New poker players are born every day in every country in the world. Most of them grow up to play poker casually and don’t find their way to any type of rankings. Of those who do, there is one country that has produced more live tournament players than anywhere else: the United States.
According to the Hendon Mob poker database, the United States far outranks every other nation in the world with $5.4 billion in earnings. However, when ranking by most popular poker player or money won by an individual player, Canada makes its way to the top with Daniel Negreanu holding both of those spots.
A look at online poker rankings finds that most databases are not comprehensive. According to PocketFives, the top earning player in the Internet world is Chris Moorman of the UK, who has earned more than $13 million online. Too many variables prevent this from being an all-inclusive list, though.
As we choose to stick with live tournament rankings, let’s get to the top five according to the Hendon Mob.
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Live poker players claiming the United States as their home country have racked up $5.4 billion in earnings to date. That is $5 billion more than the next country in line.
Some of the players hailing from the US are the best in the world, such as Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Erik Seidel, and Antonio Esfandiari. Others with big earnings include Jason Mercier, Dan Coleman, Vanessa Selbst, Jamie Gold, Scott Seiver, Brian Rast, and Tom Dwan. Because of the population of the US, the prevalence of live poker, and the years of online poker popularity, the US clearly produces the best poker players in the world.
England ranks second in the world with more than $554 million in live earnings. Many of the big names from the United Kingdom are not as well known, though Sam Trickett and David “Devilfish” Ulliott are quite popular. Other recognizable names include Liv Boeree, Jake Cody, Victoria Coren, and Chris Moorman. And the famous crew that started the Hendon Mob in the first place also hail from the UK.
Check Out the UK Poker All-Time Money List
Sitting about $50 million behind the UK is Canada with more than $499 million in earnings. The country is vast and came into the poker boom at about the same time as the US.
Check Out the Canada Poker All-Time Money List
Of course, at the top of that list of players is Daniel Negreanu with his $32.3 million in lifetime earnings. But there are many other players who have contributed to that overall earnings number, including Jonathan Duhamel, Mike McDonald, Sorel Mizzi, Mike Watson, and Gavin Smith. Big online poker stars have also emerged from Canada, though many of those at the top of the rankings have not revealed their real names.
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The lifetime earnings listed from French players are nearly $374 million, more than $100 million behind Canada. However, France has long struggled with its gambling laws and the stigma surrounding gambling and poker until the past few decades.
The most well-known poker player to emerge from France is Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, but other big names include David Benyamine, Fabrice Soulier, Patrick Bruel, Ludovic Lacay, and Roger Hairabedian. It should also be noted that GPL creator and businessman Alex Dreyfus hails from France.
The country that rounds out the top five for the production of poker players is Germany with more than $313 million. No other country tops the $300 million mark as of April 2016.
This is another country has struggled and continues to forge its way through gambling legalities, but many players came up through the boom, before the game drew so much scrutiny. Ole Schemion is one of the newer and most popular players hailing from Germany, but Tobias Reinkemeier is the one who has earned the most to date in live tournaments. Others in that group include Philipp Gruissem, Pius Heinz, Fabian Quoss, Marvin Rettenmaier, Dominik Nitsche, and Fedor Holz.