Playing poker can be quite a money-making passion to have, just ask these highest earning poker players in the world, if you want.
We really wanted to know just how much money this passion can earn someone, how much can this type of gambling bring you, so we checked to see who was the best poker player in the world and how high was this top poker players’ net worth, but also for those following behind. The list of the top poker players in 2017, for instance, is led by Bryn Kenney, who managed to win the most points. The man at the top of the list of the richest poker players in 2017, however, holds a different name, but we’ll get there in our list, as he also leads the list of the top poker players of all time.
But who are the top female poker players, you ask? Well, the list is led by Vanessa Selbst, who’s earned over $11 million so far, followed by Kathy Liebert and Annie Duke, who have earned $6 and $4 million, respectively.
Of course, playing poker is not exactly plain old card playing since stakes are places, but it’s not exactly gambling either, since you’re putting your skills at play and not just depending on pure luck to win. It’s in that in-between zone that won’t earn you so many side-eyes from those who know you. Keep in mind, however, that whether you’re edge counting, which involves figuring out whether a face-down card is high or low, or card counting, which involves figuring out whether you have high chances of getting the card you need by analyzing the cards that have been played, you’re supposed to do it quietly or else you’re likely to get kicked out from the table.
When looking at the top 100 poker players of all time on the Hendon Mob’s list, you’ll notice that the list includes people that are both young and old, from all areas of society; people that have managed to get very good at playing this game and making a living out of it. The beauty of it is that you won’t see the same person winning over and over, wiping everyone clean at every tournament, simply because that’s not how playing cards works. Even so, everyone has managed to amass considerable wealth.
In order to put our list together, we checked out The Hendon Mob’s poker database, which lists the world’s biggest earners, whether they’re from Canada, the United States, Germany or any other corner of the globe. The ranking takes into consideration their estimated earnings, although it should be mentioned there are many things that can affect the actual numbers, such as traveling costs for the tournaments, buy-ins and so on, which means they don’t necessarily have this much money in the bank.
Without further ado let’s check highest earning poker players in the world.
11. Sam Trickett
Sam Trickett, a poker player originating from Nottingham, England, occupies the 11th spot on our list. He’s been playing poker since 2005, back when he tried his hand at a regular game in a bar he frequented. Realizing he enjoyed winning after going on an impressive streak, he figured out he could make some money out of this and went on looking for more serious games.
Over the years, he won tournaments left and right, before he traveled to Las Vegas and took his shot at the big players’ table. When he returned home, he kept winning UK tournaments or placing high in them, high enough to raise his earnings to an impressive number.
10. Brian Rast
American poker player Brian Rast is definitely among the highest earning poker players in the world, the highest one from California, and the seventh in the United States.
Although in his youth he was a valedictorian and got into Stanford, he decided he was good enough at poker that he could make a living out of it, so he dropped out. Given how much he’s earned so far, that’s certainly true.
Rast doesn’t just play in tournaments, but also on various online platforms, such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, with a good part of his winnings coming from the latter.
9. John Juanda
Coming from Indonesia, John Juanda is the biggest poker earner in his home country. Juanda says he started playing tournaments back in 1996, which means he’s a well-seasoned player. Back in 2001, he won the World Poker Open Championship in 2001, while the next year he won his first WSOP bracelet, followed by two more WSOP events the next year.
Over the years, he managed to win numerous tournaments, becoming extremely successful, leading up to him becoming part of the Poker Hall of Fame in 2015.
He now has earned more than $20 million from playing poker. Juanda now lives in California, where he is much closer to the world’s largest tournaments.
8. Phil Hellmuth Jr.
Also known as “The Poker Brat,” Phil Hellmuth Jr. is the third most popular poker player today, the sixth biggest American earner and number eight on our list of highest earning poker players in the world.
