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Who Are The Five Biggest Poker Winners From Utah
The state of Utah is not one you immediately think of when considering top poker players. More than 60 per cent of the state’s population of 3.2 million citizens are Mormons, a religion that does not permit gambling. This has not stopped Utah from producing some excellent poker players over the year, far from it. These are the five biggest live poker tournament players from the Beehive State.
Jared Griener is Number One in Utah
Jared Griener lives in California but Utah is where he calls home. Griener is quite a prolific poker tournament player, one who has 167 recorded results on his Hendon Mob profile. The cashes from those 167 results weigh in at $2,154,078, placing him first in the Utah all-time money list.
Griener’s largest score is for $431,340. This was his reward for a third-place finish in the 2017 WPT L.A. Poker Classic. Amazingly, none of Griener’s results are outright victories. He has five runner-up finishes and a further six third-place exits.
It is a case of when, not if, Griener takes down a tournament and becomes a champion.
Frank Stepuchin is a WPT Champion from Utah
Frank Stepuchin of Park City, Utah is the state’s second-biggest winner with $1,159,732 in earnings. Almost half of that sum, $548,825, stem from him winning the $10,000 WPT Gardens Poker Championship Main Event.
Stepuchin locked horns with some superb poker players at his WPT final table. He outlasted Garret Greer, British star Toby Lewis, Ray Qartomy, Steve Sung, and Shannon Shorr.
He proved he is not a one-hit-wonder by taking down a $5,250 side event at the 2020 WPT L.A. Poker Classic. Will he make it three big wins in high stakes events in consecutive years in 2021?
Devin Porter a Former Poker Pro From Utah
Devin Porter hails from Riverton, Utah and is third on the state’s all-time money list with $1,024,156 in winnings. Porter occupies this lofty position despite not cashing in an event since 2017.
Porter was predominately an online grinder before bursting onto the live scene in 2005. He finished fourth in a $5,200 event in Aruba for $200,000. Another six-figure score followed eight months later. Porter was the third-place finish in a $10,200 No-Limit Hold’em event at the Mirage, Las Vegas, a result good for $332,937. That last result is still Porter’s largest haul.
He continued playing live poker after online poker’s Black Friday, but his volume waned. Porter cashed in the 2016 WSOP Millionaire Maker and last cashed in a $185 Rio Daily Deepstack in 2017; he has not been seen in a live event since.
Dylan Hortin Has More Than $1M in Winnings
Salt Lake City, Utah is where you can find Dylan Hortin, a grinder with $1,012,913 in winnings. Two of Hortin’s 89 cashes weigh in at six-figures. The first came in 2012 when he finished fourth in a $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2012 WSOP. The second is still his biggest result, $196,156, his Hortin’s reward for a runner-up finish in a $1,100 event in Arizona.
Hortin last cashed in December 2019 and avoided live poker throughout 2020. Here is hoping he returns to the fray in the coming year now the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available.
Kenneth Lind the WSOP Bracelet Winner
Kenneth Lind of Layton, Utah is fifth in this list courtesy of $771,126 worth of winnings. Lind was 65 when he first cashed in a live event. He shot to stardom three years later by winning the $1,000 Seniors Event at the World Series of Poker.
The father of seven, grandfather of seven, and great grandfather of two outlasted 4,406 opponents on his way to victory. Lind is still going strong in the poker world and is a regular feature at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas where he tears up the $60 buy-in daily events.