In the world of high-stakes poker, the sums of money being won and lost every day are huge.
The top players think nothing of dropping tens of thousands, or even more, in a playing session, knowing that they could easily win it back when they next sit down at the poker table.
But which professional poker players have the largest bank balances, taking into account winnings, endorsements, movie appearances, plus other income streams?
a look below to find out…
Antonio Esfandiari – $27 Million
At number 10 on this list of
the richest poker players is Antonio Esfandiari, one of the best-known players
on the poker circuit.
The former magician managed to win three World Series of Poker bracelets throughout his career, plus he’s won three WPT titles, with the first coming in 2004 at the L.A. Poker Classic.
Esfandiari’s biggest ever win
came in 2012, when he won the “Big One for One Drop” tournament at the WSOP.
This saw him win a massive $18,346,673 – at the time, the largest ever live
At one point, he had earned
more via tournament winnings than anyone else, until his title was taken by
9. Tony G – $36 Million
Tony G – real name Antanas Guoga – is one of the loudest, most outspoken poker players around.
He’s also a politician in the European Parliament, as well as a successful businessman. He’s never won a WSOP bracelet, however he has finished in the money 15 times.
During his poker career, Tony
G has won several six-figure prizes. Most of his wealth comes from his business
He is the chief executive
officer of Cypherpunk Holdings, an investment company listed on the Canadian
8. Justin Bonomo – $49 Million
Next up, we come to Justin
Bonomo, who has found huge success in both live and online tournaments.
He’s a three-time WSOP
bracelet winner and has cashed 55 times at the event. He has also won many
large online events, including the Super High Roller Bowl Online in 2020.
Bonomo’s biggest ever win came
when he won the “Big One for One Drop” tournament in 2018, which added $10
million to his bank account and made him the number one all-time live
tournament money winner, until his total was surpassed by Bryn Kenney.
7. Daniel Negreanu – $50
Daniel Negreanu is the most
famous poker player of all time. His personality has made him a huge hit with
fans, and his skill has ensured he’s one of the richest poker players around.
“Kid Poker” has six WSOP
bracelets and is the only player to be named WSOP Player of the Year twice.
He’s also a member of the Poker Hall of Fame.
Overall, Negreanu has won nearly
$42 million in tournament prize money and has earned a considerable sum from
sponsorship deals, with the biggest seeing him become the face of PokerStars.
Negreanu and PokerStars parted ways in 2019 though and he’s now an ambassador for GGPoker, which leaves many wondering which is the best poker room of the two. Check out our PS v GGPoker review to find out!
6. Bryn Kenney – $56 Million
Bryn Kenney is an American
player and perhaps one of the lesser known names on this list.
He has only won one WSOP
bracelet, however he has finished in the money 32 times. He is number one on
the list of the players with the highest tournament earnings ever, with
winnings of over $55 million.
Kenney is perhaps best-known
for winning the highest prize ever awarded at a poker tournament. He won over
$20.5 million at the 2019 Triton Million charity event in London.
He actually came second, however he made a deal with eventual winner Aaron Zang when he was the chip leader, allowing him to win the larger prize.
5. Doyle Brunson – $75 Million
Doyle Brunson is known as one of the greatest names in poker history.
Throughout his career, he won 10 WSOP bracelets and won the Main Event twice, in 1976 and 1977.
The retiree also regularly played cash games at Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio, including a limit mixed poker game with $4,000/$8,000 blinds.
Overall, Brunson has earned over $6.1 million from live tournament winnings. How much he earned while playing high stakes cash games is unknown.
He’s also earned money from various other sources, including his book Super System, which is regarded as one of the best poker strategy books ever written.
4. Chris Ferguson – $80
It would be fair to say that Chris Ferguson is not the most popular man in poker.
He was accused of being one of the people behind a massive Ponzi scheme at Full Tilt Poker, which stole around $444 million from players.
Even though he later came out with an apology, it was considered too little, too late by many.
Despite his shady behaviour he
is still a great player, having won the WSOP Main Event in 2000 in which he
scooped a $1.5 million prize.
3. Sam Farha – $100 Million
Most players will recognize Sam Farha as the man who lost to Chris Moneymaker in the 2003 Main Event.
The Lebanese poker player has bagged three WSOP bracelets over the years and although he does play tournaments, he’s better known as a high-stakes Omaha cash game player.
Farha’s biggest tournament
win, aside from his prize for finishing second at the WSOP Main Event, is
$488,241, which he won when finishing first at the 2010 WSOP $10,000 Omaha
Hi-Low Split-8 or Better Championship.
His wealth also comes from several business interests, TV and movie appearances, and writing books.
2. Phil Ivey – $100+ Million
Many consider Phil Ivey to be
one of the greatest players of all time. The American has managed to win 10
WSOP bracelets – only Phil Hellmuth has more.
He has also appeared at the
final table of the Main Event, finishing 7th in 2009. He has won one
WPT title, plus has reached nine final tables.
Ivey has won numerous large
prizes at tournaments, including AU$4 million for coming first at the 2014
Aussie Millions LK Boutique AU$250,000 Challenge.
Ivey is also a successful
online player, plus he’s a superb high-stakes cash game player, once winning $16
million in three days playing against Texan billionaire Andy Beal.
1. Dan Bilzerian – $200
Bilzerian is a huge Instagram
star and claims that most of his fortune has come from poker winnings, won
playing ultra-high-stakes poker games.
Many are dubious of this claim
though, as he received an unknown sum of money from a trust fund, plus has many
business ventures, as well as a highly lucrative social media presence.
Bilzerian has made some big
claims about his poker playing abilities, including that he made $50 million
from poker in 2014 alone.
He has never won a major
tournament, instead claiming that his money comes from cash games only.
Regardless of how he got his
money though, he’s still the richest poker player in the world by far.