If you are even anything remotely to a poker fan then you have definitely heard of a man called Phil Ivey. This is a man who has made more than $19 million in lifetime winnings from online poker and more than $17 million in lifetime winnings from live poker making him to introduce the list the biggest high roller poker winners of all time. But first things first.
What Is High Roller Poker?
High roller poker is a term that is used to refer to poker games that have the largest buy ins or the biggest pots or both. It is also commonly referred to as high stakes poker because of the sizeable amounts of money players have to stake. The pots in high stakes poker tournaments are usually amounting in excess of 6 or 7 figures.
The World Series of Poker Main event is the largest poker tournament in the world and it has been held annually for the last three decades. In fact the size of the pool used to increase every year from the beginning of the tournament in 1970 until the new laws regulating online gambling were passed in 2007. Ever player in the tournament must put up a $10,000 as a buy-in in order to play and that means the average price pool is usually seven figure sum. So far the biggest poker winnings in a single high roller poker tournament were witnessed in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event which had a prize pool in excess of $82 Million.
The 1983 World Series of Poker Main Event was the first high roller poker tournament to reach the million dollar prize pool limit and the 2004 main event set the record as the first one to hit more than ten million dollars. Most of the winnings in the list of the biggest prize pools in history were won in No Limit Hold’em poker tournaments. In fact the largest prize pool ever won outside a Hold’em poker tournament was a little over 7 million dollars, which was the prize pool at the 2008 World Series of Poker $50,000 HORSE poker tournament.
So much for the World Series of Poker Main Event, the largest prize pool in a high roller poker tournament outside the main event was the 42 million dollar prize pool in the 2012 World Series of Poker tournament whish was titled the Big One for One Drop Poker tournament. This event was organized for charity and although it had a whopping $ million dollar buy in, in which all of the 48 seats that were available for the tournament were filled. More than 10% of the buy in was donated to a charitable foundation while the organizers did not take any rake, leaving the winner with a cool 42 million dollars in total prize money.
The Biggest Lifetime High Roller Online Poker Winners
Following the lives and games of some of the biggest lifetime winners in high roller poker games might sound like an idle idea on the surface, but it can do a lot to improve your skills and experience as a poker player. It is always interesting and informative to just roll back the tape on some of their games in order to understand their thought patterns and how they managed to pull off such feats. So in the same spirit, here is a list of four of the world’s best poker players who have made a killing playing in online high stakes poker tournaments;
- Phil Ivey
Not surprisingly, Phil Ivey, the man considered to be the greatest poker player of our time, makes it to the top of the list of the highest grossing poker lifetime winners having won more than 19 million dollars over the course of his gambling career. But here is the best part, Ivey is not just great at online poker, he also remains one of the best live poker players with lifetime winnings amounting to more than 17 million dollars. He has won at least nine Word Series of Poker Gold Bracelets in his career setting him up as the highest achieving known poker player in the history of the game. Before the close of Full Tilt Poker, the company used to pay him more than nine hundred thousand dollars as monthly salary just for playing the game. Not to mention the fact that it only took him two sessions at London’s Mayfair casino to win a cool $11.5 million dollars at their Baccarat tables.
- Patrick Antonius
This Finnish poker player has bagged slightly over 11.3 million dollars in lifetime winnings but is probably best known for being the winner of the biggest pot in online poker which had a 1.3 million tag on it. He won the money in an epic final match against the young Swedish player Victor Blom in 2009. Like Ivey, Antonius also takes home a sizeable monthly salary for playing poker at their online casino from Full Tilt Poker.
- Phil Galfond
Phil is a man who rarely patrols the live poker game tournaments and has just a little over $1 million in lifetime earnings from the same but he still has a World Series of Poker Gold bracelet that he won in the 2009 tournament. In contrast, the online gambling world regards him as something of a Poker god and he is the only poker player to ever be banned from the famous Tom ‘Durr’ Dwan challenges for being too good. His lifetime winnings from high stakes virtual poker tournaments currently stand slightly above $10.03 million.
- Di Dang
The Dang brothers have been causing havoc in the online high roller poker world for the last few years and Di Dang appears to have been the more successful of the two. His lifetime winnings from online poker tournaments currently stand at about $7.4 million and he does not show any sign of stopping any time soon. Like Galfond, Di Dang is not a common figure to spot in live poker tournaments although he has won more than half a million dollars from the same over the years.