Top 10 Highest Earning Poker Players In 2020 So Far


It’s been an unexpected and challenging year in poker, and with many live tournaments forced to shut down and switch to online series instead, this is the biggest hit live poker has taken in years.

Indeed, there are many global poker brands that are financially strong – they still miss live felts the most. Live poker festivals are good for selling the game, but it also keeps fans involved in it and part of the fabric of the game rather than jus players.

With this article, we tell you about the highest earning poker players in live tournaments this year:

  • Timothy Adams ($5,854,376): Adams has not won one but two Super HighRoller Bowl victories this year, both in Australia and Sochi. With back to back wins in two highly prestigious events, Adams is a force to reckon with and will continue to be one when he takes to the high roller felt in 2021.
  • Kahle Burns ($2,906,321): Kahle Burns has been nothing short of a phenomenon since his emergence as a serious high stakes player in 2016. This year, Burns has earned enough to put him into the top 10 100 on the all-time money list, with six figure scores at the partypoker LIVE MILLION U.K. and in Sochi. His biggest win of the year came when he won the Australian Super High Roller Bowl in Melbourne, which resulted in a massive $1.1 million payday.
  • Mikita Badziakowski ($2,672,403): Badziakowski’s single best result was in the Super High Roller Bowl in Sochi, as his 3rd place finish earned him $1.6 million. With an outright win in the $51,000 entry event out in Sochi too for $765,000 along with two deep runs in World Series High Roller events, Badziakowski could well be the man to stop in 2021 if live poker returns at anywhere near full capacity.
  • Paul Phua ($2,595,000): With two 8th place results and a runner -up finish, Phua would have finished well short of the top ten with those results, but back to back victories in events he played at the end of the tournament festival earned him over $2.1 million, with both titles in no limit events which cost $100,000 and $50,000 to play.
  • Cary Katz ($2,407,979): Katz’s biggest win of 2020 came in the Short Deck Hold’em event in Sochi, where he finished as runner-up to Timofey Kuznetsov, to the tune of $780,000.

With eight cashes in high roller events in 2020, Katz has really proved his chops in the big ticket events, and will be a player to be reckoned with once live poker is back in 2021.

  • Christoph Vogelsang ($2,400,000): The highest-placed German player on this year’s live list so far is the softly-spoken Christoph Vogelsang, whose $2.4 million in winnings all came in the Super High Roller Bowl in Sochi, where he came second to another player on our list.

Vogelsang’s recent results, including 2019, make for hugely impressive reading, but it’s his play that captures the eye, with a sixth sense for when he is behind and an uncanny ability to make profit in pots where he has the best hand, the German is sure to remain a huge threat to the annual lists for many years to come.

  • Michael Addamo ($2,114,017): With a runner-up finish in the WSOP $10,00-entry Heads-Up Championship too – for a whopping $223,488 – Addamo has been one of the players of 2020 without question.
  • Aaron VanBlarcum ($1,838,157): Cashing for over a million U.S. dollars over in Australia during the 2020 Aussie Millions, VanBlarcum followed that up with four cashes in Sochi during the partypoker LIVE festival, bringing in another half a million with results in Short Deck and No Limit.
  • Phil Ivey ($1,693,550): The man who sits in 11th place on the all-time money list has only four cashes to his name in live events in 2020, with all four coming in the space of a single week in Sochi, but what a week it was.

From his Super High Roller event win for $856,050 to his runner-up result in the $51,000-entry just two days earlier and 5th-place finish in the $100,000-entry event on the 14th March, Ivey’s three biggest wins have come in Short Deck events. He did cash for 7th place in a No Limit event too, though, proving he still loves the two-card game.

  • Alex Foxen ($1,608,689): From winning $762,334 by finishing runner-up in the AU$100k Challenge in Melbourne to winning the $25,000-entry PokerGO High Roller event in Las Vegas back in March for $249,950, it’s been another phenomenal year for one of poker’s modern greats.