The world of poker is home to some of the most fascinating, brilliantly focused and expertly calculated individuals in the public eye. The very nature of the game attracts those who have a taste for thrills and a strong mind in the terrifying face of the unknown.
In a game of such great highs and lows, predicated on competing for multiple millions of dollars- those who sit on top of the heap undoubtedly have mind-boggling stacks of cash sat beneath them.
Let's take a look at some of the world's most prestigious poker players and the fantastic fortunes they have amassed over their careers.
#10: Patrik AntoniousA prodigy of poker expert Marcel Lüske, this Finnish player has had some impressive accomplishments in his poker career. Antonious has captured a European Poker Tour title, and whilst he has not quite managed to snap up a world title, he has found a great deal of success playing online poker. Generally considered to be one of the most successful online players ever- the Big Game and Bellagio regular won the biggest online poker prize of all time back in 2009. He beat out Viktor Blom to take home a whopping $1,356,946. His total career earnings sit at around $11 million.
#9: Antonio EsfandiariAt number 9 on our list we have a former professional magician, who went on to win 2 World Poker Tour championships and 3 World Series of Poker bracelets. The Persian born player had his first big cash win in 2004 to the tune of around 1.4 million USD- a prize he earned for snagging his first WPT championship at the L.A Poker Classic. With total career earnings of roughly $27 million and a highest cash prize upwards of $18 million- it is fair to say this once magician has a few tricks up his sleeve.
#8: Tony GBorn Antanas Guoga, this Lithuanian politician, philanthropist and entrepreneur has a staggering net worth of around 36 million USD. Granted, not all of his earnings can be attributed directly to poker winnings. However, with such accolades as a fifth place finish at WPT Grand Prix de Paris 2003, second place at the Intercontinental Poker Championship in 2006 and a first place win in the Asian Poker Tour later that year- it’s fair to say he has won some seriously sizabe cash prizes. His largest came in at around $400,000 playing €100,000 No Limit Hold'em at the WSOP Europe in 2018.
#7: Justin BonomoThis American born high roller was once a keen player of fantasy card game Magic the Gathering. Once he turned his attention to the cards more commonly found in a casino; Bonomo stacked up an unprecedented amount of chips at a vast array of competitions. The 3 time Super High Roller Bowl title winner has multiple $4 million (+) cash wins and a staggering career high win of $10 million- making him the second-highest-earning live poker player of all time (second only to No.5 on this list). His total career earnings are believed to be over $55 million.
#6: Daniel NegreanuNumber 6 on our list is one of the most decorated and recognisable poker players on the planet. The Canadian born Negreanu is the third-highest-earning live poker player ever and has to his name 6 WSOP bracelets and 2 WPT titles. Negreanu has a good argument for being one of the GOATs of poker, and his earnings certainly reflect this. His highest cash of $8.2 million was earned at 2014 WSOP where he placed 2nd. His WSOP earnings alone top $18 million and his total career earnings an unbelievable $42 million.
#5: Bryn KenneyAnother competitive Magic the Gathering player turned poker extraordinaire, this Long Beach native burst onto the poker scene with his first live cash at the East Coast Poker ChampionShips in 2007. Kenney boasts a WSOP bracelet which he won back in 2014, earning him around $150k. Arguably, his most impressive achievement is the fact he is the highest-earning live poker player of all time. He earned this stunning accolade in the £1,050,000 No-Limit Hold'em - Triton Million for Charity Event. Kenney placed 2nd in the event, however, due to a deal made with winner Aaron Zang, Kenney went home with the top prize of just over $20 million. His total live earnings sit north of $55 million.
#4: Doyle BrunsonRarely will you find a poker player so iconic, so widely recognized and adored that they have a hand named specifically after them. Enter Doyle Brunson aka “Texas Dolly”, the 87 year old Texas born player who had a fruitful 50 year long career that culminated in a fortune estimated at around $75 million. Brunson was the first player ever to win a million dollars in poker tournaments. The two time WSOP champ and Poker Hall of Fame inductee famously won both of his main events holding a typically weak 10 and 2- hence the hand being named after him by card players.
#3: Chris FergusonBorn Christopher Philip Ferguson also known as “Jesus” (see his long, messiah style hairdo), this high-stakes poker pro started young- first playing poker at the age of just 10. The L.A native improved his skills in his college years playing online IRC poker on chatrooms. He eventually graduated to the big leagues, bagging himself 6 WSOP titles. His first bracelet win earned him $150k, his second: $1.5 million. His total live winnings total an impressive $8.9 million and his net worth soars at an eye watering $80 million.
#2: Phil IveyPhil Ivey, considered by many to be the best poker player of all time, has racked up an unthinkable 10 WSOP titles in his career, and has appeared at 31 final tables. Born in 1977, Ivey has been called the “tiger woods of poker”- and for good reason. His total live tournament winnings sit at $26,250,000 and his net worth is estimated to be over $125 million. Ivey has caught heat from casino owners in the past, who claimed he won money illegitimately in their establishments and filed a $15 million dollar lawsuit against the WPT title holder.