Poker is one of the most competitive games and its top players can earn more than some pro athletes. Here are the give richest poker players in the world.
Poker is one of those industries where there’s huge sums involved. In the world of this high-stakes game, what’s being won and lost every day is massive. The top players in poker don’t have to think too much about dropping tens of thousands in one game. There’s confidence in the knowledge that they’ll win it back at one point and usually have a bankroll to support them.
Gambling around the world has grown, especially since the rise in online gaming — a result of mobile usage and access to casino sites. The global online game and gambling market is expected to be valued at more than $9.26 billion in 2023. Sectors like sports betting are growing due to the relaxing of laws.
In 2018 the Supreme Court legalised sports betting allowing online gambling companies to attract new audiences. Poker tournaments like the World Series of Poker remain a space where poker players can score up some big wins, while high roller cash games continue to be popular, with new generations getting into the game.
But who are the top five richest poker players?
One of the most well-known names in poker is Doyle Brunson. Born in Texas in 1933, he’s a retired poker player who played as a professional for over 50 years. The first player to win $1 million in poker tournaments, he’s won 10 WSOP bracelets throughout his career and one of only four players to have achieved winning the Main event at the World Series of Poker multiple times.
He was voted the most influential force in the world of poker in 2006 by Bluff Magazine. He played regularly at Bobby’s Room at the Bellagio in cash games, including a limit mixed poker game that involved $4,000/$8.000 blinds. He’s earned an astonishing £6.1 million from live tournament wins, although no one can say how much he’s earned while playing high stake cash games.
Other sources of his income include his book. Called Super System, it’s regarded as one of the best poker strategy books.
Worth a cool $75 million, he’s definitely left a legacy behind and is enjoying retirement from his hard-earned wins.
Worth over $80 million, Chris Ferguson has won six World Series of Poker events. This includes the 2000 WSOP Main event as well as the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Born in LA, California, he attended UCLA where he got his Ph.D. in computer science. He’d been playing poker since the age of ten and entered his first World Series of Poker tournament in 1995.
However, he’s not just famous for his game. He was accused of being one of several people behind a Ponzi scheme at Full Tilt Poker, the result of which was stealing $444 million from players.
He’s earned almost $7 million throughout his career in live tournaments — a huge percentage of this coming from his 90 money finishes while playing at WSOP. Being a poker icon, he’s gotten the nickname ‘Jesus’.
One of the best poker players in the Middle East, Sam Farha is worth $100 million. He’s also known as the man who lost to Chris Moneymaker in the 2003 Main Event at the World Series of Poker.
Still, he’s done well for himself, having bagged three WSOP bracelets. He’s best known as a high-stakes Omaha cash game player over tournaments. His biggest win at tournaments is $488,241 which he won finishing first at the 2010 WSOP $10,000 Omaha Hi-Low Split 8 or Better Championships. He’s also finished second at the WSOP Main Event.
He also has had several business interests, TV as well as film appearances. And like some of the others on this list, he’s written a few books too. In terms of TV appearances, he’s been on Poker After Dark, the NBC Heads-Up Championship as well as High Stakes Poker.
A big name in poker is Phil Ivey. Known as the Tiger Woods of Poker, he’s considered to be one of the greatest players of all time having managed to win 10 WSOP bracelets. The only person that has more is Phil Hellmuth. Phil has also made an appearance at the final table of the Main Event in 2009 where he finished seventh.
Alongside this, he’s won one WPT title, reached nine final tables and won numerous large prizes including AU$4 million. This was as a result of him finishing first at the 2014 Aussie Millions LK Boutique AU $250,000. Phil has also been successful at playing poker online; he’s also fantastic at high stakes.
He once played against Texan billionaire Andy Beal and won $16 million over three days. He’s worth over $100 million making him one of the richest players on this list — it’s a bank roll that has done him well over the years.
Last but certainly not least we have Dan Bilzerian. Worth an incredible $200 million, this Instagram star has claimed that most of his earnings has come from his poker winnings, having won from ultra-high-stakes poker games. He has said that he won $50 million from poker in 2014.
That being said, many are dubious of his claims as well as his poker playing abilities. He has many business ventures, an unknown sum from a trust fund and a lucrative social media career. And he’s also never won a major tournament. Dan claims that his money in poker has earned by cash games only.
He’s a controversial figure for sure and been arrested on various occasions. That being said, that doesn’t negate the fact that he’s one of the richest poker players out there, regardless of how he’s made his money.