Poker is a game that attracts winners as well as losers, and yet it’s also one of the few types of gambling that has a healthy professional scene.
This speaks volumes about how skilled you need to be to win big at the poker table, and there are plenty of pros who have walked away with six, seven, or even eight-figure prize pots.
Let’s look at a few of the most prominent poker practitioners who’ve also snatched big wins time after time throughout their careers.
The closest that the world of poker has to a genuine star, Daniel Negreanu, has won more than $40 million playing poker over the course of his career.
Furthermore, he’s even mastered different types of poker, and proven himself across different tours and tournaments. No other player has been named Player of the Year by the World Series of Poker judges more than once, and especially impressive is the fact that Negreanu did this almost a decade apart, first in 2004 and then again in 2013.
While technically, he hasn’t made the most from poker overall, he’s arguably the most consistent player around, staying dominant for more than two decades at this point and using the science of probability to his advantage.
Kenny is often listed at the top of many poker rich lists, although it’s a little misleading to put him there, or at least not possible to do so without a major caveat; almost half of his $56.5 million career earnings came from a single tournament in 2019, and he didn’t even come out on top in that event.
Regardless of how you look at it, no other pro has yet to better Kenny’s total, and like many other players of his generation, he is a mainstay of the tournament scene, appearing in streams and TV coverage alike.
Closing in on Kenney’s career total with $50 million in tournament winnings to his name, Justin Bonomo has come to wider attention in the course of the last half-decade.
Three of the tournaments he entered in 2018 saw him take home a combined total of $20 million in prize money, which demonstrates that when a hot streak hits, some people are better at riding it than others.
Of course, as poker requires skill as well as luck, Bonomo was not just in the right place at the right time, but actually capable of playing the hands he was dealt better than anyone else at that time.
Look at the $38 million total that Seidel has won throughout the course of his career, and you might assume that he has also managed to make major money at certain big-paying tournaments. In reality, he is more like Negreanu in terms of his consistency, and simply makes a lot of money playing a lot of poker each and every year.
It’s worth reiterating that poker players need to make their own luck, and while it’s all well and good to have fate on your side once, the only way to make it as a pro is to take the reins and swing things in your favor with how you behave at the table.
Sitting pretty with $36 million or so earned at poker tournaments, in addition to the money he has made in general play, Dan Smith is another of the more recent stalwarts of poker to benefit from the bigger and bigger jackpots that are being offered at high-profile tournaments.
Of course, every win comes at the cost of another’s loss, so think twice before going toe to toe with a poker pro!