Poker is easily one of the most recognizable games in the gambling world, even people who aren’t familiar with casinos know about the iconic game. This is largely due to its huge presence in pop culture where the game. Poker is played around the world in casinos online platforms and also million-dollar tournaments.
The game of Poker originated in the 18th century and continued to evolve throughout the 19th and 20th century. This classic card game has many variants today and Texas Hold’em is currently the most popular one. There are professional poker players who have won millions in a single game but even among them a few of them stand a top due to their massive wins.
Here is a list of the biggest poker wins in the history of the game.
5 Sam Trickett
Biggest Win: $10,112,001
Sam Trickett won a staggering $10,112,001 in the WSOP’s Big One for One Drop tournament in July 2012. Although he placed second, this record-breaking cash win was enough to make him Great Britain’s all-time most successful poker player. The event had a $1,000,000 buy-in and total prize pool of $ 42,666,672.
Sam Trickett is one of the biggest poker earners in the world. His total lifetime winnings from the poker tournaments are over $20,000,000. This just goes on to say that his $10 million win from a single event is no small feat.
4 Jamie Gold
Biggest Win: $12,000,000
Jamie Gold made history when he won $12,000,000 in 2006 in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Not only did he become a millionaire overnight but also an internationally famous poker celebrity. After beating more than 8,700 competitors in Las Vegas to claim his prize, Gold received a lot of attention from Hollywood as well.
The event in question was No Limit Texas hold ’em with $10,000 buy-in. Following his win, Gold appeared on several TV shows including NBC’s Poker After Dark and GSN’s High Stakes Poker.
Biggest Win: $12,248,912
Elton Tsang is a well-known Poker icon in Asia. As you might have guessed his fame came from his historic win in the 2016 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza, an exclusive poker tournament. He won a staggering $12,248,912 in the event after defeating 25 other participants. The tournament had a prize pool of $27,437,564.
Following his 2016 tournament win Tsang became heavily involved in Asian poker scene. He lives as a professional poker player in Hong Kong and also does charity work with his winnings.
Reflecting on his watershed 2016 victory, Tsang noted the timing was opportune – before then he preferred a low profile but felt his skill was already widely known among top players. He felt his talent could no longer be hidden at that point, so winning the prestigious event cemented his reputation. Tsang always aimed to win major tournaments and become a champion since starting poker. After the One Drop triumph, the poker world recognized him as one of the best.
Biggest Win: $15,306,668
Daniel Colman is a professional poker player from Holden, Massachusetts. He won $15,306,668 by placing first at 2014 WSOP Tournament: The Big One for One Drop. Before this win he was mostly known as an online Poker player.
Colman played online poker games under nicknames, “mrGR33N13″ and “riyyc225,” with the former being most known to the world, leading him to become the first player in history to reach $1 million in rewards through hyper-turbo poker tournaments. His 2014 win is recorded as the fourth largest single payout in poker tournament history as of 2023. Following his 2014 win he won several awards including ALL IN Magazine 2014 Poker Player of the Year. His total lifetime winnings from live tournament exceed over $28,925,059.
Biggest Win: $18,346,67
Antonio Esfandiari takes the no.1 spot in this list with his mind-blowing win of $18,346,67 in the 2012 WSOP’s Big One for One Drop tournament. He placed first in the poker tournament beating Sam Trickett who took home $10 million. Antonio’s win is yet to be surpassed in the entire history of poker live tournaments.
(Although you could argue Bryn Kenney deserves the first spot, but his prize splitting deal complicates things.)
Esfandiari was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to USA at a young age. Before becoming a full-time Poker player, Esfandiari worked as a magician which earned him the moniker of “The Magician” in the poker scene.
Besides live tournaments and land-based casinos, poker is mostly played online. Platforms that offer casino games typically also provide casino tables to players around the globe. Many of the top poker players and also the ones mentioned in the list like Daniel Colman play a lot of online poker games. Poker’s presence in the online world is a testament of the game’s irresistible appeal.