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Winning the Main Event is the dream of any poker player. After that winning moment, though, what did the winner take home? Only one person knows that, and that is the world champion themselves. Thankfully, with the aid of tax calculations and the inside track on swaps, we can take a pretty good guess. This year saw the top nine places share $33 million in winnings, with over $11.5 million going to the taxman before players topped up their bank balances.
The lower order of the final nine actually won without paying tax for the most part. Italian player and apple tree farmer Daniel Holzner, who came ninth, won $900,000 from the $10,000 entry his family gifted him, and kept every single cent, with Italian winnings immune from taxation.
That wasn’t the case for the Spanish player Juan Maceiras, who finished in 8th place having led the field two days previously. Maceiras’ official winnings were $1,125,000, but he got nowhere near seven figures, losing 43% of the money to the taxman, taking home just $642,525. Toby Lewis, however, came seventh for $1,425,000, while Dean Hutchinson, Lewis’ fellow Brit, won $1,825,000 in sixth place, the biggest prize won by a Scottish player at the final table of the Main Event.
Ukrainian player Ruslan Prydryk came fifth for $2.4 million but had to pay out around $565,000 of his prize money to tax and a military levy, payable on his return to the war-torn Eastern European country. Despite this, Prydryk still won more than the German player Jan-Peter Jachtmann, whose fourth-place winnings of $3 million were decimated by a high tax rate applicable to professional German players. With over $1.4 million going to the IRS, Jachtmann ended up winning less in fourth than Hutchinson did in sixth place.
The top three players at the final table of this year’s WSOP Main Event all hailed from the United States of America, which even before the final day played out guaranteed home country fans a hero to hang their hat on – the first U.S. winner since 2018. The high tax rate in the United States on gambling winnings meant that Adam Walton won $4 million but took home only $2.5m of that amount, for example.
Heads-up loser Steven Jones lost even more of his winnings, cashing for $6.5 million in second place but escaping the IRS with only just over $3.84 million. That was nothing compared to the chunk Weinman himself had to give back for the win.
Weinman’s victory may have nominally been $12.1 million, but he effectively handed $5 million to the taxman shortly after lifting the bracelet. Weinman took home just $6.96 million, and that’s before any swaps he made were paid out.
It says a lot that the biggest-ever winner of the Main Event was back at his desk by Friday, but that’s exactly what happened.
Monday: win main eventFriday: back in the office pic.twitter.com/NTRSD2JrLh— Daniel Weinman (@notontilt09) July 21, 2023
Monday: win main event
Friday: back in the office pic.twitter.com/NTRSD2JrLh
— Daniel Weinman (@notontilt09) July 21, 2023
The Atlanta, Georgia player may have had an unconventional method for pre-game preparation, playing nine holes of golf with final table rival Toby Lewis, but his much-celebrated win provoked the same. So many players would have quit their day jobs, but Weinman, who in the aftermath of booking the biggest win of his career changed his Twitter handle to ‘Daniel Winmain’, loves his career.
Admitting that he has a foot in both the business and the poker world, Weinman is perhaps just as pivotal a winner as Moneymaker in the coming years. If Moneymaker inspired the average American ‘Joe’ to give poker a go and change their lives, Weinman has shown that millions more who want to blend poker with an established career can ‘multi-task’ their way to a fortune too.
No-one won more than Weinman at the final table, so although he lost around 37% of his winnings to the IRS as federal income tax, another 5.75% went to the state of Georgia as local income tax. Taking off another six figures at least in swaps between Weinman and his poker ‘squad’ of Shaun Deeb, Josh Arieh and Matt Glantz, the Atlanta player may well have cashed out for less than $6 million.
It’s not all about the money, however. For the next 12 months, Daniel Weinman stands as poker’s world champion. That’s a title money can’t buy.
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