In this article, we’ll be shedding a little light on the top five wealthiest poker players. Perhaps they didn’t get all their money from playing Poker alone as many have endorsements, movie appearances, and other revenue streams, but have a read through anyway and see if these moneymakers inspire you to take up the game which can catapult a player into a new life. The big names will prove that skill and dedication can make a big winner out of anyone.
5. Doyle Brunson
Coming in at number five we have Doyle F. Brunson, now retired but Brunson has been clearing tables professionally for over 50 years. Born in 1933 out of Longworth, Texas, Brunson was fixing to be an NBA athlete but a broken knee took that dream away in the blink of an eye.
Thankfully he had been playing poker before the accident but during his recovery, he played a lot more. Knowing his knee would never properly recover, he took to illegal games throughout Fort Worth before becoming a professional player. Over the next half a century, he had made around $75 million.
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4. Chris Ferguson
Chris Furgeson, AKA “Jesus”, was born in Los Angeles, California, began laying poker at the tender age of 10. Honing his skills playing poker in online chat rooms he played his first tournament in 1995.
Adopting his trademark Stetson and sunglasses, Ferguson employs a very mathematical game with strong use of game theory; he would go on to win over $80 million over the next few decades.
At one point he was accused of taking part in a Ponzi scheme that took $444 million from the players on the Full Tilt Poker website. He later apologized.
3. Sam Farha
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Ishan “Sam” Farha, left this homeland in 1975 at the height of the civil war for a better life in the United States. Farha first encountered Poker after graduating from college and moving to Texas.
During a visit to Texas in the ’80s, Farha took a trip to Las Vegas and realized that he could make a living through the game. Farha has made a cumulative $100 million from playing.
2. Phil Ivey
Phillip Dennis Ivey Jr., born in Riverside, California, got his first taste of Poker while playing with colleagues at a telemarketing firm in the late ’90s. Ivey would go on to be considered, at one time, the world’s best all-round Poker player, earning him upwards of $100 million, the exact amount is unknown.
1. Dan Bilzerian
Dan Bilzerian, born in 1980 in Tampa, Florida, was the son of corporate takeover specialist Paul Bilzerian. Dan’s father left him a sizeable, but true amount unknown, trust fund which Dan has used to fund his poker career.
There is a great amount of speculation surrounding the legitimacy of Bilzerian making the majority of his $200 million from the games alone, as he so claims. Many believe that it is nearly entirely his father’s trust fund with a few million from endorsements and actual games. Bilzerian remains closed about the truth of the situation.
I hope that this gives you a good idea of what kind of life professional poker can provide for you. The one piece of advice I can leave you with is this; putting some skin in the game is a small punt but trading everything in to make your fortunes in Poker is the biggest gamble of all. Make sure you know the stakes.