Card games, like poker, inevitably entail carefully measured risks. There is more to it than smarts and a game plan, it requires a certain calmness under pressure in the head of the moment. You have to know when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em, all under the pressure of the highest stakes against your rivals. Here, we will have a gander at the richest, high-earning poker players and their total wealth.
While many poker players have lost huge sums in their careers, others have basked in the glory, fame, and money of being the best in the game. Many pro poker players aren’t just paying the monthly rent and bills with their earnings, but earning big. Amazingly, professional poker players take home more money than 9 out of every 10 Americans.
Phil Ivey – $100 Million
Only 4 professional poker players have won more tournament winnings than Phil Ivey. With winnings totaling more than $100M, there aren’t many richer than him in the game. Very few have won bigger than him.
Ivey’s grandfather taught him to play poker at a young age. It’s clear that, playing from such a young age, Ivey became a poker prodigy which enabled him to become an all-time poker great. His most important accomplishments include ten World Series of Poker bracelets, World Poker Tour titles, and many others. He won Poker Player of the Year in ‘05 and ‘09. More than likely, considering his age and pedigree, Ivey will continue adding to his poker earnings for years to come.
Sam Farha – $100 Million
It’s estimated Sam’s net worth is around $100M. Despite three WSOP bracelets and large winnings in formal tournaments, the man from Lebanon prefers old-fashioned, high-stakes cash games.
Farha’s largest haul, however, came when he placed second to Chris Moneymaker in the 2003 WSOP main event. He took home $1.3M.
With all those winnings, Farha has diversified his interests in several different ventures. He has parlayed his poker career into paid TV appearances, book deals, and many other revenue-generating activities. Not bad for a poker player.
Chris Ferguson – $80 Million
Chris Ferguson has seen it all. Throughout his career he has seen and experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows for a poker player. Despite all that, he has been able to amass incredible earnings and is valued today around $80M USD, putting him among the wealthiest poker players on the planet. His path hasn’t been an easy one. Ferguson has gone from the top of the world to the doldrums of hell and back again. Talk about mental strength!
Ferguson’s depth of experience and knowledge is almost unmatched in the game of poker. The 58 year old hasn’t just made a lot of money playing cards, he’s also got the hardware to prove he’s a winner, with six WSOP bracelets in his possession. After leaving the game entirely several years ago, Ferguson made a Michael Jordan-like return and came out of retirement and has continued to prove himself to be a champion on the pro circuit and at tournaments.
Doyle Brunson – $75 Million
Doyle Brunson has been in the game for 50 years, making not just a name for himself, but plenty of cheddar to boot, coming in at around $75 million. With that type of a background, he is an icon among poker fans. The octogenarian has won a WSOP bracelet on ten separate occasions along with other awards and titles. Brunson received a standing ovation when he contested the $10K No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw at the 2018 WSOP event.
Today, Brunson finds it difficult to play for longer than an hour at a time. Considering all that time in the game and all that money in his pocket, Brunson may never sit at the competitive table again after the 2018 appearance at the live tournament and leave the game to the up-and-comers. Brunson will have earned his rest & relaxation after 50 years at the poker table, and it will be impossible not to mention his name when discussing the all-time greats.
Bryn Kenney – $56 Million
Bryn Kenney’s first professional experience with cards was not poker. Instead, it was Magic the Gathering. While he was a big fan of the game, Kenney admits there was no money in it. Lucky for him, that wasn’t the case with poker. Despite only a single WSOP bracelet, he’s garnered close to 30 other victories.
Kenney’s greatest strength is his consistency. Outside of those 28 titles and one WSOP bracelet, he’s cashed-in on 264 other occasions. Reaching the final table of the Triton Championship was another big accomplishment, ultimately placing 2nd in 2019. Amazingly, that showing won him more than $20 million, close to half Kenney’s total wealth.
