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Who Are The Best Poker Players From Wisconsin?
The Green Bay Packers NFL franchise is the first thing that springs to my mine when Wisconsin is mentioned. Poker is a close second anytime America’s Dairyland is talked about. This is because the game’s most famous poker player once called Wisconsin home.
$39,658,070 are the lifetime winnings of the top five Wisconsin poker players. Those same five stars have won 17 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets between them, although the majority stems from one man. Who? Let’s find out.
Phil Hellmuth is the Biggest Poker Winner in Wisconsin
Phil Hellmuth lives in sunny Palo Alto, California but Madison, Wisconsin is his true home. The self-proclaimed “Poker Brat” is one of the most famous poker players to have played the game.
Hellmuth is a polorizing character. Some say he’s the best-ever no-limit hold’em poker tournament player. Others say his unorthodox style only works against the weakest players. His results, however, speak for themselves.
He has won a cool $24,117,333 from live poker tournaments, the most of any Wisconsin player. That princely sum places Hellmuth 21st in the overall standings, which is impressive considering he doesn’t play the Super High Rollers.
Winning 15 WSOP bracelets, including two Main Event titles, shows his MTT prowess. You have to agree his results are impressed regardless of you loving or loathing Hellmuth.
The $7 Million Dollar Man from Wisconsin, Joe Kuether
Joe Kuether grew up in Elm Grove, Wisconsin and still lives in the state, calling Milwaukee home. Kuether has $7,004,871 in live tournament winnings and that figure continues growing.
He burst onto the scene in 2009 and racked up several scores. His first six-figure prize came in march 2012, a prize worth $111,104. This was Kuether’s reward for winning the WSOP Circuit San Diego Main Event. Fifteen more six-figure prizes have come Kuether’s way since the.
His biggest score weighs in at $1,050,000. Kuether collected this by finishing second in a $25,000 8-handed High Roller event at the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
Tony Dunst Started Life in Madison, Wisconsin
Tony Dunst was born in Madison, Wisconsin but now calls Las Vegas home. Dunst has done it all in the poker world. He was a superb online poker player where he was known as “Bond18”. He’s also won $3,842,172 from live events, including two WSOP bracelets and a WPT title.
The first bracelet came in 2016 when he triumphed in a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $339,254. Bracelet number two didn’t come until four years later when he won the $777 NLHE 6-handed event for $168,342. His biggest prize, A$1,000,000 ($700,069) was from a runner-up finish in the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event.
Dunst still plays poker but a lot of his time is taken up by his commentary/analyst role with the World Poker Tour.
First Major Live Victory Eludes Amit Makhija
Amit Makhija of Brookfield, Wisconsin has more than $6 million in tournament winnings. A shade under $3 million come from live poker, the rest from the online poker world. Makhija, known as “Amak316”, is feared and respected in equal measure.
It’s amazing to learn Makhija has won $2,989,538 from live poker MTTs without tasting victory. His Hendon Mob profile shows 21 major final tables but no winner’s podium finish. Makhija’s second-place finish in the 2008 Legends of Poker banked him $563,320, which is still his largest-ever prize.
Low-to-Mid Stakes Specialist Nicholas Blumenthal
Nicholas Blumenthal ranks fifth in the Wisconsin all-time money listings with $1,730,629. It’s an impressive sum, but more so when you consider the stakes he plays. There is the odd high buy-in event in his excellent results, but most MTTs there are considered low-to-mid stakes.
Blumenthal made a name for himself at the 2011 WSOP. Fourth-place in a $5,000 NLHE event and a runner-up finish in the $1,500 NLHE 6-max netted a combined $589,784. Another 23 final tables, including two victories, are on Blumenthal’s resume.