Richest Poker Players | Betsquare

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Article by Simon Day
Pocket Kings thrown on the table in a game of poker
Last Updated: Jul 2nd, 2024 Share On Your Network:

There’s no doubt about it: untold riches can be earned if you’re good – and win regularly – at the poker tables. Since the “poker boom” of the early 2000s, the leading online poker rooms have offered events with huge prize pools. 

It’s a similar story when the biggest live poker events, like the World Series of Poker (WSOP), come around. The WSOP Main Event carries a monstrous prize pool. In 2023, the prize pool totalled over $93 million thanks to the 10,043 participants.

The biggest individual first-prize win at a live poker tournament broke the $20.5 million mark. Interestingly, this was won by one of the world’s top ten richest poker players, listed below.

The Richest Poker Players in the World

Keen to know who the biggest poker sharks and whales are today and in the years gone by? Below, we’ll count down to the richest poker player in the world, starting from the tenth-richest poker player based on personal wealth (including poker net worth).

10. Tony G – $36 million

If it’s larger-than-life poker personalities you’re after, look no further than Tony G. The Lithuania-born poker player and entrepreneur has made his mark on the poker scene since playing in the late 1990s. Famed for his ultra-bold, fearless play, Tony G has always been respected as someone prepared to put it all on the line for the win – and plenty of wins he’s had.

He’s been involved in some of the most prestigious televised poker events in history, namely “Poker After Dark” and headline events on the World Poker Tour (WPT). Tony G has several millions in live tournament winnings, including some final table finishes in the World Series of Poker (WSOP). He’s also been involved in the new Triton Poker Series, landing almost $1.4 million in a high-roller event in Madrid in May 2022.

9. Justin Bonomo – $57 million

American poker pro Justin Bonomo is second on the U.S. All-Time Money List for poker earnings. This makes him comfortably one of the richest poker players on the planet. His biggest win came in July 2018 at the 49th WSOP in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bonomo entered the $1 million-entry “Big One for One Drop” event and took the event down, winning the $10 million first prize.

Just a couple of months before this, Bonomo also won another high-roller event in “Sin City”, the Super High Roller Bowl IV. The $300,000-entry event was Bonomo’s, winning another $5 million. His first high-roller win occurred on foreign soil, with Bonomo winning a Super High Roller Bowl in Macau, totalling more than $4.8 million. He’s since been hugely successful on the European Poker Tour (EPT) and the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series.

8. Bryn Kenney – $57 million

Long Beach-born poker pro Bryn Kenney stands tall as the highest-earning American professional poker player. Kenney landed no less than eight seven-figure cashes in major live poker events between 2016 and 2019. In August 2023, Kenney won another Triton Poker Super High Roller Series event in London for a cool $6.86 million payday.

Interestingly, Kenney’s biggest poker win was a runner-up finish in another London-based Triton Poker Super High Roller Series event called “Triton Million for Charity”. Kenney finished second, resulting in a staggering $20.5 million return. Kenney is also in the exclusive club of professional poker players, having won a WSOP bracelet and ten WSOP final tables. Kenney came very close to reaching the final table of the 2010 WSOP Main Event but was eventually out in 28th place.

7. Daniel Negreanu – $70 million

Canadian poker sensation Daniel Negreanu is one of the sharpest minds in the game. “Kid Poker”, as he’s affectionately known, also happens to be one of the richest poker players in the world. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014, commemorating his achievements in poker worldwide. In fact, Negreanu became the first player to final table WSOP events in Vegas, Europe and Asia.

As for the WSOP, Negreanu has six gold bracelets to his name, as well as 57 final tables. The final table eluded him in the 2001 and 2015 WSOP Main Events, where he finished a heart-breaking 11th.

Negreanu comfortably boasts the highest poker net worth of all active Canadian poker players. His biggest poker payday came in June 2014 at the 25th WSOP. He finished runner-up at the “Big One for One Drop” event, bagging $8.28 million for second place.

6. Doyle Brunson – $75 million

Widely considered the “Godfather of Poker”, Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson was one of the pioneers of Texas Hold’em poker. Brunson played poker as a pro for the best part of six decades, becoming the first player to win $1 million in live poker tournament action.

During his illustrious career, Brunson plundered an impressive ten WSOP gold bracelets and 26 final tables. Brunson made history in 1976 and 1977 by becoming the first player to win the WSOP Main Event back-to-back – a feat only two other players have achieved to date.

In 2023, his earnings from live poker tournament action alone totalled $6.1 million. He was one of the most influential figures in poker from a historical and commercial perspective. Brunson’s passing in May 2023 sent shockwaves through the poker industry as the game lost one of the pioneers of Texas Hold’em.

