List of largest poker tournaments in history (by prize pool)

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For the last eight years, the largest tournament in the world has been the World Series of Poker Main Event. With the exception of 1992, the US$10,000 buy-in tournament has increased in prize pool year-over-year from its start in 1970 until 2007 (the latter a result of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which reduced the number of players winning their seats via online play).

The first tournament to reach a million dollar prize pool was the 1983 WSOP Main Event. The WSOP Main Event of 2004 had the first prize pool of above $10,000,000.

The largest non Hold'em Tournament has been the 2008 WSOP $50K HORSE with a prize pool of $7,104,000 and the first prize of $1,989,120 going to Scotty Nguyen.[1]

Below are the 30 largest poker tournaments with respect to the prize pool in United States dollars and not number of entrants. This list includes live and online poker.

Currently, the 11 largest prize pools in history have been WSOP Main Events. The largest prize pool outside of the Main Event is the 2012 WSOP event known as The Big One for One Drop, held from July 1–3. It featured a buy-in of US$1 million, the largest in poker history. Of the buy-in, $111,111 was a charitable donation to the One Drop Foundation, and the WSOP took no rake. All 48 seats available for that event were filled, resulting in a prize pool of $42,666,672, with over 5 million dollars donated.[2] The largest pool for any event outside of the WSOP was the 2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge, with a HK$2 million (US$260,000) buy-in plus a rebuy option. The event drew a field of 73, of which 21 made a rebuy, resulting in a prize pool of HK$182,360,000 (slightly over US$23.5 million).[3]

All of the 30 richest tournaments to date were played in No Limit Hold'em.

Event Prize Pool (US$) Winner 1st Prize Ref.
2006 WSOP Main Event $82,512,162 United States Gold, JamieJamie Gold $12,000,000 [4]
2010 WSOP Main Event $68,799,059 Canada Duhamel, JonathanJonathan Duhamel $8,944,310 [5]
2011 WSOP Main Event $64,531,000 Germany Heinz, PiusPius Heinz $8,711,956 [6]
2008 WSOP Main Event $64,333,600 Denmark Eastgate, PeterPeter Eastgate $9,152,416 [7]
2016 WSOP Main Event $63,327,800 United States Qui Nguyen $8,005,310 [8]
2014 WSOP Main Event $62,820,200 Sweden Martin Jacobson $10,000,000 [9]
2012 WSOP Main Event $62,021,200 United States Merson, GregGreg Merson $8,527,982 [10]
2009 WSOP Main Event $61,043,600 United States Cada, JoeJoe Cada $8,547,042 [11]
2015 WSOP Main Event $60,348,000 United States McKeehen, JoeJoe McKeehen $7,680,021 [12]
2007 WSOP Main Event $59,784,954 United States Yang, JerryJerry Yang $8,250,000 [13]
2013 WSOP Main Event $59,708,800 United States Riess, RyanRyan Riess $8,359,531 [14]
2005 WSOP Main Event $52,818,610 Australia Hachem, JoeJoe Hachem $7,500,000 [15]
2012 WSOP Event 55 – The Big One for One Drop $42,666,672 United States Esfandiari, AntonioAntonio Esfandiari $18,346,673 [16]
2014 WSOP Event 57 – The Big One for One Drop $37,333,338 United States Colman, DanielDaniel Colman $15,306,668 [17]
2004 WSOP Main Event $24,224,400 United States Raymer, GregGreg Raymer $5,000,000 [18]
2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller $23,511,128 China Stanley Choi $6,465,560 [19]
Super High Roller Bowl 2015 $21,500,000 United States Rast, BrianBrian Rast $7,525,000 [20]
2016 WSOP Event 67 – High Roller for One Drop $19,316,565 Germany Holz, FedorFedor Holz $4,981,775 [21]
2013 WSOP Event 47 – One Drop High Roller $17,891,148 United States Anthony Gregg $4,830,619 [22]
2007 WPT Championship $15,495,750 Spain Mortensen, CarlosCarlos Mortensen $3,970,415 [23]
2013 GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions Main Event $15,376,897 Germany Heinecker, NiklasNiklas Heinecker $4,456,885 [24]
2011 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure $15,132,000 United States Hall, GalenGalen Hall $2,300,000 [25]
Super High Roller Bowl 2016 $15,000,000 United States Kempe, RainerRainer Kempe $5,000,000 [26]
2010 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure $14,831,300 United States Gimbel, HarrisonHarrison Gimbel $2,200,000 [27]
2006 WPT Championship $14,671,250 United States Bartholdi, Jr., JoeJoe Bartholdi, Jr. $3,760,165 [28]
2015 WSOP Event 58 – High Roller for One Drop $14,249,925 Canada Duhamel, JonathanJonathan Duhamel $3,989,985 [29]
2008 EPT Grand Final $13,323,417 Canada Chorny, GlenGlen Chorny $3,196,354 [30]
2008 WPT Championship $13,216,250 United States Chiu, DavidDavid Chiu $3,389,140 [31]
2009 EPT Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure $12,674,000 Canada Nazari, PooryaPoorya Nazari $3,000,000 [32]
2011 PokerStars 10th Anniversary Celebration - Sunday Million $12,423,200 Canada Weir, KyleKyle Weir ('First-Eagle') $1,146,574.65 online[33]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hendon Mob
  2. ^ Dalla, Nolan (June 30, 2012). "The Biggest One—World's Most Spectacular Poker Extravaganza Starts Sunday". World Series of Poker. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Peters, Donnie (August 31, 2012). "Stanley Choi Wins Macau High Stakes Challenge for US$6,465,746". PokerNews.com. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ Hendon Mob
  5. ^ wsop.com
  6. ^ "PIUS HEINZ WINS 2011 WSOP MAIN EVENT CHAMPIONSHIP". WSOP. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Hendon Mob
  8. ^ WSOP.com
  9. ^ Poker News Daily
  10. ^ pokernews.com
  11. ^ wsop.com
  12. ^ "Event #68: No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT". 2015 World Series op Poker Chip Counts. World Series of Poker. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  13. ^ Hendon Mob
  14. ^ "2013 44th Annual World Series of Poker, Event #62: No-Limit Hold'em Main Event". WSOP.com. Retrieved July 20, 2013.  Click on the "Prizepool" tab for the first prize.
  15. ^ Hendon Mob
  16. ^ Dalla, Nolan (July 3, 2012). "Antonio Esfandiari Pulls Off Amazing Trick by Winning One Drop". WSOP.com. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  17. ^ Hendon Mob
  18. ^ Hendon Mob
  19. ^ Hendon Mob
  20. ^ Hendon Mob
  21. ^ Hendon Mob
  22. ^ Hendon Mob
  23. ^ Hendon Mob
  24. ^ Hendon Mob
  25. ^ pokerstarsblog.com
  26. ^ pokernews.com
  27. ^ pokerstarsblog.com
  28. ^ Hendon Mob
  29. ^ Dalla, Nolan (June 30, 2015). "Jonathan Duhamel Wins 2015 High Roller for One Drop". WSOP.com. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  30. ^ Hendon Mob
  31. ^ Hendon Mob
  32. ^ Hendon Mob
  33. ^ Pokerstarsblog