Poker is a game of skill and it involves mastering the art of taking calculated risks. Around 100 million people play poker online but it’s estimated that only 10% of players make money. Still, there are those that come out on top, playing high stakes and winning huge stacks of cash. Below we cover the richest poker players in the world.
Top 10 Wealthiest Poker Players
1. Dan Bilzerian – $200 Million
Despite the fact that he’s never won a major championship, Dan Bilzerian is at the top of the list thanks to his social media career, trust fund, and business ventures. He has admitted to making the majority of his fortune playing high-stakes poker against weak competition.
Bilzerian is from Tampa, Florida and fellow poker pro Adam Bilzerian is his brother. Their dad was a Wall Street business raider who set up trust funds for his children. Dan studied Business and Criminology at the University of Florida but dropped out to pursue poker.
Bilzerian is considered one of the most controversial poker players. He has made many allegations about his life that haven’t been confirmed. Nevertheless, his $200 million net worth proves that not all of his claims are false.
2. Phil Ivey – $100 Million
Phil Ivey, widely regarded as the best poker player of all time, has ten World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets and is one of the Poker Hall of Fame’s youngest members. Phil has appeared in nine World Poker Tour finals and has clinched one title at the tournament.
In the late 1990s, Phil began honing his poker skills against colleagues at a telemarketing agency in New Brunswick, New Jersey. One of his aliases, “No Home Jerome”, is derived from a fraudulent ID card he obtained as a teenager in order to play poker.
Now, with his exceptional talent in the sport, he is called by many names, such as “The Phenom” and “the Tiger Woods of Poker”. His live tournament winnings now exceed $38,600,000, with approximately $20 million in online earnings. This is why Phil Ivey is worth over $100 million.
3. Sam Farha – $100 million
Most players remember Ihsan “Sam” Farha as the guy who lost to Chris Moneymaker’s bluff of the century in the 2003 Main Event. Apart from that memorable moment, Sam’s talents have led him to become a self-made millionaire, with three WSOP bracelets to his name.
Sammy’s family is from Lebanon and they moved to the US when a civil war broke out in 1975. In the 1980s, after finishing college in Kansas, Sam relocated to Houston, where he first encountered poker.
His largest tourney win was $488,241 in 2010. Even though he participates in tournaments, Farha is best recognized for his high-stakes Omaha cash game skill. His $100 million fortune stems from many commercial ventures, media appearances, and books.
4. Chris Ferguson – $80 million
Christopher Ferguson has won six events in WSOP, including one Main Event. Yet, he doesn’t have the best reputation in the game. He was charged for participating in a scheme on Full Tilt Poker, where players were defrauded out of more than $400 million.
He studied computer science and has a PhD. in virtual network algorithms. Chris started playing poker when he was ten years old and refined his skills in college playing IRC poker.
Ferguson is a fairly quiet player who frequently takes an immobile position to avoid giving his opponents anything. Because of his lengthy locks, he was dubbed the poker community’s Jesus. But after his malicious activities, his name was tarnished. Still, Ferguson’s fortune stands at $80 million.
5. Doyle Brunson – $75 million
With a career that spanned over 50 years, Doyle Brunson was one of the most iconic Poker Hall of Famers. He bagged ten WSOP bracelets, ranking second all-time and tied with Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey. He was the first to hold a title for both WSOP Main Event and World Poker Tour.
Brunson initially wanted to become a basketball player and played for the Texas All-State team. The NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers pursued Brunson, but his stint was cut short due to a knee injury. After this, he played poker to cover for his expenses.
He was one of the first people to enter WSOP, and is also the first person to make a million dollars in a tournament. Doyle published the “Super System,” one of the greatest poker strategy books ever published. Sadly, Doyle Brunson passed away in May 2023, leaving behind a fortune worth $75 million.
6. Daniel Negreanu – $60 million
Daniel Negreanu, sometimes referred to as “Kid Poker”, is a fan favorite and arguably the most popular poker player out there. The Hall of Fame inductee owns six World Series of Poker bracelets and is the only player to have been crowned Player of the Year twice.
He was raised by Romanian immigrants in Ontario, Canada. Negreanu left high school just a few credits short of graduation and began working as a rounder at local charitable casinos. He once dated fellow pro poker player Evelyn Ng.
Daniel’s charisma has made him a massive hit with the public. With this, he earned various sponsorship deals from poker-related brands. He first became an ambassador for PokerStars and is currently promoting GGPoker. All of this adds to his $60 million net worth.
7. Bryn Kenney – $56 million
Unlike some of the people on this lineup, Bryn Kenney owes his entire fortune to poker. He is also not as famous as other poker millionaires, but hardcore fans are well aware of his ability. Although Bryn only has one WSOP bracelet, he has been in the money on 32 occasions.
Hailing from Long Beach, New York, Kenney was a competitive player of the tabletop game Magic: The Gathering before switching to poker. In 2007, he won his first live tournament at the East Coast Poker Championships.
Bryn is best known for earning the largest prize ever given out in a poker event. At the 2019 Triton Million fundraising event, he won more than $20.5 million. With $57,969,388 in overall tournament winnings, he is second highest-earning poker player and has a net worth of $56 million.
8. Justin Bonomo – $49 million
It’s no wonder that Justin Bonomo has won some of the biggest cash payouts, given his involvement in both live and online poker. He possesses three Super High Roller Bowl victories and three WSOP bracelets to his name.
Bonomo is from the Panorama Towers in Las Vegas, home to over 70 professional gamblers. Thus, he was exposed to poker at a young age. At 19, Justin finished fourth in the debut year of the EPT at the French Open. He became the youngest ever player to appear on a televised final table.
Justin added $10 million to his fortune in 2018 alone after winning a WSOP live championship. Conservative estimates place Bonomo’s net worth at $49 million, but because Justin frequently participates in online poker games, many people believe his wealth to be higher than that.
9. Tony G – $36 million
Tony G (Antanas Guoga) is one of the more vocal poker players on the scene. He has never won a WSOP bracelet, but has placed 15 times in the money. Tony G also earns some of his income as a businessman and politician.
Guoga was the Lithuanian Rubik’s Cube champion in his youth. His family moved to Melbourne, Australia when he was 11 years old. He’s been playing poker since 18 and is known for his bizarre table behavior to intimidate competitors.
Tony G has won multiple six-figure jackpots during his poker career. Even so, his commercial endeavors account for the majority of his wealth. As a politician, he was voted to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania for the legislative year 2020-2024. This gives Tony G a net worth of $36 million.
10. Antonio Esfandiari – $27 million
Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari is a former professional magician turned poker player who is noted for his extravagant chip stunts. During his career, he has collected two World Poker Tour titles and three WSOP bracelets, including the 2012 Big One for One Drop.
Esfandiari was born in Tehran, Iran, under the name Amir Esfandiary. His family relocated to San Jose, California, when he was nine. He changed his identity to Antonio after deciding that he wanted to be a magician because it sounded more intimidating than Amir.
Antonio was asked to a game of Texas Hold’em while demonstrating magic and began playing poker. Now, his name is in the poker history books after his Big One for One Drop victory, in which he had the second-biggest single payout of over $18 million. This is a big factor in Esfandiari’s $27 million fortune.