Keith ‘donnysack’ Donovan Moves to Top Spot in New Jersey Rankings


Mike ‘lav519’ Lavenburg pushed his way into the top five this month in the New Jersey Online Poker Rankings. (Will O’Connor photo)

While the addition of PokerStars in the marketplace might have changed the landscape of online poker in New Jersey over the last month, the changes to the PocketFives New Jersey Online Poker Rankings have not been as drastic. The same three players have remained at the top, albeit with a new leader as the first real month of spring begins.

Keith ‘donnysack’ Donovan was one of the more consistent and successful winners through the second half of last month’s Garden State Super Series, and that run has Donovan sitting atop the rankings heading into April. Since the end of the GSSS, he’s seen some of his biggest scores come in PokerStarsNJ events, including a runner-up finish in last week’s $15,000 GTD High Roller for just over $6,000.

High Roller events seem to have been Donovan’s bread and butter over the last few weeks, though, as he ended the GSSS with one of the single biggest scores from that $1,000,000 guaranteed series. That came in the $1,000 buy-in High Roller, good for his sixth win of the month and $17,000.

Yong ‘ykwon17’ Kwon also recorded six wins in March, enough to keep him second in the current rankings.

Daniel ‘RedsoxNets5’ Sewnig holds his spot in the top three, and the newest name to the top half of the leaderboard is Mike ‘Lav519’ Lavenburg. The partypoker $10,000 Nightly Major was where Lavenburg did most of his damage, winning the event twice to end the month, while also adding victories in the $500 buy-in Mega Tuesday on partypoker and the $30,000 BIG Deal on

The victory was Lavenburg’s biggest single score from March, weighing in at just under $12,500. He now finds himself just a dozen PLB points behind Sewnig for a spot on the New Jersey podium, while there is a bit of a separation between the top four compared to the rest of the top ten.

That group is led by Michael ‘JohnnyDrama’ Haberman, but he’s just ahead of some of the bigger names and more experienced players that New Jersey online poker has to offer. Daniel ‘wildman75’ Buzgon and Michael ‘Gags30’ Gagliano and each opened last month with sizable four-figure wins.

Buzgon’s biggest score came in the GSSS Mega Tuesday event, where he turned a $500 buy-in into a nearly $8,000 score, while Gagliano opened his GSSS account early with a $5,000 cash in a $15,000 GTD event. The rest of the top ten remains relatively unchanged, with Steven ‘7douche’ Madara, Mike ‘Mikey Casino’ Azzaro and Jake ‘jtsnakes’ Perry rounding out the top ten.

As it stands, the Garden State’s top ten is listed below:

  1. donnysack – 3,224.71
  2. ykwon17 – 2,889.32
  3. RedsoxNets5 – 2,724.91
  4. Lav519 – 2712.39
  5. JohnnyDrama – 2,592.62
  6. wildman75 – 2,556.60
  7. Gags30 – 2,514.31
  8. 7douche – 2,425.42
  9. MikeyCasino – 2,385.57
  10. jtsnakes – 2,330.12