Poker tournaments began to take off in the mid-2000s. With the launch of online poker tournaments, people from all walks of lives from across the globe have been able to take part with real-money prizes from the comfort of their own homes whether in New Zealand, China or Bulgaria.
The biggest poker tournaments are now online and regularly draw several thousand players each week. Find out more about playing poker online and how you can participate in online poker tournaments every day of the year, at any time. If you are lucky, you may be able to join one of these three biggest winners at online poker tournaments:
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Online 2020 tournament series was arranged after the flagship WSOP live poker tournament in Las Vegas was postponed due to the pandemic. Players from outside the US were allowed to take part and players representing 166 nationalities took part in the event. Across 54 events, tens of thousands of players new and old witnessed poker records being smashed, including the biggest online poker tournament prize.
The biggest online poker tournament prize ever awarded, USD3,904,685 was paid out to Bulgarian national Stoyan Madanzhiev, winner of Event 77: WSOP Online USD5K Main Event in a series considered a resounding success, with wide media coverage. Other event winners included some of the best poker players today including Juha Helppi, Roberto Romanello, Kristen Bicknell, Eoghan O’Dea and Christian Rudolph as well as celebrities including soccer superstar Neymar, former world champion boxer Amir Khan, Australian cricket player Shane Warne, mixed martial artists Elias Theodorou and Patrick Côté.
In 2010, US citizen Tyson “Potterpoker” Marks won USD2,278,097.50 out of prize pool of more than USD12 million, at the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) Main Event, beating 2,443 entries. He took the entire winner’s haul, not making a deal to win.
The chips were on Marks’ side since he had almost three times the number of chips as his nearest competitor when he came to the final table with about 15 players left. He kept his lead even while he knocked five played off the table and won with a remarkable 455-to-1 return on his investment.
Marks had already done well at previous tournaments, including Full Tilt $1k Monday and Sunday Brawl, before he won the WCOOP main event and has won more than USD4 million overall.
In 2009, Yevgeniy Timoshenko, nicknamed the “Jovial Giant” won USD1,715,200.00 at the WCOOP Main Event, winning from a field of 2,015 players and beating Jaime Kaplan, Dan Kelly and Tyler Kenney at the final table. Timoshenko was one of the best players in world poker at the time and popular on the live poker circuit. Born in Ukraine and now resident in Seattle, US he has also won USD2,149,960 in a single win at the World Poker Tour Five Star World Poker Classic the same year. A methodical player, he went on to win USD1.8 million in 2014 when he won the Aussie Millions USD100k challenge and overall winnings of around USD7 million.
If you want to follow advice from Timoshenko about how to be successful in online poker tournaments, he has previously shared that the biggest improvements in his own game came from reviewing important hands after the sessions and working out how to play the hands better next time. He believes players should think about poker for themselves and develop their own game, rather than to imitate the style of other players.