Almost $26 million was awarded to the 2013 WSOP November Niners. However, over $9.6 million will never reach their pockets.
According to a blog posted by tax expert Russ Fox on taxabletalk.com, most WSOP finalists will have to deal with significant cuts of their winnings due to taxes. Except for ONE! French poker pro Sylvain Loosli won’t owe a dime to the tax agencies and is regarded as the real winner of the 2013 WSOP final table. He finished fourth and won $2,792,533; all the money will go to the pro since his residence is now in London. The United Kingdom does not tax gambling winnings from its residents INCLUDING professional gamblers like Loosli. If the pro had remained in France, he would have owed the French tax agency somewhere around 40%. Even though he won the money in the US, Loosli won’t have anything in common with the American Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since the Tax Treaty between US and UK excludes UK residents from paying any US taxes.
The WSOP world champ and self-proclaimed “best player in the world,” Ryan Riess, won’t share Loosli’s fate and will have to pay big to the IRS before he even starts spending his hard-earned cash. He will pay both federal income tax and self-employment tax (as he is a professional poker player) of almost $3.5 million (42% tax rate). The runner-up, amateur Jay Farber, will pay only the federal income tax and will have to suffice with 61% of his total winnings. The IRS will take from Farber over $2 million. Third-place finisher Amir Lehavot from Florida would have lost almost $1.6 million to taxation if he wouldn’t have been backed. Since he sold pieces of his action, his own winnings are far under the $3,727,823 he won and this means he will pay significantly less in taxes.
Besides Loosli, there is another big winner after the conclusion of the 2013 WSOP Main Event. The IRS will grab almost twice as much as Riess and over eight times more than the other tax agencies combined! That means over 33% of the total gross final table winnings. Who can compete with that?
WSOP November Nine Net Winnings (Gross Winnings)
- Ryan Reiss (USA) – $4,880,713 ($8,359,531)
- Jay Farber (USA) – $3,147,830 ($5,174,357)
- Sylvain Lossli (FRA) – $2,792,533 ($2,792,533)
- Amir Lehavot (ISR) – $2,178,623 (3,727,823)
- J.C. Tran (USA) – $1,104,916 ($2,106,893)
- Michael Brummelhuis (NED) – $870,003 ($1,225,356)
- Marc-Etienee McLaughlin (CAN)- $808,089 ($1,601,024)
- David Benefield (USA) – $507,449 ($944,650)
- Mark Newhouse (USA) – $410,345 ($733,224)
WSOP November Nine Tax Agencies Winning List
- IRS (USA) – $8,626,311
- Belastingdienst (NED) – $355,353
- Franchise Tax Board (USA) – $321,611
- Canada Revenue Agency (CAN) – $312,628
- New York Department of Taxation & Finance (USA) – $78,394