Who Are The Five Biggest Live Poker Tournament Winners?
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Every poker player dreams of traveling the world, visiting luxurious locations, and winning vast sums of money from the biggest tournaments the game has to offer. It remains a dream for many, but for some, tournament poker seems ridiculously easy, and they regularly pad their bankrolls with scores mere mortals can only dream about.
The Hendon Mob Database tracks the results from most live poker tournaments, from $10 buy-ins up to the $250,000 Super High Roller events. Of course, the database does not track entries, which means its all-time money list only shows cashes and not profit, but it is fair to assume that the following five live poker tournament superstars are well into the green regarding their profit and loss accounts.
The current top five and prize money won are accurate as of February 18, 2023
Justin Bonomo – $60,222,954
Justin Bonomo hails from Fairfax, Virginia, and is the world’s number-one winner in terms of live poker tournament prize money. Bonomo reeled in almost $640,000 from two final table appearances in The Bahamas in January 2023, which saw his lifetime winnings reach an almost unbelievable $60,222,954; Bonomo is the only player to break through the $60 million barrier.
Bonomo has nine seven-figure scores and, incredibly, 79 prizes worth between $100,000 and $928,200! The three-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner is one of a handful of players that have an eight-figure prize on their CV. Bonomo scooped $10,000,000 after he won the $1,000,000 buy-in The Big One for One Drop at the 2018 WSOP.
Bryn Kenney – $57,265,665
Bryn Kenney of Long Beach, New York, has $57,265,665 in live MTT earnings, placing him second in the poker’s all time money list. The controversial grinder has seven score weighing in at more than $1 million, the first coming in January 2016. Being a regular in the world’s highest buy-in events have resulted in Kenney reeling in 56 prizes of $100,000 or more, but one result stands out from the crowd.
Kenney was one of 54 entrants in the £1,050,000 Triton Million for Charity event held in London in August 2019. A staggering £54 million prize pool was on the table, and Kenney captured the lion’s share of the pot. Despite finishing second to Aaron Shu Nu Zang, Kenney took home £16,890,509 compared to Zang’s £13,779,491 because the pair struck a deal during heads-up.
Daniel Negreanu – $50,297,798
Six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu has won $50,297,798 from live poker tournaments, placing him third in the all-time money list and in top spot against all Canadians. Hailing from Toronto but now residing in Las Vegas, Negreanu is one of poker’s true superstars, one that has withstood the test of time and a worthy inductee of the Poker Hall of Fame.
Negreanu has live recorded cashes dating back to 1997, yet he is still one of the most feared players on the planet. Nine of Negreanu’s results are worth more than $1 million, with another 66 in-the-money finishes yielding six-figure sums!
Of Negreanu’s stellar results, his runner-up finish in the 2014 edition of the Big One for One Drop is his largest single prize. Negreanu walked away with $8,288,001 when he lost heads-up to Daniel Colman, the latter receiving a $15,306,668 payout.
Stephen Chidwick – $44,674,070
Stephen Chidwick of Deal, Kent, United Kingdom is regarded as one of the best all-round poker players to have ever picked up playing cards. Chidwick, who cut his poker teeth in the online poker world, is equally as dangerous playing No-Limit Hold’em as he is Pot-Limit Omaha, 2-7 Triple Draw, or any poker variant for that matter.
Chidwick is fourth in poker’s all-time money list and number one in England, thanks to accumulating $44,674,070 in tournament cashes. For a long time, longer than Chidwick would have liked, he wore the unwanted moniker of best poker player without a WSOP bracelet to his name. Chidwick got the proverbial monkey off his back in 2019 when he triumphed in the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller, a victory worth $1,618,417.
Amazingly, that is not Chidwick’s largest cash. That honour is bestowed on his fourth-place finish in the aforementioned £1,050,000 Triton Million for Charity, which came with £4,410,000.
Erik Seidel – $42,469,394
The word legend is used without much thought in the poker community, but Erik Seidel is a player deserving of such a title. Seidel has cashes dating back to 1988, with his first recorded cash being a second-place finish in the 1988 WSOP Main Event, where he lost to Johnny Chan; scenes from that tournament are shown in the Rounders poker movie.
Seidel has more than made up for that bridesmaid finish by helping himself to no fewer than nine gold WSOP bracelets! The fact Seidel’s first bracelet came in 1992 and his ninth in an online event in 2021 shows how much work Seidel has put into his game, and how much natural talent the New York native has. To date, Seidel has lifetime winnings worth a cool $42,469,394.
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