The Top 10 Biggest Poker Wins
This list we’ve compiled lays out the top 10 biggest poker tournament wins in order of each individual prize win. The prize pools of each tournament aren’t relative to the size of the individual winnings in poker – there are often big prize pools distributed among many players, and smaller prize pools spread among fewer players, resulting in bigger individual wins. It all depends on the amount of buy-ins and the buy-in amount. As a little bite to get you started, here are the top 10 prize pools in poker tournament history. All the top poker competitions are No Limit Texas Hold’em.
- 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event – $82,512,162
- 2019 WSOP Main Event – $80,548,600
- 2018 WSOP Main Event – $74,015,600
- 2010 WSOP Main Event – $68,799,059
- 2017 WSOP Main Event – $67,877,400
- 2019 Triton Super High Roller Series – Triton Million – $65,660,000
- 2011 WSOP Main Event – $64,531,000
- 2008 WSOP Main Event – $64,333,600
- 2016 WSOP Main Event – $63,327,600
- 2014 WSOP Main Event – $63,327,800
As you can see, most of the tournaments are World Series of Poker tournaments, in the main event. WSOP is the premiere poker organisation in America, and the world over. If you want to start playing yourself, we would recommend that you have a look at our best caisno poker sites or top online poker operators pages for where to play.
10. Peter Eastgate ($9,152,486)
Hailing from wet and windy Denmark, Peter Eastgate has a good reason to stick to the poker table, and one that paid off in his near $10 million win at the 2008 WSOP Main Event. Peter was only 22, making him the youngest player at the time to take out the main event of a WSOP tournament.
Peter won with a five high straight, known as a “wheel”, beating out his opponent Russian Ivan Demidov who held a two pair. Just two years after his win, Peter stepped away from gambling all together due a disastrous run on betting on the 2010 World Cup, a decision he’s called the “most prudent in [his life]”.
9. Justin Bonomo ($10,000,000)
The Big One for One Drop is a tournament hosted at WSOP each year since 2012, where the buy-in is huge, at $1,000,000, as are the cash prizes. $111,111 of each player’s buy-in is donated to the One Drop Foundation, for water initiatives around the world.
In 2018, American Justin Bonomo took out the tournament, winning $10 million and concurrently cementing his status as one of the legends of the game, temporarily sitting at no.1 on the list of the all-time poker winnings list.
8. Martin Jacobsen ($10,000,000)
Swedish Martin Jacobsen took out the 2014 WSOP Main Event, clocking up $10 million over to his bank account, to the disbelief of the pundits. Jacobsen was not one of the favourites to win the competition, but he kept his trademark cool and won against the odds.
Jacobsen’s winning hand was a three of a kind with 10s, beating out Norwegian Felix Stephensen’s 9 pair in a Scandinavian thriller. Jacobsen has yet to match those lofty heights but is a mainstay on the Swedish and international poker scenes.
7. Hossein Ensan ($10,000,000)
Another $10 million winner, Hossein Ensan topped the 2019 WSOP Main Event, beating out the Italian Dario Sammartino’s bluff with two kings in his pocket. A german, Ensan rounds out the European contribution to our list with his biggest poker tournament win.
6. Jamie Gold ($12,000,000)
Here come the Americans. In 2006, at the WSOP Main Event, Jamie Gold struck gold, taking out the tournament with a $12,000,000 victory against fellow American Paul Wasicka. Gold’s pair of queens beat out Wasicka’s 10s to create history.
Gold was a brazen player throughout the tournament, boldly stating the strength of his hand to his competitors, often telling the truth, sometimes lying. As the history books show, the strategy paid off, as he goaded his opponents into calling into his strong hands.
5. Elton Tsang ($12,248,912,)
One of two Chinese players on our prestigious list, Elton Tsang proved his mettle at the 2016 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza, an exclusive poker tournament in conjunction with the One Drop Foundation, again directing buy-in portions to water initiatives.
Tsang was a highly respected player in the private world of super high stakes poker games, but his low recognition in the public tournaments meant that he was getting banned from participation in these games. His win in Monte-Carlo catapulted him to stardom, especially in his home city of Hong Kong.
4. Dan Colman ($15,306,668)
Another winner of the Big One for One Drop, Dan Colman took out the 2014 iteration of the One Drop Foundation charitable event, toppling the 6-time winner Daniel Negreanu for his seat at the table for the greats.
A consistent online player, Colman has made almost $30 million in his career so far, and has relocated to both Montreal and Rio De Janeiro to capitalise on his online career. Colman’s successes show the changing dynamic of poker over the years, that the fast repeated online games can be more rewarding than the old-school face-to-face games.
3. Aaron Zang ($16,775,820)
Coming in hot in our third spot, Chinese Aaron Zang won the Triton Super High Roller Series – Triton Million in 2019, overcoming the great Bryn Kenney on a 5 to 1 chip deficit at the beginning of the heads up period.
Zang’s cool near-$17 million win was surpassed by Kenney – in the same game! Before entering the heads up showdown, Zang and Kenney agreed to a division of the winnings, with a complex split of the prize money eventuating that the second place-getter would actually come out with the lion’s share of the money – the biggest in history!
2. Antonio Esfandiari ($18,346,673)
Iranian-American Antonio Esfandiari was once a professional magician before bringing his tricks to the poker table. That transition paid off in spades, and in 2012 the Magician won the Big One for One Drop, to the tune of $18.3 million.
Esfandiari has since continued his professional poker career, with his wins totalling almost $28 million. He has not achieved the greatness of his initial successes, but the one huge win is enough to etch his name into the annals of poker history,
1. Bryn Kenney ($20,563,324)
The American poker legend, Bryn Kenney, certified his status in the 2019 Triton Super High Roller Series – Triton Million, by walking away with over $20 million, the most money ever won on a single poker tournament in the history of the game.
The biggest poker win ever was actually won by a second-place getter, as Kenney and Zang’s split money deal put the title in Zang’s hand but the majority of the cash in Kenney’s. An unconventional number 1, but a number 1 all the same, and in the world of poker, money is money.
Frequently Asked Questions
Poker is a hot topic, as are most of the online gaming matters we cover over in our guide, We are often swamped with questions from our readers seeking clarification or explanation of these matters. We’ve compiled the most common questions for the biggest poker win in history below.
What is the biggest poker win ever?
The biggest poker tournament win ever goes to American Bryn Kenney, who actually came second in the 2019 Triton Super High Roller Series - Triton Million, but due to a prize split deal with Chinese Aaron Zang, walked away with $20,563,324. Click here for more details.
Who is the number 1 poker player in the world?
The current world no.1 for winnings in 2020 is American Bryn Kenney, and if you look at the total amassed winnings, he also takes the cake. Look at our list of the top poker wins to see who comes out on top for single wins.
Who is the most successful poker player of all time?
In a three for three, Bryn Kenney is arguably the most successful poker player of all time, when you look at the amassed winnings. But if you want to see the highest ever single wins, then click to read our top ten list.