Daniel Negreanu – $50 Million
Daniel Negreanu is the most well-known name in all of poker. He’s a fan favorite for his awesome personality, and his ability at the poker table has made his wallet one of the fattest around, too.
Negreanu, nicknamed “Kid Poker”, is the only person to win WSOP Player of the Year more than once, and has six bracelets to his name. Needless to say, he was a shoe-in for the Poker Hall of Fame.
Bagging more than $40 million over the course of his career, Negreanu has also profited from commercial business contracts, including becoming the star figure in ads for PokerStars.
That partnership fell apart in 2019, however, and Negreanu now works with GGPoker. This, then, has left many poker fans wondering which online poker room is the best between the two.
Justin Bonomo – $49 Million
The next player, Justin Bonomo, has been able to do something rare in the world of poker: win big money both online and in the real world.
In 2020 Bonomo won the online tournament Super High Roller Bowl, and his in-person resume isn’t bad either: three WSOP bracelets and 55 cash-ins.
The largest of Bonomo’s victories came in 2018 at the Big One for One Drop tournament. At the time, Bonomo’s $10 million victory made him the player with the greatest all-time live tournament winnings, a title he held until Bryn Kenney stole it from him later on.
Tony G – $36 Million
Tony G is the alias for Lithuanian Antanas Guoga. The multi-talented entrepreneur and poker player, Mr. G, has it all. Known for his political activism and election to the European Parliament, Tony G has also been able to amass huge winnings in poker. On top of all that, he runs a website popular with poker fans, Pokernews.
As a skilled politician, it’s well known Tony G will get on his opponents’ nerves with his quick wit and sharp tongue. With a certain degree of arrogance, Tony G can easily knock players off their game, which is just as much a skill as anything else.
Tony G is able to effectively use these skills in all different types of poker games. On two occasions he has won in Europe, once winning the 2019 Hold’em Short Deck championship in the as well as the 2008 2-7 Draw Lowball, both in the Netherlands. All of this on top of countless cash-ins at the World Series of Poker.
Fedor Holz – $32.5 Million
This list of the all-time money winners wouldn’t be complete without the famous Fedor Holz. With sixth all-time winnings, Holz is one of the game’s headliners. With his wealth totaling more than $32 million, it’s been suggested that Holz is ready to call it quits and retire to the quiet life, though there seems to be come confusion behind his intentions
Holz has recently come out and said that he has no plans to retire from poker, but to simply explore his other interests in life. Indeed, there can’t be too much motivation to leave the sport that made you rich, right? Incredibly, Holz took home the largest cash prize in 2018 coming in 2nd place at the 2018 WSOP High Roller for One Drop game. After that night, his bank account was $6 million larger.
Patrik Antonius – $30 Million
Patrik Antonius is everything you could want in a poker player: intelligent, flashy, with a dash of arrogance. Antonius has grabbed the headlines and made the wider poker world talk after earning millions of dollars playing poker online. All told, his net worth is $30 million. Antonius is one to keep an eye on, because he’s creating a storm.
More than half of Antonius’ wealth comes from online poker rooms, garnering more than $17 million from digital environments, and he’s not done yet. Antonius is ambitious and plans to continue making a splash in the real, and digital, world of professional poker.
Antonio Esfandiari – $27 Million
Nicknamed “the magician” for his magical poker ability, Esfandiari used to also perform as a literal professional magician. However, that was just the beginning. Once he received a simple invitation from a friend to go play a poker game – during one of his magic shows, no less – and his career magically took off.
It didn’t take long to achieve great success. The first title came in 2004, winning an amazing $1.4 million at the World Poker Tour championship. Just months later, Esfandiari claimed his first WSOP bracelet. If those accomplishments aren’t enough, what he did the following year was even more incredible. Showing a magical ability to avoid variance, Esfandiari went on to reach the final table twice the following year at different events.
One of those final tables took place at the Heads-Up Poker Championship. At Heads-Up, Esfandiari ultimately placed 3rd. He held the same podium position a few months later at the Five-Star WPT. Regardless of whether it’s skill or magic, those types of results in a single year are hard to believe!
