Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

World Series of Poker Stats -- Who’s Been the Best Since the Boom? Part 2 of 3

A Detailed Look at the World Series Since Moneymaker’s Win


Chris Moneymaker won a boatload of cash for his win in 2003.In 2003, Chris Moneymaker changed everything.

Just like the NBA keeps different stats for different eras (after the institution of the shot clock or the three-point line, for example), we here at Card Player decided it was time to begin keeping track of the major stats of the post-Moneymaker era of the World Series of Poker.

We’ve gone through the results, crunched the numbers, and have figured out who has had the best results from 2004-2009.

Yesterday, we looked at bracelets. While Phil Hellmuth may be the all-time leader, no one has been better than Jeffrey Lisandro in the last six years in terms of hardware. Today, we will look at cashes and overall prize money.

Make sure you check out Part 1 of the “WSOP Stats: Who’s been the best since the boom?” series, as well.

Most WSOP Cashes (2004-2009)

Rank Name WSOP Cashes WSOP Earnings
1 Phil Hellmuth 35 $2,549,574
2 John Juanda 34 $2,088,636
3 Barry Greenstein 33 $2,087,569
4 Daniel Negreanu 32 $2,195,272
5 Jeffrey Lisandro 29 $2,553,171
6 Chris Ferguson 28 $1,475,497
6 Chau Giang 28 $948,352
8 Anthony Cousineau 27 $340,530
8 Men Nguyen 27 $461,995
8 J.C. Tran 27 $1,686,218
11 Erik Seidel 25 $1,781,035
12 David Chiu 24 $1,302,911
13 Blair Rodman 23 $1,284,281
13 Humberto Brenes 23 $972,181
13 Thor Hansen 23 $720,149
13 Allen Cunningham 23 $6,036,432
13 Max Pescatori 23 $1,329,886
18 Kirill Gerasimov 22 $1,291,874
18 Chad Brown 22 $980,637
18 David Plastik 22 $249,085
18 Erick Lindgren 22 $1,938,125
18 Marco Traniello 22 $358,772

No matter how you slice up the stats, Hellmuth is seemingly always near the top. The self-proclaimed Poker Brat has taken a lot of verbal abuse in recent years (almost as much as he doles out), with many top online grinders and other pros publicly critiquing his skills and abilities. They’ve said anything from “His game doesn’t hold up in the modern era,” to “The game has passed him by.” But take a look at the post-boom stats, and Hellmuth is right up there with the best of them.

Phil HellmuthWith 35 WSOP cashes since 2004, no player has made the money more than the Wisconsin native. Along with his two WSOP bracelets since the boom (tied for No. 5), Hellmuth can make a solid case for the title of “best pro in the WSOP in the modern era.”

Just behind Hellmuth, and perhaps looking to surpass him this summer, are three of the game’s best — John Juanda, Barry Greenstein, and Daniel Negreanu. Lisandro, who leads all players with the most bracelets since 2004, is impressively in fifth place on this list, as well.

Allen Cunningham, one of only four players with at least three WSOP bracelets in the modern era, is tied for No. 12 for WSOP cashes since 2004. He easily has the most WSOP prize money in this group in the past six years, due to his fourth-place finish in the 2006 WSOP main event.

Allen CunninghamThe great Phil Ivey didn’t make this list, although with 20 WSOP cashes since 2004, he’s not too far out of the picture.

Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson’s stats show that just because he hasn’t won a bracelet since 2003 doesn’t mean he isn’t producing solid results. No player has more WSOP cashes without a bracelet (28) since the boom, although Tony Cousineau (27) is certainly close.

For comparison, here is the all-time WSOP cashes list:

Most WSOP Cashes All-Time

Rank Name WSOP Cashes
1 Phil Hellmuth 75
2 Men Nguyen 65
3 Chris Ferguson 60
4 Berry Johnston 57
4 Erik Seidel 57
6 Humberto Brenes 55
6 T.J. Cloutier 55
8 Chau Giang 51
9 Chris Bjorin 50
9 John Juanda 50
11 David Chiu 48
12 John Cernuto 47
13 Brent Carter 46
13 Thor Hansen 46
13 Mike Sexton 46
16 Barry Greenstein 44
17 Howard Lederer 43
17 Daniel Negreanu 43
17 An Tran 43
20 Johnny Chan 42
20 Anthony Cousineau 42
20 Dewey Tomko 42
23 Allen Cunningham 41

Hellmuth has clearly made the WSOP his focus, and it’s paid off. At 75 cashes, he’s 10 ahead of Men Nguyen in second place.

Tony CousineauTwo former world champs, Ferguson and Berry Johnston, occupy the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, respectively, while the always dangerous Erik Seidel is fifth on both the all-time cash list and the all-time bracelet list.

Cousineau, tied for No. 20, has the unfortunate distinction of having the most career WSOP cashes without ever winning a bracelet. In fact, he holds that honor pretty easily. With 42 cashes, the next highest player in terms of cashes and no bracelets is Surinder Sunar with 30.