Over the years, he’s managed to win 14 WSOP bracelets, including a main event in the late 80s. He is also a member of the Poker Hall of Fame after reaching the final table 57 times. Hellmuth managed to build quite a reputation for himself thanks to his temper. He’s known for joining the tables late in the game and berating other players when he believed to be the case, even getting penalties for his behavior.
Hellmuth’s name is also associated with several poker TV shows, books and even the creation of the software for UltimateBet.
7. Scott Seiver
Born in New York, Seiver is the fifth on the US all time money list. He also ranks 19th on the world popularity list.
Now living in Las Vegas, Seiver won the 2008 World Series of Poker $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event, and the 2010 $25,000 buy-in High Roller event at the L.A. Poker Classic.
He’s become quite famous over the years, thanks to his participation in Pokerstars’ the Big Game. Over the years, his name has become closely associated with his practice of covering his mouth so he could hide his mouth-breathing tells.
He has managed to win enough tournaments that he is now one of the wealthiest poker players in the entire world.
6. Fedor Holz
One of the youngest members of our list of highest earning poker players in the world, Fedor Holz was born in Germany and is just 24 years old. He is considered to be one of the best online and live tournament poker players, managing to win his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2016.
Taking into consideration that he only had his first live cash in 2012, it’s quite amazing that he’s managed to amass such a fortune in such a short time. This is definitely the guy to look for in the years to come, as he’s quite likely to take over the top earner position before we even know what’s happened.
5. Phil Ivey
Next up on our list of highest earning poker players in the world, we have American player Phil Ivey, the second most popular player.
Ivey has won ten World Series of Poker bracelets, and he’s recently been elected to the Poker Hall of Fame. He’s the youngest player to ever win ten bracelets, and also the player who has accumulated them the fastest, only taking him 14 years. Previously, the record was held by Phil Hellmuth on both accounts. Ivey was 38 when he earned his tenth bracelet, after 14 years, while Hellmuth was 42, after 17 years.
He has also managed to reach nine final tables on the World Poker Tour and he’s been named the poker player of the year twice by All In Magazine.
4. Antonio Esfandiari
Former professional magician, it’s no wonder that Esfandiari is also nicknamed “The Magician.” The 38 year old was born in Iran, but currently lives in San Francisco, closer to all the action in the poker world.
Over the years, he appeared on several poker television shows, won two World Poker Tour championships and three World Series of Poker bracelets.
He’s also authored a book called The Magician’s Secrets for Winning Tournaments on Insta Poker, which is a poker strategy game.
Overall, he is easily one of the most successful players in the poker world.
3. Daniel Colman
American player Daniel Colman ranks third on the list of the highest earning poker players in the world. At only 27 years old, he’s managed to amass a fortune that others can only dream of. He is best known for winning the $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker in 2014, as well as for beating Daniel Negreanu for the first place prize of $15.3 million, the second largest such prize in poker history.
Not only does he play in regular tournaments, but he’s also known for participating in online poker games and wiping the tables there too.
2. Erik Seidel
Second on our list is New York-born player Erik Seidel, current resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. The 57 year old has now won eight World Series of Poker bracelets, as well as a title of World Poker Tour.
Included in the Poker Hall of Fame back in 2010, Seidel has been playing poker for most of his life, which means he’s had plenty of time to amass quite the wealth, playing tournaments in all corners of the world.
He is the only player that’s been known to earn more than $5 million in poker earnings in three years. While this isn’t uncommon to happen once, managing such winnings in multiple years, is.
1. Daniel Negreanu
Finally, at the top of our list we have Canadian player of Romanian descent Daniel Negreanu. The 43 year old has managed to win quite a few tournaments over the years, including six World Series of Poker bracelets, and two World Poker Tour championship titles. On top of these, he’s also reached the final tables of these tournaments numerous times.
He’s been named the best player of the year numerous times, as well as the player of the decade.
It is believed his success lays in his ability to read opposing players, observing their tells and how they play their hands, so he can learn more about their strategies and styles.
That being said, these have been the 11 highest earning poker players in the world.