The average Australian spends more than $1,200 gambling per year. This is the highest of any country in the world. Therefore, it’s no surprise that poker is as popular as it is down under.
Some Australian poker players have made it big, taking down huge poker tournaments and making their mark in history. Here are Australia’s top 5 poker earners.
5. David Gorr ($2.2 million)
This poker player from Australia made his name at the 2011 Aussie Millions where he took down a cool $2 million. Even Patrick Antonius couldn’t stop his great run to take down the Main Event.
4. Mel Judah ($3.5 million)
Mel Judah is a popular player in the poker community. Playing in regular tournaments around the world, he has accumulated over $3.5 million in tournament winnings. His most famous win was in the 2003 WPT Legends of Poker tournament where he collected almost $600,000 for first place. Judah is a typical pro who just keeps chipping away at tournaments and cash games.
3. Antanas ‘Tony G’ Guoga ($4.9 million)
One of the most controversial poker players – ‘Tony G’ – has made his name winning world-wide tournaments as well as constantly running his mouth. The Lithuanian-born-Australian has caused so much controversy over the years, that it’s amazing that Aussies still refer to him as Australian! His antics have been referred to as disgraceful, but there is no doubt he’s an entertainer.
2. Jeffrey Rossiter ($5.5 million)
This young-gun has made his mark on poker, and loves playing in Asia. 4 out of his top 5 cashes have come in tournaments in Macau ranging from $167k up to $3.1 million (GuangDong Asia Millions) in prize money. It’s taken him less than 3 years to reach #2 on the Aussie top earners list. His most recent cash was in the 2014 Aussie Millions main event where he finished in 13th picking up $70k.
1. Joe Hachem ($11.9 million)
Joe Hachem is, without a doubt, Australia’s most famous poker player. He was once a chiropractor who became a multi-millionaire overnight. He is the only Australian to ever take out the WSOP Main Event. His big score was $7.5 million for first place claiming the illusive WSOP Main Event bracelet along with it. is sometimes referred to as ‘The Hachem’ which was his winning hand. Known for his saying ‘pass the sugar’ when winning hands, Hachem is not a one-hit-wonder. Since his popular win in 2007, he has collected more than $4 million in poker tournaments. Minus his Main Event win and he’s still 3rd on this list.
While these Aussie millionaires have made plenty on the poker circuit, they are a long way off the worlds best. Hachem is knocking on the door of a top 10 spot with just $200k to go. The number 1 spot goes to Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari with an amazing $25.5 million in tournament winnings. His one major score was $18,346,673 (The Big One for One Drop – $1 million buy-in) which is the largest ever poker tournament prize. This even will be played again this year, so he might not hold onto this spot for much longer.
Image by Azrol Kassim