Jennifer Tilly – $25 Million
Jennifer Tilly had a previous life before becoming a poker star, working as an actress on many TV shows, notably classic American shows like Frasier and Cheers. Many poker fans might recognize the Ladies NL Hold’em champion as the Tiffany Valentine character from the series Child’s Play.
Tilly’s father was a gambling addict, and as such, poker was never foreign to Jennnifer. She chose to pursue poker as a professional during a hiatus from show business, first making a name for herself in 2005 at the Ladies NL Hold’em WSOP. After bursting onto the scene, she never looked back, earning several cash-ins and reaching final tables with relative ease.
In fact, she even won the 2010 Bellagio Cup. Tilly’s key has been consistency: cash-ins, final tables, cash-ins, final tables. That consistency has led to huge winnings, motivating her to continue her poker career. With those types of results, any fan would wonder whether she is better at activating or better at playing poker?
Phil Hellmuth – $23 Million
Phill Hellmuth burst onto the scene back in 1988, winning a respectable $1,500 playing Seven Card Stud. Since then, Hellmuth has gone on to earn more than $20 million dollars as a professional poker player, earning his place among the richest poker players on the planet. With several WSOP events under his belt, Hellmuth has been successful since a young age and has made winning a habit.
While Hellmuth has won some money at online poker events, Hellmuth has raked in close to $22 million at live tournament events. Hellmuth stands atop the rankings for number of World Series of Poker cash games, totaling placements in 108 of them. He also stands alone as the player with the greatest number of final table appearances at the World Series of Poker. The 54 year old has reached the final WSOP table a staggering 52 times.
Phil Laak – $20 Million
In poker, there is a term named the Hoodie for people who normally wear such attire and dark glasses, with the aim of earning money and not communicating at all. Phil Laak has that essence, but he is actually a very talkative player.
He has many tournaments and trophies under his belt, like the 2010 WSOP Europe bracelet and the 2004 WPT NL, although a lot of his fortune comes from his high stakes cash games. Phil Laak appears on NBC’s Poker After Dark.
Jennifer Harman – $15 Million
This two-time WSOP champion grew up in Las Vegas, where she started gambling before she was of legal age. She started winning early, in 1998, when she reached her first Limit Hold‘em at the Orleans Open and earned more than $30,000. She won the 2000 WSOP tournament without even knowing how to play and, during ten years, she was the only woman to have held that title.
Gus Hansen – $11.5 Million
Gus Hansen became the first player to win the World Poker Tour Open tournaments three different times, and was a name on the World Poker Tour Walk of Fame. People Magazine named him one of the 50 Sexiest Men and his net worth and success keep growing with his increasingly successful career.
Scotty Nguyen – $12 Million
The Prince of Poker arrived in the US from Vietnam when he was 14 and carved his own path through hard work after having been suspended from school for playing cards. Although he never considered himself to be a genius, he holds five WSOP bracelets, one of them being the first place at the WSOP NL Hold’em of 1998.
Phil Ivey has amassed more than $100 million playing poker, putting him among the richest poker players ever. He attained his biggest prize in the 2014 Aussie Millions LK Boutique, earning AU$4 million.
This is a tough question to answer accurately, since the rankings are always changing, but Bryn Kenney holds the title as of now. He won the 2014 WSOP and has reached the final table seven times.
Phil Hellmuth, also known as The Poker Brat, is considered to be the most prosperous poker player in the world with fifteen WSOP bracelets and a fortune of $23 million.
Phil Ivey holds the title of richest poker player in the US, with his $100 million. Back in 2019, he created a Masterclass course about poker and had also launched the Ivey Poker app at some point.
Lisa works as a content writer and specializes in delivering top tier i-gaming content which is why her articles and blog posts are always very engaging and informative. Well spoken, and does her research very well in an industry where transparency, honesty and constant follow up is a rarity.