Since poker’s explosion in the early 2000s, the card game has become a truly global phenomenon. Powered by the increasing prevalence and availability of super-fast internet, these days, literally anyone of the legal gambling age can climb the ranks and become a poker superstar.
The rise of online poker has led to live tournaments being streamed – aided by the invention of the ‘hole card camera’ innovated by Henry Orenstein, and there is such a level of interest in live games that CBS Sports have struck an agreement with the World Series of Poker to show a number of different events both online and via their TV channel.Originally, it was Texas Hold’em that garnered most of the interest from this ‘new’ breed of player, with most of the major tournaments – and, by consequence, the biggest prize funds – played to these rules. But today, the love of poker has expanded to other variants, including Casino Hold’em, Three Card Poker, and Hi-Lo Club, while live casino-based table games allow players to go one-on-one against the dealer. There are options suited to all budgets, and they all offer excellent ways for newcomers to the game to cut their teeth before entering real-money tournaments and cash games.
Interestingly, some of the finest exponents of poker are based right here in Canada, so who are the top five Canadians to ever take to the green felt?
With career earnings of more than $45 million, Daniel Negreanu is not only the most successful Canadian in poker but widely regarded as one of the best players in history. The Toronto native has won six World Series of Poker bracelets and a pair of World Poker Tour (WPT) championships, and that’s not to mention all of the cash games in which he has gone home with the loot.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 6, 2018
A Poker Hall of Fame member, Negreanu was the first player to win WSOP bracelets in three different global locations, and in the richest prize in the game, the Big One for One Drop, he took home $8.2 million and he didn’t even win the tournament!
If it wasn’t for the exploits of Negreanu, Timothy Adams would rightly be regarded as the best Canadian poker player in history. The Ontario man has taken home more than $25 million from live tournament play, winning a WSOP bracelet at the No-Limit Hold’em table back in 2012.
However, his best single payday came at the 2020 Super High Roller Bowl, which he won for the second time in his career and pocketed a staggering $3.6 million for his troubles.
From trading stocks to landing trips, Sam Greenwood has swapped Wall Street for the fifth street. It’s been a profitable switch too, with the Toronto native banking more than $22 million from poker so far.
A WSOP bracelet winner, Greenwood won a super high roller event in the Caribbean back in 2019 and won $1.7 million in a weekend. Nice work if you can get it!
With three WSOP bracelets to his name, Jonathan Duhamel is one of the most-decorated Canadians on the game’s biggest stage. The 34-year-old won nearly $9 million from the 2010 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship alone, and he’s acquired big prizes in all corners of the globe.
#tbt to 2010 on this day. Jonathan Duhamel became the first, and still remains as the only, Canadian 🇨🇦 to win the World Series of Poker Main Event. Duhamel, 23 at the time of the victory, earned his first bracelet and collected $8,944,310. #wsop #poker #canada pic.twitter.com/LcRs3eKt6A
— PANAMA POKER CLUB (@pokertravelpty) November 9, 2018
Hailing from Russia, Daniel Dvoress’ family emigrated to Canada 25 years ago and he has been settled in Toronto ever since. He’s brought plenty of taxable revenue into Canada too – some $15.9 million in poker winnings to be exact, with a 2020 WSOP bracelet in the bag and a $4 million win at the Super High Roller Bowl in the Bahamas to call upon. A truly universal game, Canada has produced some of poker’s premier operators.