Joe Cada, Ryan Riess Lead Impressive List Of Michigan’s Top WSOP Earners Of All-Time

Written By Hill Kerby on June 27, 2022

The 2022 World Series of Poker has reached its halfway point in Las Vegas and at WSOP Michigan.

Both versions have been successful by their own measures to date. Each of Michigan’s online poker bracelet events has drawn larger fields than in Pennsylvania, which is running an identical series to Michigan. 

Meanwhile, the 2022 WSOP in Las Vegas has moved to its new homes of Bally’s and Paris, where it has drawn large-to-record-setting fields, thanks in part to increased venue capacity and an attractive location in the center of the Las Vegas Strip.

Of course, the 2022 WSOP Main Event is also fast approaching, scheduled to begin on Sunday, July 3, and could challenge the record field of 8,773, which was set in 2006. More recently, the 2019 Main Event drew 8,569 entries, the second-most in WSOP history. 

Michiganders have been arguably some of the most successful in recent WSOP Main Event history, too, with players such as Joe Cada and Ryan Riess among the elite few to call themselves World Champions. And plenty more have had their fair share of WSOP acclaim, too, with bracelets, circuit rings, and millions in career earnings to prove it. 

Keep reading to learn about Michigan’s top WSOP earners going into this year’s Main Event.

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Joe Cada ($13.7 million in lifetime WSOP earnings)

Joe Cada of Shelby Township has won more money at the World Series of Poker than any other player in Michigan history, totaling $13,694,940 with four WSOP Bracelets.

Cada is the 2009 WSOP Main Event Champion, where he topped a field of 6,494 to win more than $8.5 million. He won his second bracelet in 2014 ($10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Max) and two more in 2018 ($3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout; $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em). 

In 2019, Cada also made his second WSOP Main Event final table, one of the most impressive feats in the poker world to accomplish once, let alone twice. That year, he took fifth place for $2.15 million. 

Cada also made 10 WSOP bracelet event final tables in his lifetime and has total earnings (WSOP and otherwise) of $14.4 million, proving to any remaining doubters that he is one of the most formidable opponents worldwide at the felt. He also already has five scores under his belt this Series, including a seventh-place finish in the $1,500 6-Max No-Limit Hold’em (Event #14) for $61,098.

Ryan Riess ($10.1 million lifetime WSOP earnings)

Ryan Riess is Michigan’s all-time winningest player, with total live earnings of $15.2 million. Of that total, $10.1 million comes from WSOP earnings, second-most in Michigan’s history. 

Riess, an East Lansing native, is the 2013 Main Event Champion, emerging victorious over 6,352 entries for the top prize of $8,361,570. His remaining $1.8 million in WSOP earnings includes six more scores of $100K+, headlined by a fourth-place finish in the 2018 WSOP Europe Main Event for $384,362 and a runner-up finish at the 20212 WSOP Circuit Hammond $1,675 Main Event for $239,063.

Beyond his WSOP acumen, Riess has earned a World Poker Tour (WPT) title and made final table appearances at other live festivals such as the European Poker Tour (EPT), US Poker Open, partypoker MILLIONS, and Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. 

At the 2022 WSOP, Riess has amassed three small scores totaling $5,894. He will surely be a name to watch when the Main Event comes around.

Nicolas Manion ($2.8 million lifetime WSOP earnings)

Muskegon’s Nicolas Manion ranks third on Michigan’s all-time WSOP earnings list, totaling $2,839,976.

Nearly all of Manion’s lifetime scores come from his fourth-place finish in the 2018 WSOP Main Event, which earned him $2.825 million. Manion and fellow statesman Joe Cada took fourth and fifth places in the event, bringing home just shy of $5 million combined between the two of them. 

Manion’s most recent WSOP scores came in 2019, where he had three in-the-money finishes in Las Vegas and two more scores a month later at WSOP Circuit Choctaw in Durant, Okla.

Dan Heimiller ($2.6 million lifetime WSOP earnings)

Dan Heimiller’s impressive career includes more than 100 WSOP cashes, two WSOP bracelets, and two WSOP circuit rings, all alongside $2,558,887 in WSOP lifetime earnings and more than $6.4 million in total lifetime earnings.

Born in Livonia, Heimiller now lives in Vegas and has been a regular participant in WSOP events since the late 1990s. He won bracelets in 2002 and 2014 and has seven-lifetime in-the-money finishes in the WSOP Main Event, with his best finish coming in 2016 when he took 137th place out of 6,737 entries.

