Winner’s Circle: Short Month Brings Hefty Wins for Online Poker Players in February

March 13, 2023
Winner’s Circle: Short Month Brings Hefty Wins for Online Poker Players in February

Online poker players celebrated with some major wins in the shortest month of the year. Many players grabbed big wins in the legal US online poker markets last month. saw some crazy action in the company’s Online Circuit Series as three players scooped up half the rings. Online grinder Jeremy “Jermz” Sissman continued to crush online New Jersey events and big names like Darren Elias found victories., BetMGM, and PokerStars all presented 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:

The World Series of Poker online site held a monthly Online Circuit Series in February. The events offered a combined series in the New Jersey and Nevada markets. Pennsylvania and Michigan hosted separate monthly series.

In New Jersey, former player of the year Michael Holtz scored back to back rings and over $67,000.  

Bracelet winner Alan Sternberg scored his fourth ring when he took down Event 12 for $49,034 in the New Jersey/Nevada market.

In Pennsylvania, Jeffrey “Shiphappens” Stellwagon grabbed his second ring when he shipped Event 7 for $8,476. He also took down the $50,000 WSOP Mystery Bounty at the end of the month as well to put him well over five figures for the month.

Aubrey “R1v3rm3daddy” Williams also joined the two-time ring club after taking down the main event for $19,219. 

Three players in Michigan scooped up half of the rings in February. Michigan resident Dakota Britton scored back-to-back rings, taking home over $15,000. Timothy Bishop also pulled the same move and collected rings five and six for over $10,000. 

Finally, Ryan Shinevare won a duo of events for over $20,000 and now has three rings to his name. Some other notable winners included: 

  • Rudy Cadenas – Event 1, $10,635 (NJ/NV)
  • Shaun Goodman – Event 2 , $29,002(NJ/NV)
  • Michael Hauptman – Event 3, $15,480 (NJ/NV)
  • Gennady Krolik – Event 4, $20,177  (NJ/NV)
  • Brian Gates – Event 5, $45,279 (NJ/NV)
  • Matthew Stone – Event 6, $16,468 (NJ/NV)
  • Jaime Reyes – Event 8, $15,284 (NJ/NV)
  • Joseph Brown – Event 9, $25,289 (NJ/NV)
  • John McGuinness – Event 11, $14,595 (NJ/NV)
  • Michael McNeil – Event 1, $6,392 (PA)
  • Dalton Brinker – Event 2, $7,587 (PA)
  • Anthony Leoncavallo – Event 3, $10,788  (PA)
  • Ralph Grafton – Event 4, $5,712 (PA)
  • Collin Fantaskey – Event 5, $10,332 (PA)
  • Andrew Voor – Event 6, $6,060 (PA)
  • Brett Freiler – Event 8, $5,325  (PA)
  • David Augustine – Event 9, $7,525 (PA)
  • Christopher Rodrigues – Event 11, $6,787 (PA)
  • Steven Domingues – Event 12, $14,253  (PA)
  • Jeremy Mcdonald – Event 1, $5,510 (MI)
  • Garrett Lee – Event 4, $5,544 (MI)
  • Nicholas Shock – Event 11, $5,224 (MI)
  • Dhimitri Lleshi – Event 4, $6,160 (MI)
  • Johnny Kakos – Event 5, $9,505 (MI)
  • Peter Hotaling – Event 7, $7,146 (MI)
  • Christopher Combs – Event 9, $6,450 (MI)
  • Michael Setera – Event 12, $13,207 (MI)

Each ring and bracelet winner is eligible for the $1 million Tournament of Champions freeroll. The event returns to Las Vegas this summer. For a look at the complete WSOP schedule and preview, click here.


BetMGM hosted the Big Shots series in February and guaranteed $200,000 in prizes. This allowed players in New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to compete for some big prizes all month long. 

Besides winning dual rings, Michigan’s Tim Bishop also took down the main event of the series for $14,532.

Another monthly ring winner, Aubrey Williams, took down a Big Shots event in Pennsylvania for $14,801. In New Jersey, four-time World Poker Tour winner and BetMGM ambassador Darren Elias scooped a victory as well for $15,580. 

In the nightly events, Jeremy Sissman keeps crushing the competition. He took down multiple events for the month including the Sunday $30,000 guaranteed event. 


Pokerstars continues to take advantage of the online merger with Michigan and New Jersey. The company is now guaranteeing over $1 million in payouts each week. The online site is preparing for the SCOOP (Spring Championship of Online Poker) series coming this month. 

Tim Bishop didn’t hold off from PokerStars. He continued his month of dominance by crushing the $250 High Roller event for $6,096

New Jersey Poker Twitch streamer and DJ Frank DiRe shipped a Bounty Builder title while live streaming. 

Live poker corner

Each month USPoker highlights a live poker score that stands out. In February, grinder “La Sengphet” captured lucky WSOP Circuit ring No. 7. She leads the pack when it comes to most rings by a female player, two ahead of Loni Harwood Hui.

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