Phil Ivey, the 39-year-old professional poker player, has turned out to be the biggest loser of 2015, having lost around $3.7 million.
Ever since he started playing under the moniker Polarizing late in 2012 on Full Tilt Poker, Ivey has lost $6.3 million, $1.25 million of which he lost this year. He lost the rest while playing under the moniker “RaiseOnce” on PokerStars. Ivey has played 160,000 hands on Full Tilt as well as PokerStars.com in 2015.
Fortunately for Ivey, who has won 10 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, he could win back most of those losses while playing live poker tournaments. He earned $1.7 million playing live poker tournaments this year, pulling his lifetime live poker tournament earnings up to $23 million.
Although he lost more than any other professional poker player while playing online this year, Ivey won the biggest NL Hold’em hand of this year, taking home nearly $300k late in May. It was a game of NL Hold’em played at stake levels $200/$400. But later that week, he lost another large six-figure amount.
When Ivey was playing under his real name at Full Tilt Poker between the years 2006 and 2011, he was hardly in the red. In fact, he won $19.24 million playing more than 319,000 hands.
Since he has been steadily losing money over the last three years, Patrik Antonius became the biggest all-time online poker winner with $15.5 million in poker winnings. Ivey’s lifetime online poker earnings have now dropped below $10.5 million, which is around the same amount Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino is demanding from him.
In spite of the edge sorting scandal he is involved in and the millions he has lost, Ivey is still an excellent candidate for the 2016 class of the Poker Hall of Fame. Since he turns 40 next year, he will become eligible for induction.
Dan Cates, who has lifetime earnings of $11.1 million to his credit, is close behind Patrik Antonius. Cates, who had lost as much as $450,000 in 2009, hasn’t lost over $300,000 this year. Viktor Blom has been the biggest winner of this year. Although he lost $1.4 million while playing poker at Full Tilt, he won back over $2 million playing around 250,000 hands at PokerStars.
Since many top poker pros have refused to have their results tracked, an official list of the biggest losers and winners of this year is not available.