Over the past decade, Daniel Negreanu has been one of poker’s biggest breakout stars. But a new report suggests that “KidPoker” earns more annually than sporting icons such as David Beckham and Roger Federer.
A report in The Daily Mirror revealed that Negreanu earned $7 million so far in 2014, eclipsing the annual salary of stars who are seen as modern icons in their own sporting codes and who regularly grace our TV screens each and every week. The findings looked at what players earned through professional competition only and didn’t take into account sponsorships or other commercial deals.
Richer than global megastars
One of the astounding things about the earnings report is that Negreanu received more than some of the most established names in the world of sport. For instance, former England soccer great David Beckham earned $5 million following his decision to retire from regular competition, while tennis legend Roger Federer won $7 million – just lower than the $7.3 million that Negreanu netted so far in 2014.
It’s quite an overwhelming achievement for a poker player to achieve considering that poker has not advanced to mainstream status as sports such as tennis and soccer. Negreanu wasn’t shy about his performance this year, telling the world through a Twitter post exactly how much he has won so far. According to his post, Negreanu collected $10.2 million from 44 events, while spending $3 million in tournament buy-ins.
Still not quite at the top
Despite overtaking the likes of Beckham and Federer, Negreanu is still a ways behind some other leading lights in the world of sport. One example is Tiger Woods, as the golfing great returned to some of his best form in 2013 and raked in $13 million last year. He subsequently became one of the world’s most successful sportsmen on prize money alone.
Aside from Negreanu, many of the world’s top poker players are still not quite earning as much as players who are ranked in the top ten in other major individual sports. A quick look at 2013 figures shows that the top ten in poker’s GPI rankings earned a combined total of $47.8 million, which is lower than both tennis and golf.
Unsurprisingly, the PGA led the way by paying out $52.75 million to the world’s top ten golfers, while those in the ATP top ten won a combined total of $48.5 million at the end of last year. Even though poker is yet to topple some of its more established sport rivals, it may be on its way to the top of the sporting world and the emergence of more icons such as Negreanu could help it become one of the most lucrative sports on the planet.