Poker’s all-time winnings list has a new leader. Does that matter?

A few months ago, we wrote about the spring that Justin Bonomo was having, winning many tournaments for millions of dollars and marching his name up the Poker Tournament Winnings Leaderboard. Now, what we could not have fathomed at that time was the kind of summer Bonomo was going to have in Vegas at the World Series of Poker. Some highlights include two bracelets, including winning the 1 million dollars One for One Drop tournament, where he took down – get this – a cool $10,000,000!

Yes, we can now safely say this is one of the most incredible runs that any gambler has had in the history of poker. Bonomo has now completed a 6 month period where he earned $25 Million. Yes. $25 million in the first 6 months of 2018. To put that in other terms, Bonomo has earned $125,987 every day, $5,249 an hour, or $87.49 every single minute since ringing in the New Year.

These numbers are staggering, and the effects on the Lifetime Tournament Winnings leaderboard are clear and telling.

Looking at his list, you can see that Bonomo wasn’t even close to the top ten before the year started, and his winnings in 2018 are more than all but 6 other players have earned in the ENTIRE CAREERS!

The question that stems from this staggering feat is simple: does the all-time money list really matter? Many of the world’s top players played in an era before there were multiple tournaments with buy-ins of 100,000 or more. Three of the players in the top 10 (Bonomo, Esfandiari, and Colman) all one the One for One Drop Million Dollar Event. At the rate we are going, it will only be players who play in these events that end up on this top 10 list, while the winners of $10,000 events won’t even get a sniff.

So, does it matter? We suppose that it does if you want to know who the biggest winners are, but this list doesn’t include weekly events or cash games. Let’s take into consideration the fact that most of these players are being backed into these tournaments. Perhaps the winnings rankings would be more interesting if the winnings were a factor of how much of the money players put in themselves. That would, in fact, be a very interesting statistic, although it would require some additional honesty from the players.

Now, there is another set of player rankings that take into consideration additional factors (online events, number of players in tournaments, etc.) so we do have a way to determine which of the players around the world would be considered the most difficult to play against. However, in these days of advanced analytics, it is time for poker to step up and figure out a way to more accurately rank players.

We suspect, however, that Justin Bonomo doesn’t care all that much about what we think. He is just pleased to have passed some legends along the way, and he now sits alone atop the list.

Until the next Super High Roller event, of course.

Which we would have to say Bonomo is a clear favorite to win.


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