Gambling is one of the most popular gaming activities around the world. Millions of people around the world place wagers on casino games and sports. They can do that at some of the best online casinos including UK online casinos and NZ online casinos or at land-based casinos. Many players flock to Las Vegas or Macau to enjoy the most exquisite gambling experiences. On the other hand, most of these gamblers do it for fun and as a sort of entertainment. So these players have their jobs and businesses, and gambling is a side activity. On the other hand, some players consider gambling as their career. Therefore, their job title is “professional gambler.”
They place massive amounts of money on their gambling game of choice, and that is how they make money. They can become superstars and get an invitation to world tours and events so they can showcase their gambling abilities. Most professional gamblers play poker, as it is one of the most highly competitive casino games. Others prefer roulette, or a set of blackjack, while other professional gamblers choose to place wagers on greyhounds, horses, or other forms of sports. Here is a list of some of the most popular professional gamblers in the world.
Patrik Antonius – Once a Tennis Player Turns Professional Poker Player
Patrik Antonius is a professional Finnish poker player, who is currently living in Monte Carlo. He was born in December of 1980. Although he is now one of the wealthiest professional poker players in the world, he began his professional career as a tennis player. He had to give up the dream of making it big as a tennis player due to a severe back injury. Apparently, it was a gift in disguise, as the once tennis player became one of the wealthiest and most successful poker players in the world.
He found out that poker can be a satisfactory substitution to his love for tennis. He began his journey when he went to a casino and suffered from many losses, which paved the way to him becoming a winner and a professional poker player. The Finnish player started his journey at one of the best online casinos and made a $200 deposit, which he quickly turned into $20000. According to various statistics, between the years 2009 and 2013, Patrik Antonius managed to rack up to $11 million in winnings at online poker venues.
The professional gambler did not only accumulate money and fame at UK online casinos and poker rooms, as he entered many tournaments. He earned close to $7 million. The biggest win was back in 2012 when he finished as the runner up to the well-known professional gambler and poker player, Phil Ivey. That was in the $250 Aussie Million Challenge, which netted him $1.2 million. Although the player does not have a WSOP bracelet, it is not because of failing. It is because he focuses more on poker cash games across the globe.
P McManus – An Irish Multi-Millionaire Professional Gambler
McManus is a multi-millionaire gambler who is also a racehorse owner. He is from Limerick, Ireland. The professional gambler started gambling when he was only a schoolboy before he worked in his plant hire business, which was his family’s business. He also had his wagering stand at the greyhound track in Limerick, and it didn’t take him long to own his horses, in addition to laying and betting. JP currently has the most significant number of National Hunt’s racing horses.
The first big win that he achieved is rumored to be equal to £250,000, and it was at the Cheltenham Race track on a horse called Mister Donovan. Another big win was worth over one million pounds that he won from Freddie Williams in 2006, a Scottish Bookie, also at Cheltenham. Even though a considerable percentage of his wealth comes from being a professional gambler, the more substantial part of his wealth comes from another business. He made a lot of money from money dealing and international finances that he overseas from Geneva.
Phil Ivey – A World-Class Professional Gambler and Poker Player
It would not be a professional gambler list without Phil Ivey. He was born in California and grew up in New Jersey. Phil Ivey has made a name for himself as a professional gambler and a professional poker player. He is the youngest professional gambler to win 10 WSOP bracelets. Phil Ivey won a bracelet back in 2000 and became the first to defeat Amarillo Slim at the final table of a WSOP tournament. The great success of Phil Ivey is not a surprise, as he started gambling and player poker when he was eight years old. He became a professional gambler when he was only twenty years old.
When it comes to statistics, Phil Ivey is the 5th most winning poker player in different tournaments. He also managed to accumulate a huge net worth that is more than $23 million. On the other hand, in the last few years, he did not appear on many occasions. In 2017, the professional gambler announced that is going to return once again to the game. He was also the biggest winner at online cash games until 2011, as he accumulated almost $19.5 million from playing online poker.
Phil Ivey was also a part of a massive controversy after winning $12 million on Punto Banco tables at Mayfair Club in London. He then sued the casinos for refusing to pay him. The casino claimed that Phil Ivey and his partner, Cheung Yin, utilized a trick to win, a method that is called “Edge-Sorting.” After a few legal battles in a United Kingdom court, the court found him guilty and stood by the casino, stating that his methods fell under “cheating.”
