WPoker is the most popular and commercially successful casino game. As a result of its popularity this millennium it has gained television coverage in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and many more countries worldwide.
The World Series of Poker is the main attraction, often with the biggest prize pools on offer throughout the year and with several thousand buy-ins at each event. Although many players have made money online at places such as the Paddy Power live casino, the real money is in live tournaments.
In fact, nine of the top 10 biggest poker pay-outs of all-time have come from the World Series of Poker Main Event over the years. The below list looks at those top 10 players, with the winners coming from the USA, Europe and China:
- Antonio Esfandiari – $18,346,673
The biggest single poker prize payout to-date was at the 2012 World Series of Poker event at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
American poker player Antonio Esfandiari was the winner and had been ranked number one for all-time tournament poker winnings until he was surpassed by Daniel Negreanu in 2014.
- Dan Colman – $15,306,668
Two years later, at the 2014 World Series of Poker, Dan Colman won the $1,000,000 buy-in event in Las Vegas. The American took home a cool $15.3 million in what was the first time he made the final table.
Colman beat Daniel Negreanu with a King-Queen in the final hand on 1 July that year.
- Elton Tsang – $12,248,912
China’s Elton Tsang completes the top three and is the most recent winner of all 10 entries. He was already an entrepreneur with investments in IT, travel agencies, and internet firms before winning the jackpot at the Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza in 2016.
Tsang took home a whopping $27,437,564 from that event. His previous biggest prize had been $162,212 for a fifth place finish at the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific in Melbourne three and a half years earlier.
- Jamie Gold – $12,000,000
Another American on the list, and with a fitting surname for the $12,000,000 first place prize he won, Jamie Gold WSoP Main Event winner in 2006. That event is actually the highest total prize pool in any poker tournament to date – the $82,512,162 was nearly $14m more than the next biggest total prize.
Gold had previously been a talent agent and television producer before his major success more than a decade ago – one of his five money finishes at the World Series of Poker.
- Martin Jacobson – $10,000,000
The highest-ranked European player on the list comes in at number five when Sweden’s Martin Jacobson won the World Series of Poker Main Event for $10,000,000 in 2014.
Jacobson’s first live cash win came in 2008, when he came 3rd at a European Poker Tour event in Hungary. Prior to his poker career taking off, Jacobson had studied to become a chef.
- Peter Eastgate – $9,152,416
Peter Eastgate became the youngster World Series of Poker Main Event winner back in 2008 when he placed first and collected the $9,152,416 prize money at only 22 years of age. The following year he was surpassed by 21-year-old Joseph Cada.
The Dane had been attending Aarhus University in his homeland to study economics, but dropped out to play poker full-time.
- Jonathan Duhamel – $8,944,310
At the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event, Canadian Jonathan Duhamel won his first bracelet and his biggest personal jackpot with an $8.9m first place finish.
The 30-year-old won two further bracelets in 2015 at the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop ($3,989,985) and €25,600 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em ( €554,395) events.
- Pius Heinz – $8,711,956
The following year Germany’s Pius Heinz was the WSoP winner and took home a cool $8.7 million prize money. The first German to capture a bracelet, Heinz defeated Czech player Martin Staszko with the final hand, Heinz’s A♠ K♣ defeating Staszko’s 10♣ 7♣.
Still only 28 years old, Heinz started playing poker after watching the Main Event and High Stakes Poker on German TV. After deciding that poker was a game of skill he proceeded to win over $700,000 online.
- Joe Cada – $8,547,042
At the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, USA’s Joe Cada won the 6,494-entrant tournament at only 21 years old – making him the youngster-ever champion – a record he still holds today.
Today, Joe Cada is primarily an online poker player and has won more than $500,000 in online tournament winnings to date.
- Greg Merson – $8,527,982
The fifth American on the list props up the current top 10, as Greg Merson won the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event which saw him take home a cool $8.5 million.
|During the same year, Merson also won a WSoP bracelet at the $10,000 Six Handed No-Limit Hold’em World Championship. These two championships contributed heavily to him being named the 2012 WSOP Player of the Year.