In the game of poker, nothing is guaranteed and the concept of high risk, high reward doesn’t always work out. With millions of people playing the card game, it’s estimated that only 10% of poker players are profitable. Still, there are those that come out on top, playing high-stakes and winning stacks of cash. Below we cover the most prosperous poker players in the world.
Top 10 Wealthiest Poker Players:
1. Dan Bilzerian – $200 Million
Despite the fact that he has never won a major championship, Dan Bilzerian is at the top of the list thanks to his prosperous social media career, large trust fund, and multiple business pursuits. He admitted to making most of his fortune playing high-stakes poker.
Bilzerian is from Tampa, Florida. Fellow poker player Adam Bilzerian is his brother. Their dad was a Wall Street business raider who set up trust funds for his children. Dan is said to have majored in Business and Criminology. However, it’s unclear whether he ever graduated.
Dan is considered one of the most controversial poker players today. He has made many allegations about his life and work that were never confirmed. Nevertheless, his $200 million net worth from other income sources proves that not all of his financial claims were made up.
2. Phil Ivey – $125 Million
Phil Ivey, widely regarded as the best poker player of all time, owns ten World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets and is one of the Poker Hall of Fame’s youngest members. He has also appeared in nine World Poker Tour finals and has clinched one title in the tournament.
In the late 1990s, Phil began honing his poker abilities by competing 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 teen 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 are projected to be approximately $26 million, with over $20 million in online earnings. This is why he is worth $125 million today.
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 historic occasion, Sam’s talents have led him to become a self-made millionaire, with three WSOP bracelets to his credit.
Sammy’s family is from Lebanon and they moved to the US when a civil war took place in their country in 1975. In the 80s, after he finished 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 with being one of the participants in a scheme at Full Tilt Poker, in which players were defrauded of more than $400 million.
He is a trained and educated computer scientist with a PhD. in virtual network algorithms. Chris started playing poker when he was ten years old and refined his skills in college by 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, his net worth remains at $80 million.
5. Doyle Brunson – $75 million
With a career that spanned over 50 years, Doyle Brunson is 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 be a professional basketball player. He 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 pay for his expenses.
He was one of the first people to enter WSOP, and he became the first to score a million in a tournament. He penned Super System, one of the greatest poker strategy books ever published. Doyle is now blissfully retired, having amassed a sizable, well-deserved $75 million net worth.
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 when he was 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 other individuals on this lineup, Bryn Kenney owes his entire fortune to poker. He is also not as famous as other poker millionaires, but hardcore fans acknowledge his abilities. Although he keeps only 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 earned more than $20.5 million. With over $57 million in overall tournament winnings, he tops the highest-earning poker players, and has a net worth of $56 million.
8. Justin Bonomo – $49 million
It’s no wonder that Justin Bonomo, known on the internet as ZeeJustin, has some of the biggest cash payouts, given his tremendous 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’s been exposed to poker at a young age. At 19, he finished fourth in the debut year of the EPT at the French Open. He became the youngest player ever to appear on a televised final table.
Justin added $10 million to his fortune in 2018 alone after winning a WSOP live championship. Conservative reports place his 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, whose true identity is Antanas Guoga, is one of the most vocal poker players in the world. He has never received a WSOP award, but he has placed 15 times in the money. He also earns some of his revenue as a businessman and politician.
Guoga was the Lithuanian Rubik’s Cube champion in his youth. But when he turned 11, he and his family moved to Melbourne, Australia. He’s been playing poker since he was 18 years old. He’s known for his bizarre table banter and repeated attempts to intimidate adversaries.
He has won multiple six-figure jackpots in his poker history. 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 him 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. In his tenure, he has collected two World Poker Tour titles and three WSOP bracelets, including the 2012 Big One for One Drop.
He was born in the Iranian capital of Tehran with the birth 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.
He 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 his $27 million fortune.