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 14 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 Jamie Gold $12,000,000 [4][5]
2018 WSOP Main Event $74,015,600 United States John Cynn $8,800,000 [6]
2010 WSOP Main Event $68,799,059 Canada Jonathan Duhamel $8,944,310 [7]
2017 WSOP Main Event $67,877,400 United States Scott Blumstein $8,150,000 [8]
2011 WSOP Main Event $64,531,000 Germany Pius Heinz $8,711,956 [9]
2008 WSOP Main Event $64,333,600 Denmark Peter Eastgate $9,152,416 [10]
2016 WSOP Main Event $63,327,800 United States Qui Nguyen $8,005,310 [11]
2014 WSOP Main Event $62,820,200 Sweden Martin Jacobson $10,000,000 [12]
2012 WSOP Main Event $62,021,200 United States Greg Merson $8,527,982 [13]
2009 WSOP Main Event $61,043,600 United States Joe Cada $8,547,042 [14]
2015 WSOP Main Event $60,348,000 United States Joe McKeehen $7,680,021 [15]
2007 WSOP Main Event $59,784,954 United States Jerry Yang $8,250,000 [16]
2013 WSOP Main Event $59,708,800 United States Ryan Riess $8,359,531 [17]
2005 WSOP Main Event $52,818,610 Australia Joe Hachem $7,500,000 [18]
2012 WSOP Event 55 – The Big One for One Drop $42,666,672 United States Antonio Esfandiari $18,346,673 [19]
2014 WSOP Event 57 – The Big One for One Drop $37,333,338 United States Dan Colman $15,306,668 [20]
2016 Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza $27,437,564 China Elton Tsang $12,248,912 [21]
2018 WSOP Event 78 – The Big One for One Drop $24,840,000 United States Justin Bonomo $10,000,000 [22]
2004 WSOP Main Event $24,224,400 United States Greg Raymer $5,000,000 [23]
2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller $23,511,128 China Stanley Choi $6,465,560 [24]
Super High Roller Bowl 2015 $21,500,000 United States Brian Rast $7,525,000 [25]
2016 WSOP Event 67 – High Roller for One Drop $19,316,565 Germany Fedor Holz $4,981,775 [26]
2013 WSOP Event 47 – One Drop High Roller $17,891,148 United States Anthony Gregg $4,830,619 [27]
Super High Roller Bowl 2017 $16,800,000 Germany Christoph Vogelsang $6,000,000 [28]
2007 WPT Championship $15,495,750 Spain Carlos Mortensen $3,970,415 [29]
2013 GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions Main Event $15,376,897 Germany Niklas Heinecker $4,456,885 [30]
2011 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure $15,132,000 United States Galen Hall $2,300,000 [31]
Super High Roller Bowl 2016 $15,000,000 Germany Rainer Kempe $5,000,000 [32]
2010 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure $14,831,300 United States Harrison Gimbel $2,200,000 [33]
2006 WPT Championship $14,671,250 United States Joe Bartholdi, Jr. $3,760,165 [34]

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. ^ "2006 WSOP Main Event payouts". WSOP. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  5. ^ Hendon Mob
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ wsop.com
  8. ^ http://www.wsop.com/tournaments/payouts.asp?grid=1352&tid=15673
  9. ^ "PIUS HEINZ WINS 2011 WSOP MAIN EVENT CHAMPIONSHIP". WSOP. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  10. ^ Hendon Mob
  11. ^ "Level 4 concludes: officially the largest main event in the last five years". WSOP. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  12. ^ Poker News Daily
  13. ^ pokernews.com
  14. ^ "2009 WSOP main event prize pool". WSOP. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Event #68: No-Limit Hold'em MAIN EVENT". 2015 World Series op Poker Chip Counts. World Series of Poker. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  16. ^ Hendon Mob
  17. ^ "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.
  18. ^ Hendon Mob
  19. ^ Dalla, Nolan (July 3, 2012). "Antonio Esfandiari Pulls Off Amazing Trick by Winning One Drop". WSOP.com. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
  20. ^ Hendon Mob
  21. ^ [2]
  22. ^ [3]
  23. ^ Hendon Mob
  24. ^ Hendon Mob
  25. ^ Hendon Mob
  26. ^ Hendon Mob
  27. ^ Hendon Mob
  28. ^ [4]
  29. ^ Hendon Mob
  30. ^ Hendon Mob
  31. ^ pokerstarsblog.com
  32. ^ pokernews.com
  33. ^ pokerstarsblog.com
  34. ^ Hendon Mob