Poker is one of the few careers where someone can earn millions before they are old enough to legally drink alcohol, at least in the United States. Now that the “young guns” of the Poker Boom have become “veterans,” it’s time for a new crop of young superstars to make their mark on the game.
Below we take a look at seven of the games rising stars. Each is 25 or younger and all have already won millions in live and online poker tournaments.
Fedor Holz began his poker career dominating online poker. Known as CrownUpGuy online, he earned over $2.8 million in tournaments. Among those earnings is a victory in the 2014 WCOOP Main Event and a pair of Sunday 500 victories. He has also been the #1 ranked poker player in the world twice.
In terms of his live career, we thought that 2015 would be his breakout year but it was just the beginning. Holz had several final tables in High Roller Events, including a 6th place finish in the WSOP Europe High Roller. However, his biggest win came when he took down the WPT Alpha 8 title at the Five Diamond World Poker Open in December. That victory earned him $1.58 million.
A dream come true. pic.twitter.com/U7KHuYw6jO— Fedor Holz (@CrownUpGuy) December 21, 2015
Holz earned $3.49 million in 2015 and while that is an impressive haul, he has already surpassed it in 2016. On January 3rd, he won the WPT National Philippines Super High Roller Event for $3.46 million. Take on a pair of deep runs at the PCA and he has already won $3.51 million this year.
The 21-year-old German has over $10 million in combined poker tournament earnings. At the incredible pace he’s already set, he could be at the top of the All-Time Money List before he’s 30.
Adrian Mateos has already put together an impressive poker resume and is just barely old enough to play in Las Vegas. The 21-year-old already has almost $4 million in live tournament earnings along with victories in two of the most prestigious events in the poker world.
In 2013, Mateos became the second-youngest player in history to win a WSOP Main Event. The then 19-year-old beat Fabrice Soulier heads-up to win the WSOP Europe Main Event and $1.35 million.
@Amadi_17 news? Vamoooos 🏆💸— Iuri Caixeta (@IuriCaixeta) August 29, 2015
Last May, Mateos became the first Spaniard to win a European Poker Tour title after taking down the EPT Grand Final at Monte Carlo. That title earned him $1.2 million. This past summer was his first time he was eligible to play at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He proceeded to cash in the Main Event, giving a preview of things to come for this phenomenal talent.
Believe it or not, Dan Colman just turned 25 and is already near the top of poker’s All-Time Money List. No player in the history of poker had a bigger breakout year than Colman did in 2014.
After winning the €100,000 Super High Roller at the EPT Grand Final for $2 million, Colman won the second richest prize in the history of the game by taking down the $1 million Big One for ONE DROP. He earned $15.3 million for that victory.
After winning the ONE DROP, Coleman went on fire with victories at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, the WPT Alpha 8 London and a runner-up in the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller. His smallest score after the ONE DROP in 2014 was “only” $373,932 for finishing 7th in the HK$ 500,000 Super High Roller of the Asia Championship of Poker.
Colman set an all-time record in 2014 for most money won in poker tournaments in a single year at $22.38 million. He followed that impressive run by winning another $1.85 million in 2015. He finished 3rd in the WSOP ONE DROP High Roller and finished 3rd at the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Main Event.
Colman has started 2016 with a bang with a $500,000 score for a 7th place finish in a Philippines High Roller. Colman has $25.23 million in tournaments earnings, 4th on the All-Time Money List. Can he get to #1? At this rate, it’s a matter of when, not if, he gets there.
Dzmitry Ubanovich is a name that many “casual” fans will not hear of for at least a couple of years. Why? He just turned 20 and will not be eligible to play at the World Series of Poker until next year.
While causal fans don’t know much about him, the international poker community certainly learned about him in 2015. He started the year off by winning a Eureka Poker Tour High Roller Event but then exploded once he hit the EPT Malta.
He started by winning the €25,000 High Roller for $605,929. Afterwards, he made the final table in five side events, winning three of them. A month later, Urbanovich earned the largest score of his career by winning the €100,000 Super High Roller at the EPT Grand Final for $1.59 million.
In August, he finished runner-up in the EPT Barcelona High Roller and in December he capped the year off with a fourth place finish in the €50,000 Eureka Prague High Roller.
Urbanovich has already won $4.19 million in live events and he isn’t even legal to play in most casinos in America. Just imagine his success once he can legally play across the pond.
Josh Beckley was one of the youngest players in the 2015 November Nine and at 25 he is one of the games brightest stars. He’s been playing the game over a decade but became a household name in just the last year.
Beckley had a solid 2015 WSOP prior to the Main Event, cashing in four preliminary events. However, the world followed his run through the Main Event to the November Nine. Ultimately, he faced Joe McKeehen heads-up for the bracelet. While he didn’t win, he did win $4.47 million.
Prior to the November Nine final table, Beckley took down his first career WSOP Circuit ring, proving his Main Event run was no fluke. Earlier this month, Beckley made the final table of the $25k PCA High Roller. He finished 4th, earning $439,560.
Beckley has $5.16 million in live tournament earnings and is a regular at the online poker tables in New Jersey. He is certainly the future of the live game but as online poker expands in the United States, he could become one of the new faces of the regulated market.
Originally from Serbia, Andjelko Andrejevic began his poker career grinding tournaments on the east coast, primarily in Florida. He had his breakout year in 2015. After a deep run in the WSOP Main Event, he made the final table of the WPT Maryland Live Main Event and bubbled the final table of the WPT Borgata Poker Open Main Event. He also finished 4th in the Main Event of The River Poker Series.
In November, Andrejevic took down the HK$ 500,000 Super High Roller of the Asia Championship of Poker. He defeated Hall of Famer John Juanda heads-up to take the title and $1.12 million in prize money.
At just 23, Andrejvic has just shy of $2 million in tournament earnings and has a bright future.
Great Britain’s Charlie Carrel has enjoyed success both live and on the virtual felt. He famously took a $15 deposit and ran it up to over $500,000 playing online cash games and sit and go’s.
Carrel started playing more live tournaments in 2014 and it wasn’t long before he started dominating on the live felt. In November 2014, he earned his first six-figure score by winning the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour Grand Final, earning $170,950.
He kicked off 2015 by finishing 5th in the €10k High Roller at the EPT Malta for $201,211. In May, Carrel finally earned his first seven-figure score by winning the €25,000 High Roller at the EPT Grand Final. That victory scored him $1.24 million.
Carrel had a decent first trip to the World Series of Poker. He finished deep in the $1,500 PL Omaha Hi-Lo and cashed in the Main Event.
Carrel started off 2016 by making a pair of final tables at the PCA, bringing his lifetime tournament earnings up to $1.74 million. He’s just turned 22, meaning we’re going to see a lot the Brit in the future.