It may have been the strangest year on record, but it hasn’t stopped the money flowing, and today we’re going to look at poker’s biggest winners of 2020 and see how they shape up against their casino game rivals.
When Brazil’s Pablo Brito Silva scooped $1million in Uruguay back in February, he would have had no idea it would bring him close to a top 20 spot for the year, but even that huge sum could only make number twenty-one in poker’s 2020 money-winners list.
A month later, Phil Ivey’s High Roller Sochi visit would see him bag four cashes for almost $1.7million, good enough to take 9th spot for the year.
It was Canada’s Tim Adams, though, whose back-to-back Super High Roller Bowl victories in Australia, then Russia, launched him to a monster $5,854,376 year. That’s almost $2million more than Bulgaria’s Stoyan Madanzhiev took for winning the first-ever World Series online Main Event this year, a very sweet $3,910,705 payout.
This year’s online poker boom also threw up some of the biggest pots ever seen in the online game, with Ali Imsirovic taking the biggest-ever No Limit Hold’em pot – a monster $974,631 against Tan Xuan.
That outgunned the $842,438 NLHE record that Viktor Malinowski had set just the week before, and both hands smashed the 12-year old record of Di Dang, who took a pot of $723,941 from Tom Dwan.
Impressive as all these huge numbers are, how does it compare to the biggest wins in other casino games? Notwithstanding skill, luck, variance and whatever else separates our favourite games, some of them occasionally make poker look like a pauper’s game.
The year was not even a month old when a slots player landed a $20million jackpot, the big-paying MegaMoolah game, soon followed by a $12million win as slots fans tried to cash in.
With a Mega Fortune Dream win of more than $3.5million the same day, it was a lucrative time to be online.
Although it’s easier to convert and count everything in $, landing huge jackpots is far from being only a US phenomenon, as big winners at new online casinos UK have proven many times.
This summer saw the aptly-named Major Millions pay out £1,650,382 to one lucky UK player, just a few weeks after a Swedish player pocketed €2.6 million.
It’s not just an ‘around the globe’ tag that marks out the biggest winners this year, as the wins cross the age and sex barriers too, from young housewives to retired gents – pros and amateurs alike enjoying the fun of the game and the chance of a life-changing win so appealing.
Sometimes it is poker players who win big at other games, as English poker pro Jake Cody showed a couple of years ago when he placed his $42,000 tournament winnings on a single roll of the roulette wheel.
With a crowd chanting ‘Black, black, black!’ the ball stopped on black 22 and Cody had doubled his money in just a few minutes.
The poker connection continued this year when a player known only as ‘MR2SALTY4YA’ decided to treat himself to a birthday present on a popular poker site’s live blackjack tables.
It turned out to be the perfect treat and a clever decision when his $1 sidebet landed the $95,000 Diamond Jackpot in November – a third seven of diamonds winning the lot.
That might sound small compared to some of our big wins, but the $1.6million won a couple of months previously on the same Blackjack tables is certainly up there with the best poker wins.
DR. HODL picked up that monster win, starting out with $1000 and building it up across the month of August.
Naturally, big wins deserve big celebrations, and the dealer in the first blackjack win above was first to be rewarded, with a $500 tip and bottle of wine.
Overall, it’s been a bumper year for players, easily transitioning from the live casinos to their online equivalents – with no shortage of the massive payouts that we all dream about. What 2021 holds is still unknown: it may not be quite as strange, but you can be sure that for many it will again be a jackpot year!