The Biggest Poker Losses in History

When players are still shiny and new, they can’t help but have stars in their eyes as they dream of winning life-changing sums of money. They may often see their idol poker player raking in millions during tournaments and major events, but what most rookie players don’t see or hear about are the massive losses that some of these professional players suffer. Every great poker opportunity comes with the risk of losing a big chunk of change.

Most casual players adhere to the golden rule of casual gameplay: Sticking to a budget. This or trolling sites for free online play are the ways that players keep it casual, but those players that have given years to mastering poker are the ones that are prone to putting massive sums on the line. Here is a list of pro players that have endured cringe-worthy losses:

1. Di Dang

Consistently good, this player was known as one of the highest-rated and highest-stake online players around. Even so, even the great Di Dang couldn’t avoid a slump. Back around the beginning of 2009, he suffered a loss of $2.6 million. Then, in 2011, he voluntarily took a step back from the poker table and decided that his time was better spent elsewhere.

2. Patrik Antonius

The fall from grace was a long one for this Full Tilt 2009 highest earner. The Finnish player lost almost $4 million a year after acquiring the title and subsequently blamed his loss on a back injury. Most laughed at this excuse, but once his health improved, so did his performance.

3. Phil Ivey

One of the biggest names in poker, Phil Ivey clawed his way up after some time struggling at the tables. After earning a whopping $21.45 million in live tournaments, he went on to suffer the loss of more than $5 million of that, mostly in 8-Game tables.

4. Ilari Sahamies

Sahamies is known to play while drunk, and he is known as an aggressive poker player, but things got out of hand when he lost $6 million of his $7 million lifetime earnings.

5. Ben Sulsky

From the year 2012 alone, he made a profit of nearly $4 million, Sulsky looked like he was on a roll, but 2013 came and changed that. What seems to have gone wrong is that his opponents were now at a higher level than the ones before, and he was therefore outclassed over and over again. Within the first three months of the new year, he lost nearly $3 million.

6. Gus Hansen

There is no other player that comes close to the losses that Hansen suffered. He was once one of the top live poker players of all time, but the game of poker hasn’t been kind to him since. Nearing $20 million in losses, it is safe to say that Hansen has suffered the biggest poker losses in history.

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