Everyone has the idea of the fabulous poker player, immortalized by Ian Fleming in his James Bond novels, but who are these guys and just how rich are they? Well, if you’re wondering just how much money there is to be made at the upper levels of the Live Poker tournaments, then let’s take a look at the top 5 players as of the last count in 2017
5. Phil Hellmuth (USA)
Hellmuth (which if you added an ‘O’ to his name, would be the pretty cool moniker) has won a record 14 WSOP bracelets in his career, so far. While he may have earned $13.6m in 2017 alone, he isn’t exactly the most popular player on the circuit, with his trademark ‘poker brat’ personality that can clash with people who just want to play the game and win big.
4. Jonathan Duhamel (Canada)
If we were comparing WSOP bracelets, then compared to Hellmuth, the Canadian Duhamel has a merely 3 to his name. Although Duhamel does have around a million more dollars (in 2017 prize money) than Hellmuth, so swings and roundabouts, plays it’s role. Another thing he has going over the old ‘poker brat’ is over twenty years. Duhamel is only 30 compared to Hellmuth’s grand total of 53 years, so likely has more to come.
3. Daniel Negreanu (Canada)
Staying in Canada for our next multi-millionaire, we have Negreanu with six bracelets and two WPT Championship titles under his belt. It must be noted that this ranking is for the year 2017 alone, and do not address overall winning. Negreanu was named the best player of the decade by the Global Poker Index, and as of 2014, he was the biggest winner in poker history with a total of over $30m in prize money in his career.
2. Daniel Colman (USA)
Now we get to the guy who beat Negreanu in the 2014 World Series of Poker, which meant he won the second biggest poker prize money amount in history at $15.3m (second only to Esfandiari). At only 27 years old, Colman is looking to make an even bigger name for himself in the coming years. I mean, come on, he managed to make $17.2m in 2017 alone.
1. Antonio Esfandiari (Iran)
Currently, the best player in the world, Esfandiari has a magnificent $21.9m in earnings in 2017 alone which is ironic seeing as gambling is extremely illegal in his home country of Iran. He is also probably one of the most famous players, thanks to him being the face of Ultimate Poker and appearing on a multitude of poker related TV programmes. He currently holds the record for the largest single payout at an eye-watering $18.3m.
Summing it up
Poker is massive around the world, and while I can’t promise that you’ll end up as rich as these five guys, with a little practice, you can win a lot. Obviously, it will not be enough to learn Texas Hold’em hand rankings or basic stuff to reach this level of success, but you have to start from somewhere. For that, you should get my printable poker hands cheat sheets and start your games in the right way!
And if you’re not ready to take on the big wide world of live poker, why don’t you try your hand at the online poker world, which has significant amounts to offer as well. It also doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from, as you can play Norwegian Poker at Betsson, Chinese Poker or one of many other games and grow your skills before visiting your first live event!