As the launch of Pennsylvania online poker nears, PocketFives takes a look at the top 10 of the Pennsylvania poker all-time money list. The list includes a World Series of Poker Main Event champion, one other WSOP gold bracelet winner, a couple of World Poker Tour winners, and a European Poker Tour champion. The leader falls under none of these categories, though, but he does top the list in a big way with more than $24 million in live tournament earnings.
Pennsylvania Poker All-Time Money List
- Jake Schindler – $24,659,374
- Joseph McKeehen – $16,224,026
- John Hennigan – $8,472,252
- Matt Glantz – $7,110,451
- Daniel Ott – $4,726,701
- Matt Berkey – $4,152,310
- Russell Thomas – $3,770,309
- Michael Martin – $3,305,970
- Aaron Mermelstein – $3,246,815
- Garry Gates – $3,243,129
Jake Schindler and his career live tournament earnings of more than $24.6 million tops the PA poker all-time money list, and the gap between him and second place is quite large. Schindler is originally from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia. It’s a suburb of Philadelphia with a population of only few thousand people.
Schindler’s largest live tournament score to date comes in at $3.6 million for when he finished second to Christoph Vogelsang in the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl in 2017. He also has scores of $1.192 million from winning the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $25,000 High Roller, $2.151 million for winning the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona €100,000 Super High Roller, and $1.332 million for winning the WPT Five Diamond $100,000 Super High Roller in 2018.
Not only does Schindler’s more than $24.6 million put him on top of Pennsylvania’s all-time money list, but it has him ranked in the top 15 of the United States all-time money list and top 25 of the overall all-time money list.
Coming in at #2 on Pennsylvania’s all-time money list is 2015 WSOP Main Event champion Joseph McKeehen with more than $16.2 million in live tournament earnings. Of those winnings, $7.683 million came when McKeehen topped a field of 6,420 entries in poker’s most prestigious event, the WSOP Main Event.
McKeehen is originally from North Wales, Pennsylvania. It’s a small town in the southeast corner of the Keystone State.
McKeehen proved his wasn’t just a one-hit wonder when, in 2017, he won his second WSOP gold bracelet in the $10,000 Limit Hold’em Championship, scoring $311,817. McKeehen also has a WSOP Circuit Main Event title to his name.
McKeehen’s second biggest score came from the 2016 PCA $100,000 Super High Roller. In that event, he finished second to Bryn Kenney for $1.22 million.
One of the most well-known poker players in the world, John Hennigan, comes in at #3 on Pennsylvania’s all-time money list. He has $8.472 million in live tournament earnings. Hennigan has loads of big scores and triumphant victories on his résumé, but it’s the six WSOP gold bracelets and one WPT title that really stick out.
Hennigan’s largest career score is his World Poker Tour win, coming in 2007 at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open when he won $1.606 million. His second biggest score came in 2014 when he won the WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship to the tune of $1.517 million. That WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship win came just one year after he finished third in the same event for $686,568. In 2018, Hennigan took second in the WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship for $765,837.
Hennigan is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Matt Glantz, from Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, comes in at #4 on the list with $7.11 million in live tournament earnings. His biggest live tournament score came from the European Poker Tour London £20,500 High Roller. He won that event for what converted to $862,837. In 2008, Glantz took fourth in the WSOP $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event for $568,320, and in 2014 he finished fifth in the PCA $100,000 Super High Roller for $445,520.
Glantz has a handful of WSOP final tables on record, but to date, he’s yet to win a WSOP gold bracelet. His closest was in 2005 when he took second in the WSOP $3,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament for $364,620.
Almost smack dead in the center of Pennsylvania is Altoona, where Daniel Ott is from. Ott comes in at #5 on PA’s all-time money list with $4.726 million in live tournament earnings. Nearly all of that, $4.7 million worth, comes from a single score. In 2017, Ott made the final table of the WSOP Main Event and finished second to Scott Blumstein for $4.7 million.
Elsewhere on Ott’s résumé, you’ll find a bunch of WSOP cashes, all for small amounts, and an MSPT cash, but that’s it.
Originally from Leechburg, Pennsylvania, Matt Berkey is one of poker’s most popular players. He has more than $4.15 million in live tournament earnings, but that could change rather quickly for as big as he plays. Berkey is a regular in some of poker’s priciest tournaments, including the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl, which he took fifth in in 2016 for $1.1 million.
That’s Berkey’s only seven-figure score to date, but he has several six-figures cashes and it seems like only a matter of time before he nets another cash of a million dollars or more.
Like Ott, the bulk of Russell Thomas’ career live tournament earnings come from a final table in the WSOP Main Event. Thomas has more than $3.77 million in earnings, which lands him #7 on the Pennsylvania poker all-time money list. More than $2.85 million of that comes from a fourth-place finish in the 2012 WSOP Main Event.
Thomas is originally from Wallingford, Pennsylvania, which is located in the southeast corner of the state.
You won’t see Michael Martin on the poker circuit much these days, but he did well to amass more than $3.3 million in live tournament earnings. Nearly all of Martin’s live tournament cashes come from 2006 to 2010, with one very small cash coming in each of 2013 and 2019.
Martin’s biggest score came when he won the European Poker Tour London Main Event in 2008 for more than $1.8 million. Prior to that, earlier in the same year, he banked $666,171 for a fifth-place finish in the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo.
Martin is originally from Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia’s Aaron Mermelstein is still very much grinding the tournament circuit, and with more than $3.25 million in live earnings, he’s #9 on the Pennsylvania all-time money list. Mermelstein doesn’t have a seven-figure score on record, to date, but he does hold two WPT titles. He won both in 2015, topping the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open for $712,305, his largest score ever, and then winning the WPT Maryland Live! tournament for $250,222.
Another big score for Mermelstein came when he won the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown $25,000 High Roller event in 2019 for $618,955.
Titusville’s Garry Gates is a newcomer to the Pennsylvania poker all-time money list, thanks to his fourth-place finish in the 2019 WSOP Main Event for $3 million. Gates, a longtime member of the poker industry on both the media and corporate side, now has four WSOP Main Event cashes.
Gates’ second-biggest score is a fourth-place finish in the 2012 WSOP Circuit Atlantic City Main Event for $64,530.
Gates’ hometown of Titusville is home to notable football player and coach, John Heisman.