Dash Dudley ($2.4 million lifetime WSOP earnings)

Dash Dudley is a professional poker player from Lansing with $2.4 million in lifetime WSOP earnings, two WSOP bracelets, and $2.75 million in total lifetime earnings.

Dudley won his first WSOP bracelet in 2019, taking down the $10K Pot-Limit Omaha Championship for $1,086,967, his career-best score. He then won his second bracelet in a €500 Pot-Limit Omaha event four months later at WSOP Europe 2019.

More recently, Dudley just took second place in the 2022 $50K Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller for $861,442, one of his two scores already this summer. Dudley also has three Main Event finishes, including a 252nd-place finish in 2010 and a 48th-place finish in the 2019 WSOP Europe Main Event.

Ankush Mandavia ($1.8 million lifetime WSOP earnings)

WSOP bracelet and circuit ring winner Ankush Mandavia is sixth in Michigan’s all-time WSOP earnings, totaling $1,789,860. 

Mandavia already has recorded five scores during the 2022 WSOP, including a pair of 20th-place finishes in the $5,300 Online High Roller Freezeout and Event #11: $600 No-Limit Hold’em Deepstack. His top WSOP score came in 2016 when he earned his sole bracelet after winning a $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $548,139.

Born in Kalamazoo, Mandavia has more than 20 combined WSOP and WSOP Circuit final tables with 121 official WSOP cashes. He has made the money three times in the Main Event, most recently finishing in 126th place in 2017. 

Given the number of scores he has posted to date, Mandavia could be primed to make a deep run in the 2022 Main Event, though only time will tell.

Dean Hamrick ($1.5 million lifetime WSOP earnings)

Dean Hamrick is the seventh-winningest WSOP earner in Michigan history, boasting $1.45 million in WSOP tournament earnings and $1.7 million in total lifetime earnings.

Hamrick is a bracelet winner, topping a field of 2,521 in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event in 2010 to earn more than $600,000. A year later, he took fifth place in another $1,500 NLH event for $132,380.

As for the Main Event, Hamrick has three scores (2007, 2008, 2010). He bubbled the final table in 2008, taking tenth place out of 6,844 entries for $591,869.

Hamrick has not been seen in WSOP action since 2016.

Brek Schutten ($1.4 million lifetime WSOP earnings)

Brek Schutten is the fastest-rising player on this list, with over $1.1 million in 2022 WSOP cashes alone. He has $1.4 million in WSOP scores dating less than six years back to October 2016.

His seven figures’ worth of scores this summer is a result of three cashes: fifth place in a $25K NLH High Roller ($323,730), second place in a $50K NLH High Roller ($820,808), and 10th place in the $1,000 Flip & Go Event ($13,510). 

Grand Rapids’ Schutten burst onto the scene in 2021 after winning the largest WPT event in history, good for $1.26 million, and now has $3.4 million in total lifetime cashes. He continues to quickly make a name for himself in some of the most challenging fields in poker and certainly will be looking to do so once more when the Main Event rolls around.

Tom McEvoy ($1.4 million lifetime WSOP earnings)

Tom McEvoy, born in Grand Rapids, is one of the great pioneers of poker., having been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2013. He has won four bracelets and has cashed in 56 WSOP events dating back to 1982, with earnings totaling $1,391,462.

McEvoy won the 1983 WSOP Main Event, a tournament in which the legendary Doyle Brunson finished third. 

Though his last bracelet came in 1992, McEvoy is still active at the tables, having recorded two cashes in the 2021 WSOP. His last Main Event cash came in 2018, finishing in 430th place out of 7,874 entries.

Jeff Gross ($1.3 million lifetime WSOP earnings)

Poker streamer Jeff Gross rounds out Michigan’s top 10 WSOP earners with $1,321,480 from 58 total Series and circuit cashes. All but three of those cashes come from the WSOP, where he has made seven final tables but has yet to secure his first career bracelet.

Gross has a total of $3.5 million in lifetime earnings dating back to 2007, the fourth-most in Michigan history. He has finished in the money three times in the WSOP Main Event, taking 223rd place in 2012 for his best stateside performance. Gross also finished in 28th place in the 2015 WSOP Europe Main Event. 

Photo by John Locher / Associated Press
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