Biggest Online Poker Winners
Clinton Jacob Machoka
Some players have been highly successful playing online poker, winning life-changing money
The internet has revolutionized the game of poker. Players can enjoy their favorite games from the comfort of their own homes, offices, or anywhere in the world, provided they have an internet connection.
The best online poker players in the world possess similar traits. They can multi-table, compete at nosebleed stakes without fear, and play for very long sessions behind their laptops or phones.
Some players have been highly successful playing online poker, winning life-changing money. They had luck, skill, work ethic, and a proper bankroll to achieve that.
Phil Ivey ($20,000,000)Dubbed the "Tiger Woods of poker," Phil Ivey is widely considered the best player globally. He is a great all-around player skilled in multiple poker variants.
Ivey started playing online poker in 2007 on Full Tilt Poker, at a time when he was already an established player with six WSOP bracelets.
Ivey won $2,000,000 that year playing on Full Tilt Poker. In 2008, Ivey's winning streak continued winning $7,000,000, a boost to his online bankroll. Ivey was a notch above his opponents that time, and he continued crushing the game, winning an additional $6,000,000 in 2009.
By 2010, the rest of the field had started to catch up, and good players emerged. Ivey was playing against great players, Tom Dwan, Patrik Antonius, and Guy Laliberte. Ivey's win rate went down a little bit, winning $2,200,000 that year.
Ivey was also a Full Tilt Poker sponsored pro, and he pocketed $920,000 monthly from his sponsorship deal.
In 2011, Black Friday happened, and Full Tilt owed several sponsored pros millions. Full Tilt Poker was unable to repay all the players who had funds on the site; as a result, most players lost their bankrolls.
The scandal tarnished Ivey's image, as he was a shareholder and sponsored pro in the company. Ivey reacted by skipping WSOP that year in support of players who had lost their funds.
Patrik Antonius ($18,000,000)Patrik Antonius started his online poker career in 2003 with only a $200 deposit, and he quickly grew it to $20,000 within a few months of multi-tabling.
Antonius was enamored entirely by online poker; the flexibility to play more hands while multi-tabling allowed him to put his expertise and talent to good use.
Antonius' achievements caught the attention of Full Tilt that resulted in a sponsorship deal with them.
He won close to $12,000,000 on Full Tilt Poker under the screen name 'FinddaGrind,' and other times using his real name between 2008 to 2013 and almost $6,000,000 on PokerStars. Fans used to log in to their accounts to watch Antonius play.
During a high-stakes PLO cash game, Antonius played against Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom, one of the most memorable online poker encounters. Antonius won the biggest pot in online poker history, scooping a massive pot worth $1,357,000.
Antonius, who would never back down from a challenge, took up the Tom 'Durrrr' Dwan heads-up challenge, and this decision proved to be costly. He went on an insane downswing and lost over $2,000,000.
Daniel ‘jungleman12’ Cates ($11,165,834)Daniel Cates's online poker career started under the screen name 'jungleman12' on Full Tilt Poker in 2008, playing Heads-up No-Limit Hold 'em cash games on $0.25/$0.50 stakes.
Two years of online poker grind saw Cates move up in stakes and become a regular at $25/$50 tables. Cates gained a massive fan base, and his screen name 'jungleman12' became very popular in the world of online poker.
Cates was the biggest online poker winner in 2010, earning a whopping $5,500,000 after 145,215 hands of play. Cates' 'Jungleman12' Full Tilt account had amassed a staggering $10,270,000 after 394,738 tracked hands between 2009 March to 2015, mostly PLO cash games.
Cates's largest pot win was against Patrick Antonius in PLO, scooping a $375,944 pot.
He also played on PokerStars under the screen name 'w00ki3z', winning $895,834 after clocking 471,444 hands, majorly playing 8-Game. Cates was also successful in online MTTs on PokerStars, getting decent scores, including taking down the Sunday 500 event for $65,000 in April 2016.
Ben Tollerene ($11,000,000)Ben Tollerene's online poker journey began with a $500 deposit on Full Tilt back in 2007. Like most other poker pros, Tollerene started playing No-Limit Hold 'em $25/$50 stakes before transitioning to PLO and playing some of the highest stakes online poker could offer.
He played using the screen names' Bttech86' on FullTilt and 'Ben86' on PokerStars. He had a rough start in 2009, and after playing $5/$10 stakes up to $25/$50, he ended up losing $100,000. However, Tollerene was able to turn things around and win $550,000 after gaining experience.
By 2010, Tollerene was a regular in high-stakes PLO cash games and battled with the likes of Viktor Blom, and at a certain point, Tollerene lost $1,700,000 to Blom before recovering it later within 24 hours.
Tollerene won close to $7,400,000 on Full Tilt using the 'Bttech86' screen name and made over $3,800,000 on PokerStars under the alias 'Ben86'.
Di ‘Urindanger’ Dang ($8,050,000)Di Dang played under the alias 'Urindanger,' and is one of the most successful players in online poker history. A $200 deposit on Full Tilt Poker set off his poker journey. However, he quickly lost it and had to make another $200 deposit, but this time around, he grew his online poker bankroll and never looked back.
Between 2007 to 2009, Dang competed against the best players in $500/$1000 stakes; Dang even won a $723,000 pot at some point. He specialized in cash games, and it paid off, earning a profit of $1,281,329 in 2007 and $3,673,051 in the following year. Dang made a small profit of $45,595 in 2009 but bounced back in 2010, making close to $1,000,000.
Dang had an illustrious online poker career winning over $7,400,000 on Full Tilt and more than $650,000 playing on PokerStars.