Kentucky’s All-Time Money Leader Kurt Jewell Looks to Boost Earnings on the WPT

kurt jewell wpt rrpo

The World Poker Tour (WPT) $3,500 Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open (RRPO) has attracted 1,541 entrants from around the world to Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. One such competitor was Kurt Jewell, who tops the all-time money list in Kentucky with $1.96 million according to the Hendon Mob.

What’s more, Jewell is fresh off a career-high score of $257,922 for winning a $1,600 no-limit hold’em event at the Wynn Fall Classic. Jewell, who has results dating back to 2007 and is a five-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit ring winner, had a career year in 2017 and followed it up with another big one in 2018.

He took a step back in the three years that followed amassing just $65,232 during that time, but now he’s back in the poker scene and making waves. That’s due in no small part to a new approach to the game.

“I’m actually playing a lot less poker. I’m playing less, but bigger buy-ins. I’m picking my tournaments a lot wiser,” Jewell told PokerNews. “I’m not playing the whole year anymore, I still probably play four months out of the year, but my tournament selection is a lot slimmer. But better value tournaments.”

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Sights Set on WPT

One of those tournaments was the WPT Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open, the only reason he traveled from the Bluegrass to Sunshine State. He also has his sights set on the upcoming $10,400 buy-in, $15 million GTD WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas where he’s no stranger to success.

“That tournament was awesome,” he said with a smile remembering his Fall Poker Classic victory. “I love the Wynn, I love the property, all about it. I played Day 1a but didn’t bag. I came the next day and bagged a big stack. Day 2 went smoothly, I think I bagged the chip lead, and Day 3 until I won it was just smooth sailing. I ran well in big spots. It was just a nice event.”

Kurt Jewell
Kurt Jewell in WPT RRPO action.

Jewell, who only plays live tournaments, was already atop Kentucky’s all-time money list before notching his latest six-figure score, the fourth of his career. Representing his state is important to Jewell, he’s keen to stay on top despite the competition.

“I am proud of that. Since I’ve been on top of that I’ve been happy about that. My buddy, Billy Kopp, he doesn’t play anymore but he’s second. I have a bunch of buddies in Kentucky who always say they’re going to catch up to me, and it’s fun to say, ‘Come on, bring it.’”

Kentucky All-Time Money List as of 11/27/22

1Kurt Jewell$1,958,919
2Billy Kopp$1,248,120
3Charlie Dawson$1,224,046
4Dennis Perry$1,101,418
5Mark “Pegasus” Smith$843,575
6Franklin Caldwell$751,117
7Justin Conley$728,917
8Pat Madden$677,640
9Justin Truesdell$664,281
10John Conkright$623,183

Jewell made it through to Day 2 of the 2022 WPT RRPO with 99,500, which would’ve been more like 250K had his ace-king held all in preflop against the ace-queen of Byron Kaverman. Unfortunately for Jewell, he made an early exit in the first level of play on Sunday when he ran his ace-queen smack dab into the pocket aces of Brian Altman.

While Jewell didn’t add to his lifetime earnings while in South Florida, he only has to wait a couple of weeks before trying his luck at the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.

“After this, I am going to do Cherokee’s Main Event and then I’m going to Wynn Las Vegas for the three big events in a row out there,” he confirmed.

Did You Know the World Poker Tour is Online?


The launch of WPT Global means that poker players around the world now have the chance to win their way to WPT events, win prizes and enjoy exciting games such as Poker Flips. As one of the world's largest cash game poker networks, WPT Global is available in over 50 countries and territories around the world.

WPT Global offers a large deposit match bonus: 100% on deposits up to $1,200 (using any payment method). New players depositing a minimum of $20 automatically receive this match bonus which is unlocked in $5 increments (credited straight to the cashier) for every $20 of rake contribution.

Both tournaments and cash games count towards bonus unlocking; new players have 90 days from the date of first deposit to unlock and claim their full bonus amount.

Listen to more about the WPT World Championship on the new PokerNews Podcast!

*Images courtesy of WPT/Drew Amato.

  • Kentucky's all-time poker money leader @KurtJewell is fresh off a huge win at @Wynnpoker.

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Executive Editor U.S.

Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

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