Million Dollar Movers!

4 years ago
The Biggest Winners in The Last Half of Year
09:04
25 Oct

(Photo: Cardplayer.com)

If a week is a long time in politics, then six months is a lifetime in poker! Well not quite, but it’s certainly long enough for players to burst their way into the ‘All-time top 100 tournament earners’ – or edge their way closer to the top 50, top 10 or even top dog spot!

Let’s have a look at some of the biggest winners in the last half year – and maybe separate the ‘one-time multi-millionaires’ from those who are regularly pulling down huge scores to advance up the money-ladder.


Seidel has it in spades!

If it looked like Canadian poker/superstar Daniel Negreanu was so far out of reach as to be unassailable in dollars-won debate, then think again. The incredible Erik Seidel has had a great time since May this year, adding some $3,337,397 to the delight of his bank manager – and is now only that amount again behind Negreanu.

$32,619,169 compared to $29,840,639 is the closest the top two have been in a long time, Seidel’s $2,4million 3rd place in May’s Super High Roller Bowl, plus an extra $million since, sees him overtake Antonio Esfandiari by a clear $2.5million.



Not the only millionaire named Elton!

My main reason for checking out the movers-and-shakers this week was the remarkable jump by Elton Tsang from 2921st place right up to 21st!

Of course the Canadian/HongKong high-stakes cash game player is only their courtesy of his Monte Carlo Big One Drop victory, a sweet $12,248,912 the payback for his $1million buy-in gamble at Cirque du Soleil maestro-turned-poker philanthropist Guy Laliberte’s ‘pro-less’ extravaganza.

But Tsang’s haul is still only the second largest 6-monthly paycheck amongst the all-time top 100, the irrepressible German wunderkind Fedor Holz compiling an extraordinary $12,411,932 over the same period, jumping to number 9 in the list and having played and beaten everybody and everything to get there!


(Photo: WSOP.com)


Main Event winners can jump the queue

With the WSOP Main Event final table just a matter of days away, the $8million top prize will launch someone else into the top 100. Vallejo Pons, for example, has won literally nothing before this summer’s amazing run – but a victory next week would see him launch directly into 72st spot – ahead of outstandingly consistent players such as Byron Kaverman and Mustapha Kanit!

Last year’s victor, Joe McKeehen was in a similar situation but has since proven himself to be a ‘proper poker pro’ and his $1,312,784 earnings over the last 180 days has seen him climb from 25th to 20th.

Winning the admittedly huge second prize from the ‘November Nine’ showdown – a more-than-useful $4,658,452 – still wouldn’t be enough for any of the others to topple Rick Salomon in 100th spot with $6,394,283, but Anatoly Gurtovy joined Tsang in taking the easy route – his $5,987,688 from finishing second in Monte Carlo taking him from 2387th all the way to 96th.


(Photo: WSOP.com)


Big Phil keeps on moving up

In total there are 20 players in the top 100 who have had $1million+ half-year winnings, and one of the most surprising to me was big Phil Hellmuth, the 14-bracelet (or should that be 14-carat!) ‘poker brat’ who is currently working on an autobiography of the same name.

His $1,667,098 came mostly from his fine run at the same Super High Roller Bowl which saw Holz and Seidel earn millions, and Hellmuth’s $20,977,293 total now places him 7th in the all-time earners list – one spot behind Scott Seiver and some $3million behind Phil Ivey who lies 5th (but who may need his money to pay off his $10millioncasino court case loss!)

Of course, poker has a lot of money floating around! The $1million 9th place finisher at the Main Event may not crack the ‘top 100 all-timers club’, but along with many others they won’t be short of a shekel or two to carry on their quest to rise up the ladder!



The ‘$1million movers’ from the top 100 are shown below, with thanks as always to the magnificent Hendon Mob database:


Articles 1974

Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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