Whether you’re a recreational player or a seasoned professional, everyone wants to know how much money the top players in the world make. After all, if they can amass such huge winnings, surely anyone can achieve the same level of success…right?
Wrong. While it’s true that many professional poker players do earn large sums of money, the vast majority of them don’t come close to raking in what the elite few do. So just how much do these superstars of the felt make? Let’s take a look.
Professional poker players can make huge amounts of money. Some of the highest earners in the world are competitive poker players who have won millions in tournaments throughout their careers.
Many have also turned to streaming on Twitch and other platforms that allow them to generate revenue from sponsorships and advertisements, further boosting their yearly fortunes. It’s no wonder they’ve become some of the most popular celebrities in the gaming world, always encouraging new and old fans alike to try their luck at a friendly game or two.
Everyone has a chance to earn big money playing their favorite card game, although the top earners prove that you have to put in a lot of dedication to make it big on the professional circuit.
How Much Money Does a Professional Poker Player Make?
Whether you’re a budding card shark or a world-renowned professional, one of the common questions shared between poker players is: what kind of money do the big names in professional poker make? The answer can vary dramatically based on a variety of factors, including tournament winnings, endorsements, and other revenue streams.
When it comes to wins, the average hourly wage of professional poker players depends on the stakes they play. Those playing No Limit Hold’Em (NLHE) for a stake of $2/$5 generally earn an average wage of around $70 per hour. Players who up their stakes to $5/$10 will make an even higher wage at around $100/hr.
Of course, these figures are only averages, and the amount can vary drastically based on the player’s skill level and luck. In addition to this, those who have achieved notoriety through tournament wins may also be able to secure endorsement deals which can further add to their overall earnings each year.
At the end of the day, there is no definitive answer as to how much the top professional poker players make. However, it’s safe to say that those who are dedicated to constantly honing their skills and playing in tournaments around the world can certainly make a comfortable living as a professional poker player.
Which Poker Players Have Earned the Most?
When it comes to the highest earners in the world of professional poker, there is no single list that can encompass all the top players. However, a few key names stand out as being some of the most lucrative and successful poker players in history.
Bryn Kenney is undoubtedly one of the most successful and well-known professional poker players to date. He has won an astounding $57.2 million from tournaments alone since he began his career in 2006.
He has placed first in multiple different tournaments throughout his lifetime, including the 2019 Triton Million for Charity which had a buy-in of $1 million and a prize pool of $50 million. His greatest achievement, however, came at the 2019 WSOP Europe Main Event, where he took home $5 million, making him one of only two people who have ever won more than $10 million from live tournament winnings.
Justin Bonomo is another name that stands out amongst the elite few who have been able to make millions playing cards. He currently holds second place on the all-time money list, with over $45 million earned from both live and online events throughout his career.
Although he has yet to match Kenney’s earnings in terms of prize money, Bonomo has certainly made his mark on the poker world by competing and winning multiple prestigious events such as Big One for One Drop ($10 million) and Super High Roller Bowl ($3 million).
Daniel Negreanu is arguably one of if not the most famous poker players in existence today, thanks to his appearances on TV shows like Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker. He holds third place on the all-time money list.
Do Poker Players Keep Everything They Win?
Poker players don’t always keep everything they win. Although professional poker players can make a comfortable living playing the game, there are often taxes and fees that must be paid out of their winnings. Depending on the home country of the player, the exact percentage can vary greatly.
In addition to taxes, some tournaments may also require poker players to pay entry fees or rake fees to participate. These fees vary depending on the tournament and can range from 5-10% of your winnings or even more in some cases. Players need to take these into account when looking at how much money they will keep after winning a tournament.
Many professional poker players have found ways around certain fees and taxes by setting up shell companies or opening offshore accounts in countries with lower or no tax rates. This can be a risky practice, though, as it may come under scrutiny from various governing bodies who may view it as an attempt to evade taxation.
On top of all this, many professional poker players use sponsorships and endorsements as additional sources of income, which allows them to keep more of their winnings than if they were relying solely on tournament earnings. Many pro players will sign contracts with companies such as PokerStars, which will provide them with additional funds that lead to larger profits overall.
Playing poker professionally is an exciting and lucrative career path. With the right skills and dedication, anyone can make a comfortable living playing the game they love.
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