If prize money is taken into consideration, poker falls into the category of the world’s most lucrative games. In fact, poker pro Daniel Negreanu earns more than sports stars such as Roger Federer, Phil Mickelson, and David Beckham. So far, Negreanu’s poker earnings have exceeded £4 million.
Last year, the top ten PGA golf players, the top ten ATP tennis players, and the top 10 poker players (according to the Global Poker Index (GPI) ranking system) earned $52,775,979, $48,566,433, and $47,870,710, respectively.
Daniel Negreanu is not only the most well-known professional poker player, but also the best player on Team PokerStars, a group of players that includes Ronaldo, the former football star, and Rafael Nadal, the tennis star. Recently, Negreanu posted his total earnings so far this year on Twitter, and according to that post, he has made a poker profit of $7.3 million or £4.2 million.
It is not possible to compare every poker pro’s earnings with the earnings of other sports players as not all poker players are willing to share details of their profits on Twitter. However, it is possible to compare their last year’s figures.
Tiger Woods, the greatest golf player of the times, earned £7.6 million last year. This means that he is capable of earning more than Daniel Negreanu. Every year, Tiger Woods partners with the World Poker Tour (WPT) in order to raise funds for his Tiger Woods Foundation. Although he did not earn as much as Negreanu, Phil Mickelson, another golf player, came close to doing so. Last year, Phil earned $5 million or £2.9 million.
Last year, Roger Federer was the top-earning tennis star, but his earnings were almost equal to those of Negreanu’s. Federer earned $7 million or £4.1 million last year. However, Negreanu earned more than even David Beckham, who had around $5 million or £2.9 million in earnings to his credit last year.
Negreanu’s earnings are quite impressive considering the fact that he had to invest $2.9 million to buy into some of the live poker tournaments in which he won $10.2 million. This does not mean that Mickelson, Federer, and Tiger Woods do not have their expenses. They do, but their combined expenses wouldn’t come anywhere close to $3 million.
The above figures definitely indicate that poker is as lucrative a game as tennis or football, if not more lucrative although the US federal government has come nowhere closer to legalizing and regulating it.