World Series of Poker (WSOP) has seen its fair share of big winners. Professionals and amateurs alike have come to Las Vegas over the years with nothing but a dream and walked away with millions to their respective names. While the prestige that comes with winning a WSOP bracelet is a nice added bonus, a shot at life changing money remains the biggest reason for thousands of players to descend to Las Vegas in June and July every year and try to make a run for it.
In the sea of players who tried their luck, there are few names that really stand out. The biggest WSOP winners earned their place in the history of poker as they were able to turn their dreams into reality. Who are these players?
Currently leading the WSOP All Time Money List is Antonio 'The Magician' Esfandiari. The man whose nickname comes from his previous profession saw the opportunities that poker had to offer and decided it was a better way to invest his time than performing magic tricks. His decision proved to be the right one, as he amassed more than $21 million in WSOP winnings. Esfandiari's biggest score came from the 2012 Big One for One Drop tournament, which featured a $1,000,000 buy-in. 'The Magician' pulled a proverbial ace up his sleeve to outlast the competition, netting a prize of cool $18.3 million.
Sitting in a second place on the list of the biggest WSOP winners is Daniel Colman. Born in early nineties, Colman is a part of generation that took advantage of the poker boom that followed Moneymaker's 2003 Main Event victory. Primarily an online heads-up specialist, he did well in World Series events as well, with total winnings amounting to $17 million. Like 'The Magician', Colman also got the bulk of his profits from the Big One for One Drop event, only two years later. He won in 2014, boosting his WSOP winnings by $15.3 million.
Canadian born (and, as of late, naturalized USA citizen) Daniel Negreanu currently occupies the third place on the WSOP All Time Money List. The player who is best known to the wider audience as an ambassador for PokerStars, the biggest online poker site in the world, has had quite a career and was recently introduced into the Poker Hall of Fame. His WSOP winnings at the moment of writing this article stand at $15.3 million. Daniel's biggest score of the career came in 2014, when he finished a runner-up to Colman in the 2014 Big One event, netting a total of $8.3 million.
Other players with 8-figure WSOP winnings include Jonathan Duhamel, 2010 WSOP Main Event winner, Phil Hellmuth Jr., the player holding a record for a total number of WSOP bracelets won, Jamie Gold, best known for his table chatter and a few others.
With World Series of Poker attracting a lot of players every year and awarding dozens of millions across number of events, these standings could change in just a few months, when things will heat up in Vegas once again. This year's WSOP offers a rich and diverse schedule, but there is no Big One for One Drop, at least during the summer. This means that changes at the top of the list are not that likely, unless one of the big names goes on a tear and take down this year's Main Event.