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List of largest poker tournaments in history - by prize pool

For the last eight years, the largest tournament in the world has been the World Series of Poker Main Event. With the exception of 1992, the US$10,000 buy-in tournament has increased in prize pool year-over-year from its start in 1970 until 2007 (the latter a result of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which reduced the number of players winning their seats via online play).

The first tournament to reach a million dollar prize pool was the 1983 WSOP Main Event. The WSOP Main Event of 2004 had the first prize pool of above $10,000,000.

The largest non Hold'em Tournament has been the 2008 WSOP $50K HORSE with a prize pool of $7,104,000 and the first prize of $1,989,120 going to Scotty Nguyen.

Below are the 30 largest poker tournaments with respect to the prize pool in United States dollars and not number of entrants. This list includes live and online poker.

Currently, the 11 largest prize pools in history have been WSOP Main Events. The largest prize pool outside of the Main Event is the 2012 WSOP event known as The Big One for One Drop, held from July 1-3. It featured a buy-in of US$1 million, the largest in poker history. Of the buy-in, $111,111 was a charitable donation to the One Drop Foundation, and the WSOP took no rake. All 48 seats available for that event were filled, resulting in a prize pool of $42,666,672, with over 5 million dollars donated. The largest pool for any event outside of the WSOP was the 2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge, with a HK$2 million (US$260,000) buy-in plus a rebuy option. The event drew a field of 73, of which 21 made a rebuy, resulting in a prize pool of HK$182,360,000 (slightly over US$23.5 million).

All of the 30 richest tournaments to date were played in No Limit Hold'em.

Event Prize Pool (US$) Winner 1st Prize Ref.
2006 WSOP Main Event $82,512,162 Jamie Gold $12,000,000  
2010 WSOP Main Event $68,799,059 Jonathan Duhamel $8,944,310  
2011 WSOP Main Event $64,531,000 Pius Heinz $8,711,956  
2008 WSOP Main Event $64,333,600 Peter Eastgate $9,152,416  
2014 WSOP Main Event $62,820,200 Martin Jacobson $10,000,000  
2012 WSOP Main Event $62,021,200 Greg Merson $8,527,982  
2009 WSOP Main Event $61,043,600 Joe Cada $8,547,042  
2015 WSOP Main Event $60,348,000 Joe McKeehen $7,680,021  
2007 WSOP Main Event $59,784,954 Jerry Yang $8,250,000  
2013 WSOP Main Event $59,708,800 Ryan Riess $8,359,531  
2005 WSOP Main Event $52,818,610 Joe Hachem $7,500,000  
2012 WSOP Event 55 - The Big One for One Drop $42,666,672 Antonio Esfandiari $18,346,673  
2014 WSOP Event 57 - The Big One for One Drop $37,333,338 Daniel Colman $15,306,668  
2004 WSOP Main Event $24,224,400 Greg Raymer $5,000,000  
2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller $23,511,128 Stanley Choi $6,465,560  
2013 WSOP Event 47 - One Drop High Roller $17,891,148 Anthony Gregg $4,830,619  
2007 WPT Championship $15,495,750 Carlos Mortensen $3,970,415  
2013 GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions Main Event $15,376,897 Niklas Heinecker $4,456,885  
2011 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure $15,132,000 Galen Hall $2,300,000  
2010 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure $14,831,300 Harrison Gimbel $2,200,000  
2006 WPT Championship $14,671,250 Joe Bartholdi, Jr. $3,760,165  
2015 WSOP Event 58 - High Roller for One Drop $14,249,925 Jonathan Duhamel $3,989,985  
2008 EPT Grand Final $13,323,417 Glen Chorny $3,196,354  
2008 WPT Championship $13,216,250 David Chiu $3,389,140  
2009 EPT Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure $12,674,000 Poorya Nazari $3,000,000  
2011 PokerStars 10th Anniversary Celebration - Sunday Million $12,423,200 Kyle Weir ('First-Eagle') $1,146,574.65 online
2009 EPT Grand Final $12,293,896 Pieter De Korver $3,024,167  
2010 World Championship of Online Poker $12,215,000 Tyson Marks ('POTTERPOKER') $2,278,097.50 online
Seminole Hard Rock 2013 Poker Open Championship Event $11,920,000 Blair Hinkle $1,745,245  
2011 PokerStars 5th Anniversary Sunday Million $11,825,600 Luke Vrabel ('Bdbeatslayer') $671,093.81 online, added Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 for first place