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The Richest Poker Players in the World
Thanks to online platforms, televised events, and social media, poker is more popular now than ever. You can turn on your TV and watch the World Series of Poker (WSOP) or view any virtually event of the World Poker Tour (WPT) online. Poker’s big draw to both players and viewers is obviously the thrilling high stakes, and while the house always wins – the richest poker players still come out on top.
Let’s learn about the richest poker players including which poker player is the richest and who has won the most money playing poker. The following list considers overall winnings, media appearances, endorsements, and other poker-related income.
Top 10 Richest Poker Players in the World
10. Antonio Esfandiari – $27 Million
Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari might be known more than his at-the-table chip tricks than his poker playing but this magician turned player has raked in some serious winnings over the years. Esfandiari boasts three WSOP bracelets and two WPT championships. Esfandiari also took home the second largest payout in poker tournament history of $18,346,673 at the Big One for One Drop in 2012.
9. Antanas Guoga – $36 Million
Antanas Guoga, known more popularly as Tony G, is a modern renaissance man and notorious presence on any poker table. Tony G’s accomplishments include a Rubik’s Cube championship at age 11, being elected a Lithuanian representative to the European Union, and sponsoring the Lithuanian Basketball Federation. Tony has made $4 Million is live tournament winnings and millions more in regional and national tournaments.
8. Justin Bonomo – $49 Million
Justin Bonomo turned his skills from the popular card game Magic the Gathering into high stakes poker skills and was the youngest player featured at a televised live table at age 19. Bonomo is prolific on the poker circuit netting 19 final tables, three WSOP bracelets, and one circuit ring. Bonomo’s tournament winnings total more than $14 Million with the rest of his worth coming primarily from online poker.
7. Daniel Negreanu – $50 Million
All he does is win. Canadian-born Daniel Negreanu is a feared player on any table with six WSOP bracelets and two WPT championship titles. Negreanu is the only one on our list to receive WSOP player of the year honors twice, in 2003 and 2014. Though he’s still active, Negreanu’s skills have already earned him a 2014 induction into the Poker Hall of Fame.
6. Bryn Kenney – $56 Million
If we’re strictly talking the most winning poker player we’re talking about Bryn Kenney. Unlike many on the list Kenney is one of the highest earning poker players ever with most of his worth coming directly from the cards. Though only 34, Kenney has one bracelet, seven final tables, and numerous other wins.
5. Doyle Brunson – $75 Million
Every poker player knows the name but what Doyle Brunson net worth? Now retired from the game, Brunson earned around $75 million in his poker career and was the first player to win over $1 Million at the table. Throughout his illustrious career Brunson earned 10 bracelets and 26 final tables on top of a WPT title.
4. Chris Ferguson – $80 Million
Known for his trademark long hair and cowboy hat, Chris Ferguson has arguably the best brain of any player on our list according to his Ph.D. in computer science. It must come from the pedigree as both his parents were PhDs in mathematics and game theory. With his analytical mind Ferguson has been involved with the WSOP since 1995 and earned six bracelets along the way.
3. Sam Farha – $100 Million
Lebanese born Sam Farha is most known for his runner-up finish at Final Event of the 2003 World Series of Poker and his 3 WSOP bracelets. A sly player, Farha convinced high stakes tables to let him in by posing as an ‘investor.’ Numerous television, online, and media ventures make Farha a skilled player and savvy businessman.
2. Phil Ivey – $100+ Million
If not for Dan Bilzerian, Phil Ivey would be considered the greatest living poker player and saw his popularity soar after the Phil Ivey poker face commercial. Though he (theoretically) doesn’t hold the career winnings of Bilzerian, Ivey’s career is nothing short of incredible.
Ivey has won 10 WOSP bracelets, second only to legend Phil Hellmuth. His career 9 final tables at the World Poker Tour Final, one WPT title, and numerous other prizes make Ivey one of the most dangerous players both online and on the table. If you discount Bilzerian due to his controversies Ivey is the richest poker player of all time.
1. Dan Bilzerian – $200 Million
Let’s give the man his due. We’ll review all the top 10 richest poker players, but Dan Bilzerian deserves to be at the top of the list. Unlike many on our list, some question Bilzerian’s worth and whether it came from high stakes poker or other sources. Bilzerian has no WSOP or WPT wins, but claims he won $50 million in cash games in 2014 alone. Bilzerian has combined poker abilities with a social media presence to keep his name in the papers and become the world’s richest professional poker player.
Can You Get Rich Playing Poker?
These 10 players have put away enough money for several lifetimes but earning dollar amounts in the millions is exceedingly rare for most poker players. Can you get rich by playing poker? It depends on what your definition of rich is. All poker players have the potential to make millions through luck but any seasoned poker player there’s much more to the game than the hand you’re dealt.
The world’s best poker players are students of the game. When they’re not at the table professional poker players study game theory, analyze strategies, deduce different types of players, and use all this information to make strategies and moves in real time depending on what’s happening at the table.
There’s a lot of chance involved in poker but if was all luck these same players wouldn’t be at the final tables year after year. If you want to get rich playing poker, or at least make sizeable winnings know you’ll have to devote most of your time and resources to poker with no promise of real money. Without discipline and preparation, you could lose everything in an instant.
Have Fun with Poker
We know you’re dreaming of writing your “How I Made a Million Dollars Playing Poker” book but you should treat poker like the fun game it is rather than a serious investment strategy.
Sure, there are players who have made millions but there are people who have made millions bowling, or playing darts, and you probably aren’t considering those as viable careers anytime soon. You might not get rich playing poker, but you can have a good time and could earn some nice pocket money in the meantime. No matter your game, always remember the number one rule of gambling – the house always wins.