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The Five Biggest Wins in Poker Tournaments

A Look At Poker's Largest Wins In History


Many people out there dream about winning a million dollar prize in a poker game, but a look at the record of poker tournaments over the years reveals that many players have actually won much bigger prize money from the game.

Has the thought of winning $5 million… $10 million… or even $18 million in one poker tournament ever crossed your mind? The simple truth is that such huge poker wins are actually possible.

The $10,000 Main Event in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) has been the largest poker tournament for the past 10 years and within these years, some of the biggest poker tournament winners have emerged from this tournament.

Most poker tournaments are held online these days. has hundreds of brand new casino sites which hold regular tournaments where players can enter and win some serious cash in the process.

When you get online, you’ll realize that the biggest web based poker win ever was in the main event of the 2010 _Online Poker World Championship _(WCOOP). The tournament was hosted by PokerStars and had a buy-in of $5,200. Up to 2,443 players took part in it, and it garnered a prize pool of $12.22 million. At the end of the day, Tyson “POTTERPOKER” Marks won the first prize of $2.3 million.

It’s good to note that 12 of the 15 biggest poker wins are from the Main Event of the World Series Poker. Below, we’re going to take you through the 5 biggest poker wins of all time, in regards to the prize money for first place.

5. 2014 WSOP Main Event

The 2014 tournament kicked off on the 5th of July and ran till the 14th. However, in November, the final 9 players came back to slug it out for the grand prize. The event involved a field of 6,683 at the beginning, with a pool of $62.8 million. But at the end, the grand prize was won by the Swedish poker player named Martin Jacobson. He went home with a cool $10 million and a bracelet. The second place was taken by Felix Stephensen, and he went home with $5.15 million.

4. 2006 WSOP Main Event

Of course, the main event of the 2006 World Series Poker is reputed as the largest tournament the world of poker has ever witnessed. This is because it had a total number of 8,773 entrants and an amazingly huge pool of up to $82,512,162. The number of players involved necessitated four different starting days. From the four groups, it was stripped down to two, and later to one, before getting to the final table with nine players on august 8.

The championship was won by Jamie Gold on the 10th of August, landing $12 million as the prize money. The second place was taken by Paul Wasicka and he won $6.1 million. From day four, Gold had a good chip lead, taking out 7 opponents out of the 8 at the final table. Before the final game, he was the clear chip leader and to knock out Paul and head home with his tens, he applied the Q-9 and table talk.

The Big 3

The 3 largest events in poker were never part of the WSOP main event – In fact, they are all events by the non-profit organisation known as One Drop Foundation.

The foundation was founded by Guy Laliberté – who’s also the founder of Cirque du Soleil -and their mission is to provide crisis ridden parts of the world with safe drinking water. For every buy-in form in each of the events, $111,111 is donated to the foundation.

The biggest buy-in for the foundation was the $1 million buy-in for the Big One for One Drop yearly NLHE event which is also part of the WSOP. This event offers the world of poker not only the biggest buy-in, but the biggest pay out too. The Big One for One Drop event kicked off in 2012 and the largest of all single poker payouts happened on the debut edition.

3. 2014 Big One for One Drop

Dan Colman has the second largest win ever witnessed in the history of poker. The event garnered a total prize money pool of $37.3 million, and to go home with the $15.3 million first place prize money, Colman had to defeat up to 42 other contestants. Second place was taken by Daniel Negreanu who went home with about $8.29 million and that placed him at the top of the All Time Money List. This tournament made his total live winnings to exceed $36.5 million. This event also turned dramatic in the last hand because of the huge pot that Colman won from Negreanu in the past few hands with A-4.

2. 2018 Big One for One Drop

Number 2 of the highest poker wins of all time is the most recent in the list has a history that excites most enthusiasts.

The final event had Fedor Holz defeated by Justin Bonomo to win the $10 million first place prize money and add one more bracelet to the one that he has already won in the tournament. With this win, Bonomo was sent to the top of the All Time Money List, knocking Daniel Negreanu from the top spot that had been there since 2014. It placed Bonomo’s all-time live winnings at a whopping $43 million.

1. 2012 Big One for One Drop

This respected event of the WSOP garnered 48 entries in 2012 with a prize pool of up to $42.67 million. The biggest win went to Antonio Esfandiari, and he went home with the $18.35 million prize money. This stands as the highest single pocket payout in the history of poker tournaments.. One significant thing here is that during the final hand, Esfandiari hit a 7-5 offsuit to defeat Sam Trickett and his Q-6. Antonio was a very excited man after that, as anyone would be taking home almost $20 million!.

Other Poker Tournament Wins To Note

It’s good to note that there are some non-NLHE tournaments that have garnered huge wins in the past too. The 2008 WSOP $50,000 H.O.R.S.E event had a win of $2 million grand prize after a long list of controversies.