Winning millions of dollars from playing a game may sound like a fantasy to you, but it can really happen, and it does! There are many sports where players are paid these amounts just to be on a team and there others, like golf, where professional players can win more than a million dollars in one competition. Did you know that you can win much more than these other sports pay out in a professional poker tournament?
Let’s take a look at the top 5 biggest tournament poker wins in history. Hold on to your chair, you’ll probably want to take up poker games professionally after reading this!
5. Martin Jacobsen – $10 Million
At number 5 we have Swedish professional poker player Martin Jacobsen who won $10 million in the 2014 WSOP Main Event. Jacobsen was born in Stockholm, Sweden and he currently resides in London. Prior to becoming a professional poker player Jacobsen studied to be a chef. I bet he’s happy he got out of the kitchen.
4. Jamie Gold – $12 Million
Jamie Gold of the USA holds fourth place with his winning of $12 million on 29th July 2006 at the 2006 WSOP Main Event #39. Gold was one of 8773 players who purchased the buy in for the event, with the buy-in fixed at $10,000. This led to the largest ever prize pool in Poker history – an unbelievable total pool of $82.5 million.
Gold, who started out as a talent agent still works in the entertainment industry today.
3. Elton Tsang – $12.2 Million
Elton Tsang is a Canadian born Chinese professional poker player who defeated 25 opponents, who bought in at $1million each, and won the 2016 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza in October 2016. Tsang won the massive amount of $12.2 million.
Tsang is now based in Hong Kong where he uses his wealth from his poker winnings to accumulate property and other investments.
2. Daniel Colman – $15.3 Million
In June 2014, our runner up to the largest amount of money ever won in a poker tournament, 23 year old Daniel Colman of the USA beat 41 opponents and won $15.3 million in the 2014 WSOP Event #57 – The Big One for One Drop.
Daniel became popular on social media because of his poker face following his gigantic win.
1. Antonio Esfandiari – 18.3 Million
And, the number one biggest tournament poker win of all time was pocketed by Iranian – American, Antonio Esfandiari, nicknamed “The Magician”, who won a whopping $18.3 million at the 2012 WSOP the Big One for One Drop event. Antonio is a former professional magician, who is known for the elaborate tricks he does with the poker chips. Esfandiari beat 48 opponents in the tournament and the total prize pool was $42.6 million.
Antonio started playing poker at the suggestion of his roommate and he became hooked. His poker fame started to grow in the 2000s, when he was on the most influential poker show of all time, “High Stakes Poker”, even before his big win in 2012.