Poker Coverage:

Poker's All-Time Money List Has Changed Dramatically Since 2013

Only Seven Players From The Top 20 On Jan. 1, 2013 Remain There Today


The tournament poker landscape has seen a major shift in recent years, with the rise and proliferation of the super high roller circuit completely changing the way live tournament performance is evaluated. With multiple tournament buy-ins of $25,000 or higher each and every month, the top players in the game have never had more access to small-field events that feature massive paydays up for grabs.

The growth of the super high roller circuit has made a big impact on poker’s all-time money list. With the game’s top players able to accumulate seven-figure scores at a previously unthinkable rate, the top 20 on the live tournament earnings list has been almost entirely overhauled in recent years.

At the start of 2013, when high roller events were just beginning to become more common, the top 20 on the all-time money list looked as follows:

Place Player Tournament Earnings
1 Antonio Esfandiari $23,496,079
2 Sam Trickett $17,473,275
3 Phil Ivey $17,134,556
4 Erik Seidel $17,129,977
5 Phil Hellmuth $16,986,195
6 Daniel Negreanu $16,178,001
7 John Juanda $14,748,351
8 Michael Mizrachi $14,094,124
9 Jamie Gold $12,231,699
10 Scotty Nguyen $11,730,690
11 Joe Hachem $11,634,309
12 Peter Eastgate $11,122,953
13 Jonathan Duhamel $11,110,555
14 Carlos Mortensen $10,740,091
15 Allen Cunningham $10,503,845
16 Men Nguyen $10,324,007
17 Bertrand Grospellier $10,121,529
18 Gregory Merson $9,847,686
19 Gus Hansen $9,798,445
20 T.J. Cloutier $9,729,570

Antonio Esfandiari after winning the Big One For One Drop in 2012The list was topped by Antonio Esfandiari, who surged to the number one spot after winning the first-ever $1 million buy-in poker tournament in 2012, while the runner-up in that event Sam Trickett occupied the second-place spot. Much of the rest of the list is dominated by the biggest stars of the early 2000’s poker boom, including Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, John Juanda, Michael Mizrachi, and Scotty Nguyen. The list was also overrun with modern-era World Series of Poker main event winners, including Jamie Gold, Joe Hachem, Jonathan Duhamel, Carlos Mortensen, and Greg Merson.

Only one player had surpassed the $20 million mark in earnings by the start of 2013, and three players inside the top 20 had accumulated less than $10 million total.

As of today, a player with exactly $10 million in live tournament earnings would only sit in 72nd place on the list! Four players have cashed for more than $10 million so far this year alone, and only one player inside the top 20 has less than $20 million in career earnings, with Isaac Haxton sitting just outside that mark with $19,666,117.

Here’s a look at the current all-time money list:

Place Player Tournament Earnings
1 Justin Bonomo $43,449,427
2 Daniel Negreanu $38,663,630
3 Erik Seidel $34,635,757
4 Fedor Holz $32,992,603
5 David Peters $29,350,172
6 Daniel Colman $28,743,713
7 Antonio Esfandiari $27,166,934
8 Steve O’Dwyer $26,345,466
9 Phil Ivey $25,924,184
10 Dan Smith $25,906,008
11 Bryn Kenney $25,725,046
12 John Juanda $23,613,065
13 Scott Seiver $23,492,690
14 Phil Hellmuth $22,145,540
15 Jason Koon $22,129,827
16 Jake Schindler $22,050,360
17 Brian Rast $21,072,969
18 Mikita Badziakouski $20,873,402
19 Sam Trickett $20,823,458
20 Isaac Haxton $19,666,117

Only seven players from the 2013 list are still among the top 20, in Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Phil Hellmuth, and Sam Trickett. All of these players remain inside the top 20 as a result of having added several million in earnings since 2013. The leading amount of money won at the start of 2013 ($23,496,079) would only be good for 13th place today.

Fedor Holz is one of many young high roller regulars inside the current top 20 who were essentially nowhere near the top of the list at the start of 2013. In fact, Holz had only made one live tournament cash by that time, for $19,288. He now sits in fourth place with $32,992,603.

Justin Bonomo wins the 2018 Super High Roller BowlWith $43,449,427 in lifetime live earnings, Justin Bonomo is the current leader on the all-time money list. Bonomo is having an incredible 2018, having won 10 titles and cashed for more than $25.2 million so far this year. That is the most money won by any player in a calendar year, eclipsing the $22 million that Dan Colman won in 2014.

With it now being possible for multiple players to cash for eight figures in a single year, it seems likely that the of the all-time money list will see plenty of fluctuation moving forward. Phil Hellmuth lamented how the super high rollers have changed the top of the leaderboard during a sideline interview at the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl, which Justin Bonomo went on to win for $5 million. That event was the one that saw Bonomo take the top spot on the money list, and he had a response to Hellmuth’s comments after emerging victorious.

“The all-time money list is definitely not a clear ranking of the best player in the world right now, but it still means a lot,” said Bonomo. “Some guys say, ‘Oh, that’s just all about who plays the most high rollers.’ Well, I’m sorry to break it to you, Phil Hellmuth, but the people playing these high rollers are the best players in the world, and that’s why we are at the top of the list. Sure, somebody who plays more of these events will have an advantage [at accruing earnings], but it really does entail competing against the best players in the world nearly every single day, and I am proud of how I’ve done.”

While super high rollers might have once seemed like an unsustainable trend, with more than five years of growth it seems increasingly likely that these events will continue to take place for years to come.



4 years ago



4 years ago

Top on the All Time Money List is The Rake !