Poker All-Time Money List – The $30 Million Club
If you look at the Poker All-Time Money List back in 2009 and compare it to today, you’d understand the impact of High Roller tournaments. The #1 spot in 2009 has just $12 million in career earnings. Fast forward ten years and there are multiple players in the top ten with more than $12 million in earnings in a single year.
Today, we will take a look at the current players atop the Poker All-Time Money List. Instead of giving you a “Top 10 List,” we will instead give you a list of players that have $30 million or more in live tournament earnings. We will call this the $30 million club.
The top three players on the list have formed their own, exclusive, $40 million club. Atop the list is the only person in poker history with more than $50 million in live poker tournament earnings.
Jason Koon is the first player in the $30 million club with $30.34 million in career earnings. Nearly $20 million of those earnings have come in the last two years. Last year, Koon won $12.48 million in events and tacked on another $7 million this year.
When playing well, Koon can compete with any player in the world, but it remains to be seen whether he can keep up the torrid pace he’s set in the last couple of years. He’s presently 9th on the Poker All-Time Money List and could certainly climb higher if he can prove consistent.
English high-stakes tournament pro Stephen Chidwick has been a consistent player for years but in the last two years he has caught fire. He won $10.19 million last year and thus far in 2019, he has won a career-best $11.92 million.
Chidwick broke through for his first career WSOP bracelet this summer after winning the $25,000 PLO Event at the 2019 WSOP. He then finished fourth in the Triton Million for Charity Event, earning a career-best $5.36 million.
Chidwick is one of the most feared players in the high stakes arena and is presently 8th on the Poker All-Time Money list with $32.14 million.
Back in 2016, Fedor Holz had a record-setting run after winning $16.09 million in live tournaments. That year, he finished runner up in the Super High Roller Bowl, earning $3.5 million. Later that year, he won the One Drop High Roller at the 2016 WSOP for his first carer bracelet and $4.98 million.
After that win, Holz “retired” from poker. We say “retired” because he has won $7.6 million more in live events and millions at online casinos. Holz doesn’t play full-time anymore but is still 7th on the Poker All-Time Money List with $32.55 million in earnings.
Over the last five years, there have been fewer players more consistent in live tournaments than David Peters. He has won at least $3 million a year with $7.95 million in earning sin 2016 and $10.78 million in earnings in 2018.
His 2018 campaign was a career-best with five seven-figure scores. Amazingly, the only outright win that year was a win in the 2018 Poker Masters. Peters’ consistency has allowed him to jump into the top ten where he currently sits sixth with $33.40 million. We expect Peters to steadily climb this list over the next few years.
If you look at the Poker All-Time Money list ten years ago and today, only two players still rank in the top ten. Back in 2009, Erik Seidel was 10th on the list with just $9.3 million in career earnings. Since that time, the eight-time WSOP bracelet winner has nearly quadrupled his career earnings thanks to high roller events.
His dominance back around 2011 saw him pick up his new nickname “Seiborg” en route to taking over the top spot on the All-Time Money List. Seidel still is a threat in any high roller event he enters, but he is not keeping pace with some of the other players on the list. He is still #5 on the list with $35.72 million in earnings.
Like Peters, Dan Smith is one of the most consistent live tournament players of the last five years. Since 2016, he’s won no less than $4.1 million per year and in 2019 he’s won a career-best $10.77 million.
Smith just scored a career-best $8.76 million back in August after winning the Triton Million for Charity. The win shot him up to 4th place on the All-Time Money List with $36.74 million in earnings. If he stays consistent, he will move up to the top spot in a couple of year’s time.
Back in 2009, Daniel Negreanu was second on the Poker All-Time Money List. Now he is third. The big difference? In 2009 he had only $11.20 million in earnings. Now he is one of three players with over $40 million in earnings.
Negreanu has $41.85 million in career earnings and held the top spot on the All-Time Money List until 2018. His ability to compete at a high level over the years has helped to establish him as one of the all-time greats in poker.
The question now is whether Negreanu has a legitimate shot to retake the #1 spot on the list. In recent months, Negreanu has gotten married and is looking to start a family. As such, it appears he will not chase the live dealer casino games or the live pokertournament circuit as hard as he used to. However, if he can continue to play at a high level when he does play, we cannot discount his ability to make another run at #1.
The man to dethrone Daniel Negreanu from the #1 spot on the All-Time Money List was Justin Bonomo. Bonomo put together a historic year in 2018, earning $25.42 million in live tournaments. He tacked on another $5 million this year. He became the first member of the $40 million club in 2018.
Despite having the greatest year in poker history in 2018, Bonomo recently hinted that he may be significantly reducing his time on the tournament circuit. He says he has nothing left to prove. Bonomo has $48.5 million in live earnings but is amazingly not the #1 player on the All-Time Money List.
Bryn Kenney is the king of the mountain for the Poker All-Time Money List. He presently has $55.5 million in earnings and is the only player to win more than $50 million in live poker tournaments.
Kenney has put together a remarkable run over the last few years, winning $5 million or more since 2016. This year, he set a new all-time record with $29.82 million in tournament earnings. He won $20.56 million of that in a single event.
Kenney finished second in the Triton Million for Charity Event behind Dan Smith earlier this year, but a chip deal between the two locked up $20.56 million for Kenney. After taking the lead on the Poker All-Time Money List, Kenney claims that nobody will have a chance to catch him.
That remains to be seen as there are numerous high roller events played each year and most players on this list will be competing. Kenney will have to continue putting together winning years to keep the top spot, or another deserving player will usurp him.