It is impossible to say exactly who invented poker and when – given that cards have been around since time immemorial, the games have also been around for a very long time. It is known that poker is at least 500 years old – during half a millennium the rules of the game have changed more than once, the names of the best players thundered over the countries and continents and disappeared under the onslaught of time. Currently, poker is the third most popular game among viewers – only soccer and rallying are ahead of it (yes, tennis and golf are not as popular).
Of course, like any popular sport, poker makes a lot of money for the best players. For example, Daniel Negreanu in his career has won a total of just under $34 million (and that’s after taxes). Here is a ranking of the players who have won the most in history.
5. Peter Eastgate: $9 million
This humble Dane never dreamed of world fame – he just liked to play, so he slowly won tournament after tournament. One day he dared to take part in the famous Ladbrokes tournament. Without too much effort Peter beat over 7,000 players – but the final competition lasted quite a long two days. The winner looked more stunned than happy at the end of the game.
4. Martin Jacobson: $10 million
A professional poker player who originally dreamed of becoming a chef, but quickly realized that he was much better at gambling than frying meatballs. The Swedish winner of the 2014 tournament is respected by his peers and spectators for his modesty and friendliness. Throughout his 12-year career, Martin has managed to win just under $15 million – and he continues to push his luck (so far).
3. Jamie Gold: $12 million
The prize pool of the World Series of Poker was the biggest in the history of poker – almost 83 million dollars, but the number of participants was impressive as well – there were almost 9,000 people wishing to snatch the jackpot. Jamie Gold was criticized from all sides – he was arrogant and haughty at the gaming table, but he received a winning combination of cards during the dealings, which he also managed to improve in the game.
2. Daniel Coleman: $15.3 million
That year, the duel at the card table lasted three days – needless to say, that at the end of a decent set of nerves from both players and spectators. Several people fainted, and the American player, who won, looked very tired. In an interview Daniel said that he had no joy and poker, in his opinion, is a very tough game. I guess the amount of winnings somewhat reconciled him to this fact.
1. Antonio Esfandiari: $18.3 million
This 2012 WSOP tournament win has yet to be beaten by anyone so far. Prior to his career as a professional player, Antonio was a fairly mediocre magician who worked at third-rate venues. No one took the American seriously as a serious competitor at all – and in vain. It is not known for sure if magic helped him in any way in the game, but after two days of competition, it was this player who won.