Wyoming's love affair with poker began before it became a state.

When the railroad first arrived in the late 1860s, gambling was considered an honorable profession. Many famous figures from the wild west plied their trade in card rooms across the Cowboy State, including Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp and Wild Bill Hickok.

The sport has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years and, here in Wyoming, several players have risen from local card games to become successful tournament professionals.

Here's a list of Wyoming's five top earning poker players:

1. Michael Harris - The Newcastle native has won over $360,000 during his tournament career, including two Main Event first-place finishes on the Heartland Poker Tour.

2. Jeff Heiberg - This Buffalo-based professional has cashed in seven different events at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, with career earnings over $297,000.

3. Gary Germann - The pride of Gillette has three World Series of Poker cashes under his belt along with a first place finish at the 2014 Pot of Gold tournament in Reno, winning over $247,000 to date.

4. Richard Dixon - After several successful finishes in the Colorado Poker Tournament, the Cheyenne resident scored his first cash at the World Series of Poker this year, bringing his career winnings total just over $230,000.

5. John Alm - From the tiny town of Hyattville, Wyoming, Alm has seven career cashes at the World Series of Poker and a second place finish at the inaugural Nevada State Poker Tournament in 2008. His career earnings total is just over $175,000.


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