5. Chris Ferguson – $80 million

Chris “Jesus” Ferguson is one of the most controversial figures in the poker world. The 61-year-old six-time WSOP bracelet winner used to be one of the most respected players on the circuit. That was until he was alleged to have been part of a Ponzi scheme operating behind the scenes of the now-doomed Full Tilt Poker website.

Although Ferguson profusely denied the allegations—and his case was dismissed as of February 2013—there remain huge question marks over the conduct of Full Tilt’s directors, who include another experienced poker pro, Howard Lederer.

Ferguson’s biggest personal poker win was a $1.5 million victory in the 2000 WSOP Main Event, overcoming T.J. Cloutier in Vegas. Four years later, Ferguson finished 26th in the WSOP Main Event, which included a field of 2,576 entries).

4. Sam Farha – $100 million

Veteran Lebanese poker professional Sam Farha is famous for coming second in the WSOP Main Event 2003. To this day, it remains one of the most-watched heads-up contests in WSOP Main Event history. That’s because Farha was locking horns with Chris Moneymaker, the poker amateur who qualified via online satellite and defeated Farha and took the $2.5 million first prize.

Farha has three WSOP bracelets from his time in the game, winning all three in Omaha poker events. His first came in 1996 in a Pot Limit Omaha tournament. His last win in 2010 generated his second-biggest WSOP payday worth over $488,000, second only to his runner-up Main Event prize worth $1.3 million.

Having mainly been inactive on the poker scene since 2014, Farha returned for the 2023 WSOP. He went on to cash in four WSOP events, including a 16th place finish in the Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship worth over $20,000.

3. Phil Ivey – $125 million

Phil Ivey is one of the most decorated poker players ever seen. In fact, many would argue that the 47-year-old’s talents are befitting of even more poker accolades. The so-called “Tiger Woods of Poker” is yet to win the WSOP Main Event, but many believe this poker professional has what it takes to outlast the thousands of amateurs and semi-pros to land a Main Event bracelet one day.

He still has a personal poker net worth of $125 million, with almost $45 million in live poker earnings alone. He has 10 WSOP bracelets and has appeared at 36 final tables in the WSOP’s history. He currently stands 12th on the All-Time Money List.

Ivey’s biggest poker earnings from a single tournament came at the 2014 Aussie Millions Poker Championship, winning over $3.5 million. He won the same event two years previously. He’s also landed some seven-figure wins in the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series.

2. Dan Bilzerian – $200 million

American Dan Bilzerian is an entrepreneur and a poker player. He dropped out of his degree at the University of Florida to focus on building a career in poker. He finished 180th in the WSOP Main Event just months after going pro. 

He’s always been a larger-than-life character at the poker tables. He once boasted in 2013 that he won almost $11 million in one night of cash game poker. The following year, he bragged about winning $50 million, adding that he preferred not to play against professionals, instead focusing on playing against high-net-worth amateurs.

Officially speaking, Bilzerian has won just $36,626 from live tournament poker. This came from his WSOP Main Event cash in 2008. So, to be considered one of the richest poker players, it’s clear he must play – and win – at a lot of private or online poker games.

1. Andy Beal – $14.6 billion

Dallas-based entrepreneur Andy Beal is considered the richest poker player on the planet. The owner and chair of Beal Bank, he’s accumulated most of his personal wealth through banking and real estate investments. Nevertheless, his love affair with poker dates back as far as 2001, so he’s not just a rich individual needing to brush up on his poker terms to compete with the pros.

For three years straight, Beal would visit Las Vegas to sit down at high-stakes cash games with some of the biggest names in the industry. Beal became famous for winning the most valuable pot in cash game poker history, worth $11.7 million. He locked horns regularly with Phil Ivey, playing cash games with small and big blinds starting at $100,000 and $200,000, respectively.

A book titled “The Professor, The Banker, and The Suicide King” details the richest poker game of all time, involving Beal and poker pros like Jennifer Harman, Doyle Brunson, Howard Lederer, Gus Hansen, and Phil Ivey. It’s well worth a read!

Conclusion

Although Andy Beal is listed as one of the richest poker players of all time, the bulk of his wealth was generated away from poker. It’s the likes of Phil Ivey who have managed to generate vast poker net worth from their live and online poker performances. It’s the level of consistency from Ivey, Brunson, Negreanu and co. that makes them such fascinating role models for the game we love.

It’s a good idea to read up on the strategies and approaches used by these players. They may inspire and shape your mindset, adding an extra dimension to your poker strategy.