WSOP Money Leaders

This category is perhaps the least surprising of the three. With the WSOP main event becoming a global phenomenon, its illustrious prize pool and immense first-place reward has propelled the recent winners to the top of the all-time list. The differences between the all-time list and the post-2003 list are slight, but here are the two lists:

WSOP Money Leaders (2004-2009)

Rank Name WSOP Earnings WSOP Cashes
1 Jamie Gold $12,057,518 4
2 Peter Eastgate $9,221,395 2
3 Joe Cada $8,584,121 3
4 Jerry Yang $8,250,000 1
5 Joseph Hachem $7,982,111 10
6 Greg Raymer $6,482,167 12
7 Paul Wasicka $6,217,738 6
8 Ivan Demidov $6,187,107 4
9 Allen Cunningham $6,036,332 23
10 Darvin Moon $5,182,601 1
11 Michael Binger $4,853,927 19
12 Tuan Lam $4,851,424 3
13 Dennis Phillips $4,699,375 3
14 Steven Dannenmann $4,271,489 3
15 David Williams $4,245,964 17
16 Ylon Schwartz $4,021,303 14
17 Phil Ivey $3,991,429 20
18 Antoine Saout $3,593,898 2
19 Vitaly Lunkin $3,374,896 8
20 Rhett Butler $3,221,237 2

WSOP All-Time Money Leaders

Rank Name WSOP Earnings WSOP Cashes
1 Jamie Gold $12,057,518 4
2 Peter Eastgate $9,221,395 2
3 Joe Cada $8,584,121 3
4 Jerry Yang $8,250,000 1
5 Joseph Hachem $7,982,111 10
6 Allen Cunningham $6,714,388 41
7 Greg Raymer $6,487,512 13
8 Ivan Demidov $6,388,017 4
9 Paul Wasicka $6,217,738 6
10 Phil Hellmuth $6,105,254 75
11 Darvin Moon $5,182,601 1
12 Phil Ivey $4,861,490 36
13 Michael Binger $4,853,748 19
14 Tuan Lam $4,851,424 3
15 Scotty Nguyen $4,727,717 37
16 Dennis Phillips $4,699,375 3
17 T.J. Cloutier $4,324,186 55
18 David Williams $4,299,996 18
19 Steven Dannenmann $4,271,489 3
20 Johnny Chan $4,241,448 42

As you can see, the top five spots in the two above lists are identical, and most of the top 10 in the two lists are quite similar, as well.

In the top 20 list of the WSOP money leaders from 2004-2009, Vitaly Lunkin stands alone as the only person to make it into the standings without a main-event final table result to his name. The two-time bracelet winner is there thanks in large part to his incredible 2009 WSOP.

Vitaly LunkinLunkin won the commemorative $40,000 no-limit hold’em event for nearly $1.9 million, finished runner-up for the $10,000 PLO title for $419,832, and came in fourth place in the $50,000 Players Championship for $368,813 in 2009. Add all that, along with an additional $628,417 he received for winning a $1,500 bracelet in 2008, and you’ve got an astonishing tournament poker résumé.

On the all-time WSOP money list, there are just four players who have gotten there without a main-event final-table finish in the post-Moneymaker era. They are Hellmuth, (No. 10), Ferguson (No. 11), Scotty Nguyen (No. 16), and T.J. Cloutier (No. 19). The first three players won the main event before the boom, while Cloutier has finished runner-up twice.

In fact, all of this talking about who has done what without the extravagant main-event final table prize money added to the mix has inspired us to make one final list.

Tomorrow, in the final part of this feature, we will provide a list of the top players in terms of WSOP prize money from 2004-2009, but with the added qualifier of excluding all final table results of the WSOP’s Las Vegas main event. We understand that’s a lot of restrictions for one category, but with the main-event final table providing such massive scores to whomever is fortunate enough to get there, it really skews the all-time list to who was able to run well over that particular week.

We think this final list will provide an interesting perspective on who has accumulated a ton of cash without the one-hit wonder known as the main event.

Check back tomorrow for the final edition of the “WSOP Stats — Who’s been the best since the boom?” series.

Editor’s Note: Statistics are based on the record-keeping of the World Series of Poker. If you notice any omissions or see the need for any corrections, please e-mail



12 years ago

one list you over looked is how many tournaments played did it take Hellmuth to get his 75 cashes vs other players % of cashes vs tourneys played. How about earnings per entry which would have to probably ignore anyone with less then 25 or 50 tournament entries in the WSOP.


12 years ago

They’ve said anything from “His game doesn’t hold up in the modern era,” to “The game has passed him by.” But take a look at the post-boom stats, and Hellmuth is *the best of the best* of them.



12 years ago

I agree Clunker. Cashes per tournaments played would probably change the order

Will Cardplayer add this stat? please...thanks


12 years ago

Dear Cardplayer:

We refuse to accept the fact that Phil Helmuth is one of the most accomplished money makers in WSOP. Will you please make a list, no matter how obscure it has to be, that has Helmuth on bottom? It won't shut us up, but we'd finally be able to Jizz in our pants over something other than porn online.



12 years ago

Easy solution:

Simply list the total number of tournaments entered, and leave the rest to us.

We can do the math.


12 years ago

...meaning of the top 25-or-so players who've been in the most WSOP bracelet events...


12 years ago

King it is not and anti PH idea it would show how many entries it takes a play to cash. And PH would probably still be #1.


12 years ago

After Kingwalter's amazing WSOP run this year, he will be appearing on these leaderboards and in 5 years will be owning all of them. The KING lives!!!