Even after decades Poker remains at the top of the list for one of the most played games around the world. Over the years it has evolved into a full blown sport and generates fans and serious players from all walks of life. The allure of poker is both its complexity and massive payouts showcased in televised tournaments. Playing poker is an art form, heavily rewarding the most audacious players who have gone on to become household names. Televised tournaments are directly responsible for this explosive new interest in poker. The staggering pay outs featured in these tournaments is enough to spark a new found interest in poker in anyone. In this article we will showcase the top 5 poker tournaments that had the biggest payouts of all time.
#5. 2012 World Series of Poker – This monumental event started on May 27, but the 2012 presidential elections forced them to reschedule the final table until October 29. The tournament received over 6,598 registrants. This was later widdled down to the top 666 players, which was then brutally cut to the nine final players with a guaranteed amount of prize money of at least $754,798. The total money prize pool was an impressive $62,021,200. US player Greg Merson rose to the top & walked away from the tournament with $8,527,982 in prize money.
#4. 2008 World Series of Poker – This tournament showcased the epic showdowns of 55 poker championships along with the coronation of special awards for the key players of the game. Erick Lindren won the highly coveted “Player of the Year” award. The main event was shrouded in controversy when it got suspended since the final battle for the last of the nine seats was fought the next day after the final nine event. Peter Eastgate became the champion of the 2008 WSOP with an impressive amount $9,152,416. The amount of total prize money was $64,333,600.
#3. 2011 World Series of Poker – This WSOP made history as it was covered by ESPN live, giving worldwide viewers an exclusive look at the inner workings of the tournament. Multiple celebrities like Jennifer Tilly of the film “30 Beats” & Shannon Elizabeth of the film “American Pie” participated in this legendary event. Unfortunately, none of the celebrities made it to the final nine which ended up being won by German player Pius Heinz with a whopping $8,711,956 of prize money. The total prize money pool consisted of $64,531,000.
#2. 2010 World Series of Poker – This historic event was held in the infamous Rio All Suite Casino and Hotel in Nevada. Each of the nine players on the final main event was given 30,000 chips to play for 10,000 dollars buy in. This event made headlines with its impressive prize pool of $68,798,600, making it the 2nd biggest WSOP of all time. A number of celebrities joined the tournament including Sara Jean Underwood from the film “The House Bunny” & Anthony Rapp from the groundbreaking TV show “The X-Files”. In the end Canadian player Jonathan Duhamel was named champion with $8,944,310.
#1. 2006 World Series of Poker – This unforgettable event was highlighted by its HORSE tournament, which had the highest buy-in for a single WSOP event with 50,000 dollars. This tournament also set the registrant record with a shocking number of 8,773 registrants. The cameras were rolling and the stakes were high with a record amount of $82,512,162 money prize pool being dished out. American TV Producer Jamie Gold made history when he won $12,000,000 at the tournament. To this day this WSOP is remembered as one of the most infamous events in the history of poker.