For poker players, January is a fresh start and a chance to start building a nice bankroll throughout the year. Numerous players saw some victories in the legal US online poker markets last month.
A couple recurring names grabbed headlines in some online events. Legendary Twitch streamer Jason Somerville made a reappearance and grabbed a World Series of Poker Circuit championship ring.
Growing fan favorite Conrad Simpson started off the year strong with a win. Other grinders such as Dan Schill, Corey Paggeot, and Jeremy “Jermz” Sissman continue to dominate nightly events. WSOP.com, BetMGM, and PokerStars all presented major online series in the US. Here’s a look at some players who rose to the top.
Current legal online poker states
In the US, online poker is legal in the following states:
♠♠♠Winner’s Circle offers a recap and highlights some recent action at the online tables. For players winning big online events, please tag @USPoker on Twitter each month to be featured. ♠♠♠
The World Series of Poker online site held a monthly Online Circuit Series in January. The events offered a combined series in the New Jersey and Nevada markets. Pennsylvania and Michigan hosted separate monthly series.
Streamer and WSOP bracelet winner Jason Somerville reemerged with his first championship ring. He scored $17,901 after defeating online grinder Krishna “ninjago” Kalidas heads up. Somerville started the Twitch poker streaming trend with his Run it Up brand.
In other events, Conrad Simpson popped off the year by adding over $23,000 to his bankroll. He took down the $100,000 Sunday event.
In the Pennsylvania market, Kyle Lorenz shipped two events in two days and scored over $20,000. Michael “Squoze” Duffy also made it a double with two rings and over $16,000 in winnings.
Michigan resident and online crusher Corey Paggeot collected rings four and five as he won over $8,000 in circuit events last month.
Some other notable winners included:
WSOP.com January winners James Schuler – Event 1, $16,011 (NJ) Michael Mcnicholas – Event 10, $16,632 (PA)
Garilyn Nelson – Event 2, $16,011 (NJ) Robert Yost – Event 11, $5,376 (PA)
Brain Mancilla – Event 3, $26,226 (NV) Travis Horning – Event 6, $5,992 (PA)
Christian Loucas – Event 4, $16,540 (NJ) Earl Mckee – Event 1, $5,786 (MI)
Kenny Huynh – Event 5, $44,475 (NJ) Craig Kane – Event 2, $7,959 (MI)
Matthew Boulden – Event 6, $6,180 (NV) Jamal Haddad – Event 3, $8,128 (MI)
Lauren Roberts – Event 8, $11,603 (NV) Jamin Stokes – Event 4, $6,664 (MI)
Lily Torrence – Event 9, $26,071 (NV) Dan Smits – Event 5, $11,909 (MI)
JJ Liu – Event 12, $35,184 (NV) Jonathan State – Event 6, $7,244 (MI)
Matthew Cole – Event 1, $6,259 (PA) Dakota Britton – Event 8, $6,281 (MI)
Joshua Berardi – Event 2, $8,006 (PA) Zinoviy Pelekh – Event 9, $6,664 (MI)
Travis Horning – Event 6, $5,992 (PA) Michael Setera – Event 10, $15,400 (MI)
Abel Griffiths – Event 7, $7,934 (PA) Andrew Szabelan – Event 11, $5,712 (MI)
Michael McNeil – Event 8, $6,226 (PA) Jacob Schultz – Event 12, $8,209 (MI)
Nicholas Condo – Event 9, $9,768 (PA)
Each ring and bracelet winner is eligible for a $1 million Tournament of Champions freeroll. The event returns to Las Vegas this summer. For a look at the complete WSOP schedule for this summer, click here.
In January, BetMGM hosted the Winter Championship Series. This allowed players in New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to compete for some hefty prizes all month long.
In New Jersey, Michael “Mbohmerwald23” Bohmerwald scored one of the biggest paydays of the series for $31,882. This made back-to-back months of winning $30,000-plus in a tournament.
In the Wolverine State, “Pawel99” took down Event 13 for $4,171. Another Michigan player, Tim “Bishplz” Bishop, grabbed his first trophy and $13,132.
In the Keystone State, “Yumdubz” shook the competition for $5,543. It was all gravy for another Pennsylvania winner. “gravytrain” won $3,332 for taking down first place in Event 2.
In the nightly events, Jeremy “Jermz” Sissman keeps crushing the competition. On Jan. 11 he scored a double victory for over $4,000.
A player known as “JonnyWins” from New Jersey made his qualifier count, turning $40 into a $12,000 payday.
On Jan. 1, PokerStars Michigan and New Jersey officially merged and players took advantage of the bigger prize pools. Michigan regular Dan Schill didn’t waste any time getting to work.
So far, players are pleased with the combined market. Stars recently announced a guarantee of $1 million in weekly tournaments on the platform. Pennsylvania players will now find $500,000 weekly as well. The merger paid off for one New Jersey player recently.
“I decided to play the $100 buy-in $100,000 event and was glad I did,” said Roger Downes, of Englishtown. “I ended up final tabling the tournament and took fifth place for $5,501. First place was just about $30,000. That is incredible for only a $100 buy-in, so I am happy for the merger to finally take place.”
In Pennsylvania , one standout win included a three-way chop for over $10,000 in the Sunday Special for Jeff Stellwagon. PokerStars also ran an online version of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) in the Bahamas. The Pennsylvania main event winner walked away with $27,768.
Live poker corner
Each month USPoker highlights a live poker score that stands out. In January, WSOP commentator Lon McEachern scored his first WSOP Circuit ring and $15,008 at Thunder Valley Casino.