Gus Hansen – The Great Dane Professional Gambler
Gus Hansen, who is also known as the Great Dane, is a professional gambler whose specialty is cash games and poker tournaments. Like another name on this list, he was a tennis player and was actually a tennis champion in the youth section, as well as a world-class backgammon player. He is the biggest name in the professional gambler scene in Denmark, which explains his nickname. He was born in Copenhagen and now lives in Monaco. The Danish player won over ten million dollars from live poker tournaments. He became a national legend and earned his legendary status after winning his first World Poker Tour title.
The Great Dane did not stop there, as he became one of the few professional gamblers who have three WPT wins under his belt. In 2004, the Great Dane finished 150th in the WOSP main event. Only two years after, he reached the final table but won on his first hand. He has many other accomplishments and triumphs. He has nine money finishes in the WSOP and one bracelet in 2010. His total earnings from poker are past the $10 million mark.
The Late Alex Bird – The UK Sportsbetting Legend
The late professional gambler made a significant amount of cash through betting right after the war. Statistics estimate that he had an annual turnover of more than £2 million from gambling. His passion for gambling began as a child, as he learned it from his father, who was a bookie. He decided there was more money on the other side of that table, and he became one of the most successful and well-known UK professional gamblers of all time.
Alex Bird had many methods of wagering at the bookies, which earned him a fortune for more than twenty years. He had many betting systems, and he had his way of gambling and listened to no one. Therefore, even now, after thirty years of his death, many people still use the systems that he made. One of his biggest bets was on the Mill Reef horse at Gimcrack. One year after that horse won the derby, Alex Bird backed him again, and then placed wagers on seven derby winners over eight years. One of the last bets of Alex Bird as a professional gambler was on Final Shot back in 1990, who went on and won the Ayr Gold Cup
Evelyn Ng – The Pride and Joy of Canadian Poker Players
Evenly Ng was born in 1975 in Toronto, Canada. She is a professional gambler at both online and live poker events. Since 2010, she has managed to accumulate winnings of more than $375,000.
On the other hand, the thing that made her famous was beating numerous American poker players in 2003. These players included Kathy Liebert Jennifer Harman and Annie Duke. She has a reputation for her aggressive poker payer style. She also had PokerStars as its sponsor, before she got a sponsorship by Bodog. One of her best performances was in 2008 when she came at number 238 out of 6844 in the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Chris Bjorin – Sweden’s Top Poker Player
Most professional gamblers try to be in the spotlight so sponsors can see them. On the other hand, we have Chris Bjorn, the Swedish professional gambler. Chris tries to keep away from any unnecessary attention. As a part of the “old guard,” Chris has been playing poker professionally before most of the current champions came to this earth. He was making cash since 1989 when poker was not as popular as it is now.
Over the years, the Swedish professional gambler was able to accumulate almost $6 million from poker tournaments. He has two WSPO bracelets. The first one was in 1997, and the other was in 2000. People do not know a lot about the personal life of the player. It is mainly because he is consistent when it comes to humbleness. Therefore, despite being one of the top professional gamblers and poker players in Sweden, he always stays away from cameras and interviews. He even tries to avoid televised poker tournaments.
Nipun Java – The Indian Professional Gambler
Nipun Java is undoubtedly the most visible professional gambler on the modern scene. The player spent his time as a part-time poker player for years with great results. It was until 2014 when he broke through with $450k year. In that spring, he won almost $350k in cash from two tournaments. They were the $1600 side event during the LA Poker Classic and the WSOP Circuit Bicycle main event. The Indian professional gambler continued his solid results until the year 2017, where he made his presence felt in the international poker scene. He made that presence with a double bracelet summer. Java certainly belongs to the list of top players, especially in India, as he owns half of the 4 WSOP bracelets that India has won.
Sosia Jiang – New Zealand All-Time Money List
Sosia Jiang is a New Zealand professional gambler that is on the All-time Money List. The player was making headlines after winning the HK$ 103k NL High Roller during the PokerStars Macau Championship for more than $498k. She is not a one-hit-wonder, as she followed that stellar performance with a third-place finish during the WPT New Zealand Main Event and grabbing a victory during the 2018 Sydney Championships.
The professional gambler also finished 129th in the Caribbean Poker Party Main Event of Party Poker, winning $266,000. Over the past few years, she managed to amass more than $790,000 from live poker tournaments and resides as the top woman on the New Zealand Money List. Despite having many live scores from back in 2012, the majority of her poker career earnings started in 2019.
These names are only a handful of professional gamblers from around the world that consider gambling and poker as their career. You can start your gambling adventure online and try one of the best online casinos that we reviewed here and decide for yourself. Who knows, maybe your name will make it to a list like this one someday.