six-figure hauls.
Givens’ skills spill over to the online poker world. He mostly plays on American sites but was a regular at PokerStars and Full Tilt until 2017. He won $2.88 million across those sites along.