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23 Oct 2018

What the world’s best poker players are worth

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A quick scan of the Official Global Poker Index will tell you where the world’s best poker players rank. But take a closer look at how much poker stars earn, and you’ll catch sight of truly mouth-watering payouts.

This list of 2018’s top poker players and their winnings will show you just how much is at stake when the pros face one another.

1. Stephen Chidwick

Hometown: Deal, England
Biggest win: $1,364,000
Lifetime earnings: $17 million

It’s been hard to ignore Chidwick’s triumphant year-to-date. In 2018 alone, the poker no. 1 has scooped up over $4 million in poker winnings.

Chidwick got the year off to a flying start, winning five of eight tournaments at the US Poker Open in Vegas. Yet the thrills haven’t stopped there, with Chidwick clinching payouts of over $1 million at both the 2018 MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona and the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl China.

2. Adrian Mateos

Hometown: Madrid, Spain
Biggest win: $1,379,300
Lifetime earnings: $16 million

Adrian Mateos has remained firmly at the top table of global poker since rising to prominence in 2013. At just 19 years old, Mateos won the WSOP Europe Main Event along with its €1 million top prize.

Five years on, Mateos remains a formidable opponent. In 2017, he had 25 top ten finishes, including victories in Macau, the Caribbean, Monte Carlo and the WSOP Heads-up $10k Bracelet event in Las Vegas.

3. William Alex Foxen

Hometown: Cold Spring Harbor, United States
Biggest win: $1,134,202
Lifetime earnings: $4 million

2018 has been William Alex Foxen’s year. In early 2017, Alex Foxen was still looking for his first six-figure cash. 12 months on, the poker champ has stepped up his game with a series of lucrative wins.

Alex Foxen makes up one half of the world’s most famous poker couple. His girlfriend, Kristen Bicknell, finished just behind him at the Mid Stakes Poker Tour in Macau earlier this year.


4. David Peters

Hometown: Toledo, United States 
Biggest win: $2,309,000 
Lifetime earnings: $22 million

David Peters rose to fame in 2015 when he won the EPT Malta High Roller to the tune of over $600,000. Shortly after, Peters was named Cardplayer Magazine Player of the Year.

Just as comfortable playing $500 events as $50,000 high roller tournaments, Peters thrives at all levels of play. Having recently won the Aria $25k High Roller Series, Peters’ momentum shows no signs of slowing.

5. Justin Bonomo

Hometown: LA, United States
Biggest win: $5 million
Lifetime earnings: $33 million

Justin Bonomo is 2018’s poker prodigy after rising rapidly up the rankings. His winnings from this year alone amount to a jaw-dropping $14 million!

Bonomo’s recent wins include the Super High Roller Bowl for $5 million and the Super High Roller Bowl China for $4,823,077. Not bad for a break-out year.

6. Joseph Mckeehen

Hometown: North Wales, United States
Biggest win: $7,683,346
Lifetime earnings: $15.5 million

Joe McKeehen is one of the most experienced players in this list. He’s cashed out at 145 tournaments to date, including four WPT final table appearances and two WSOP bracelets.

McKeehen might not win every competition, but he consistently finishes in a runner-up position. In high-stakes games, even a top-five finish will earn you a tidy sum.

7. Sam Greenwood

Hometown:Toronto, Canada
Biggest win: $1,839,200 
Lifetime earnings: $11 million 

In April, Greenwood stunned his fellow poker pros by taking three high roller titles in the space of three weeks.

The wins included €1.5 million at the Super High Roller at EPT Monte Carlo, $1 million at the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final in Barcelona and $154,539 playing the €6000 High Roller at WPT Amsterd

8. Jason Koon

Hometown: Las Vegas, United States 
Biggest win: $3,653,260 
Lifetime earnings: $21 million

Prior to 2018, Koon had already amassed over $10 million in tournament cashes. But these early winnings have only fuelled his appetite to climb the poker leaderboard.

Koon’s biggest victory came earlier this year at the Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro. It was here that Koon won $3,579,914 playing the Short Deck event; the biggest ever Triton event in terms of entries and prize pool.

9. Rainer Kempe

Hometown: Berlin, Germany 
Biggest win: $5 million 
Lifetime earnings: $16 million

The highlight of Rainer Kempe’s career came in 2016 when he beat Fedor Holz at the final table of the Super High Roller Bowl.

The German talent got 2018 off to a strong start, winning a handful of tournaments including the $100,000 High Roller Re-entry.

10. Bryn Kenney

Hometown: Long Beach, United States 
Biggest win: $1,944,302 million 
Lifetime earnings: $25 million

In his youth, Bryn Kenney was ranked number 1 in the world under 16 poker rankings. Dropping out of college at 17 to play online poker full-time, Kenney has since won a string of big buy-in tournaments.

Kenney narrowly missed out on Player of the Year honours in 2017, after Adrian Mateos pipped him to the post. Let’s see if he can get himself back in contention for the title as this year progresses.

Measuring the worth of top poker players

The net worth of the world’s best poker players is tricky to pinpoint. Their lifetime earnings certainly run into the millions, but costs like buy-ins, rakes and taxes on poker winnings reduce the net returns players receive.

Of course, one thing is certain: to maintain their position at the top, poker’s elite have had to master bankroll management. Oh, and they likely know how Skrill for poker helps them do just that.

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