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Who Are The Biggest Poker Winners in Montana?
Montana does not have an official nickname, but some fantastic poker players call it home. Montana is the fourth-largest state by area but the eight-least populous thanks to mountainous terrain covering much of the land.
Many of the state’s 1,068,778 population love nothing more than playing poker. These are the five biggest poker winners from Montana.
David “Doc” Sands Is By Far The Biggest Winner in Montana
Montana’s five biggest winners have combined live poker tournament winnings of $10,168,111, and David Sands’ tally accounts for $8,459,920 of that sum.
Sands lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, these days, but Bozman, Montana is where he grew up. Sands is nicknamed “Doc,” and it is the “Doc_Sands” moniker that he used to tear up the online poker world. He switched focus to live tournaments following “Black Friday,” and he excelled in the live arena.
2011 was Sands’ breakout year. Several deep runs, including a runner-up finish in a $100,000 High Roller worth $664,027, helped Sands win $1,590,046. Sands won seven-figures for the next three years, with a cool $2,880,113 coming in 2013.
Sands won a career-best $1,259,320 for a second-place finish in the $100,000 PCA Super High Roller. Another $1,023,750 came Sands’ way after winning a WPT $100,000 Super Higher Roller event.
Montana’s biggest winner retired from the game in 2017, taking up a position for a hedge fund. Superstars tend not to stay away from poker forever; perhaps Sand will return one day.
Ian Gordon Is A WSOP Bracelet Winner From Montana
Missoula, Montana is where you will find Ian Gordon, who is second on the state’s all-time money list. Gordon only has four cashes on his Hendon Mob profile, with one, in particular, standing out.
Gordon was an unknown quantity when he entered the $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. event at the 2010 WSOP. The tournament attracts the best all-round poker players in the world, so nobody paid Gordon much attention. They should have because he outlasted 240 opponents to bank $611,666 and a WSOP bracelet.
Gordon outlasted some legitimate superstars at the final table. Nick Schulman, Carlos Mortensen, Matt Glantz, and Eugene Katchalov were among them. Seasoned British pro Richard Ashby was Gordon’s last opponent, and the Monatan resident got the job done.
The $611,666 Gordon won makes up the bulk of his $712,831 earnings. He, like Sands, last recorded a live cash in 2017.
Bradley Anderson Almost Won a WSOP Bracelet for Montana
Bradley Anderson of Missoula, Montana, has $365,324 in live winnings. Almost all that sum comes from one epic run in a WSOP event in 2014. Anderson was one of 7,977 entrants in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker event. Three days later, Anderson reached the final table. Unfortunately for Anderson, his epic run ended in a fifth-place finish worth $355,913. He was three eliminations away from a $1,319,587 payout and a WSOP bracelet.
Anderson cashed in four more events in 2014, another two in 2019, but has not been seen since.
Tyson Marks Won One of Online Poker’s Biggest Prizes
Tyson Marks of Missoula, Montana, has $358,682 in live winnings, enough for fourth-place on the state’s list. However, that sum only tells part of Marks’ story because he is in online poker’s history books.
Marks used to play at PokerStars under the alias “POTTERPOKER.” His decision to enter the $5,200 World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) in 2010 was the best he ever made. Why? Because he finished first from 2,443 entrants and walked away with $2,278,097. This is still one of the biggest prizes ever won in the online world.
Kathy Keller-Kohlberg, Another Retired Player
Kathy Keller-Kohlberg hails from Bolson, Montana, and has $295,798 in lifetime winnings. Keller-Kohlberg was active between 1994 and 2006, during which time she cashed in 51 tournaments.
$96,000 is her largest haul, her reward for finishing third in a $1,060 Seven-Card Stud event in Los Angeles in February 2001.