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Poker Leaderboard: Young Guns (30 Or Less)

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Sep 08, 2021


Age has a few benefits in the tournament poker world. Being further along in life brings not only the additional years of experience to sharpen one’s game, but also results in a larger amount of events played when compared with players who have ‘come of age’ more recently. With that being said, some of the most successful live tournament poker players in the world have been able to play in a Las Vegas casino for less than a decade.

German poker pro Fedor Holz is currently the highest-earning tournament player 30 years or younger. The two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner has more than $34.2 million in career earnings despite being just 28 years old. He cashed for $16.3 million in 2016 alone, banking four separate seven-figure scores in one of the best runs in poker history. His largest-ever payday came when he finished second in the 2018 WSOP $1 million buy-in Big One For One Drop, earning $6 million for his runner-up showing to Justin Bonomo.

Mikita Badziakouski is the only other player on this list to surpass $30 million in earnings. The Belarusian high-stakes crusher recorded his first live cash in 2010 at the age of 18, which is the legal gaming age in many international casinos. He has gone on to accrue more than $30.7 million in total earnings, with eight seven-figure paydays, including the $5.25 million he pocketed as the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Jeju $2 million HKD (roughly $255k USD at the time) buy-in event.

Spanish poker pro Adrian Mateos became the youngest player to ever win three WSOP gold bracelets at just 22 years old. Now 27, Mateos has nearly $21.7 million in lifetime cashes to his name. His largest score remains the $1.37 million he earned for taking down the 2013 WSOP Europe main event at just 19 years old.

While the majority of this list of ‘young guns’ is made up of international players, American pros Alex Foxen, Joe McKeehen, and Sean Winter have also cracked the top 10.

Rank Player Age Career Earnings
1 Fedor Holz 28 $34,202,365
2 Mikita Badziakouski 29 $30,708,159
3 Adrian Mateos 27 $21,659,124
4 Alex Foxen 30 $18,701,333
5 Dominik Nitsche 30 $18,471,955
6 Joe McKeehen 30 $18,032,192
7 Sean Winter 30 $17,922,857
8 Ole Schemion 28 $16,578,391
9 Steffen Sontheimer 30 $13,755,117
10 Michael Addamo 27 $12,600,716