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The most popular US poker players of all time



Poker in the United States is booming—again.

Last year, the World Series of Poker accepted a record 10,043 entrants, who each had to fork over $10,000 to sit at the no-limit hold ’em tournament with a $93.4 million purse, including $12.1 million for the winner.

The event started in 1970 with seven participants, but it really took off in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker burst onto the scene, The Financial Times reported. The Tennessee accountant won $2.5 million after qualifying for the main event in an $86 online satellite tournament, and poker hasn’t been the same since.

The World Poker Tour, which arranges and hosts international tournaments, was launched the previous year. Additionally, the increased availability of broadband internet, plus unregulated online poker rooms and the entertainment value of televised events, helped foster a rise—until the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 prevented businesses from accepting payments from people participating in illegal gambling.

Online poker took another massive hit in 2011 on what is known as Black Friday when the Department of Justice seized the domains of super sites PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Cereus Poker Network (formed when Ultimate Bet merged with Absolute Poker)—and $34 million from players. It made a comeback, however, when the coronavirus pandemic led to the sprouting of new platforms, and subsequent developments and innovations made the game more attractive.

Still, it’s been a slow burn, and while poker has seen its share of ups and downs as the gambling industry ebbs and flows, more and more players are sitting down to ante up.

To see which players had the most eyes on them, Clubs Poker compiled a ranking of the most popular U.S. poker players of all time as of March 13, 2024, using data from The Hendon Mob. Players were ranked according to unique page views on the website starting from Jan. 1, 2008. Data about each player’s live cash earnings provides supplementary insights. 

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