Meet the Biggest Winners and Losers of Online Poker in 2014
There were a lot of both familiar and new standout names in online poker in 2014. Some for crushing the games, others for getting crushed.
Whether you watch these players for entertainment or to learn from the best (or learn not to do from the worst), add these players to your list of players to watch in 2015.
The Top 5
Let's start with the winners. In total, these 5 players have accumulated over $9 million in winnings this year, and that's just on their primary sites.
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Number 5 - Doug Polk (Screen Name "WCGRider")
Not only did Polk have a great year on the tournament circuit, with multiple cashes in big tournaments, including winning a Super High Roller tournament in July for just over $1.6 million, but he also crushed it online.
Polk was the fifth player to pass the remarkable 7 figure mark, earning close to $1.1 million at the online tables in 2014. Doug plays primarily at Full Tilt under the name "WCGRider".
Number 4 - Isaac Haxton (Screen Name "luvtheWNBA")
Haxton limited his tournament play this year to really focus on the online games. Even though he didn't play too many live tournaments, he was still able to capture 2nd in the prestigious Aussie Millions, earning a solid $2.5 million for his efforts.
Haxton has been just as successful online. In 2014, he easily cleared the million mark, surpassing $1.25 million in winnings. Haxton also plays on Full Tilt Poker, there just might be a pattern emerging here.
Number 3 - Patrik Antonius (Screen Name "FinddaGrind")
Patrik Antonius is one of the few names that has been around poker for the last decade and has continually crushed it, both live and online. For a lack of a better term, Antonius wins at life. He's well-known as a former model, elite tennis player, and then became (and continues to be) an elite poker player.
This year he racked up a solid $1.7 million on Full Tilt under his screen name "FinddaGrind". Despite just cashing in one live tournament this year, he took home over $600,000 for a fifth place finish at the Aussie Millions.
Number 2 - Mikael Thuritz (Screen Name "punting-peddler")
While he used to play a high volume of live tournaments with decent success, Thuritz really found his calling with online poker.
Mikael has a really interesting story of his foray into online poker. He initially began taking a real shot at the highest limits at the start of 2013, and got absolutely crushed. The first five months or so of 2014 weren't so great either, he more or less broke-even.
Then something happened in June and he started absolutely crushing the games. So much so that he was the second biggest winner in online poker this year, amassing almost $2.5 million. Well done Mr. Thuritz.
He's also one of few players to own their own website. You can visit it and follow Mikael at www.mikaelthuritz.com
Number 1 - Dan Cates (Screen Name "jungleman12")
Dan Cates has been an absolutely beast in the online poker world for years now. It's not surprising that he took the crown in 2014.
The most interesting part? Cates not only came first in 2014 with his amazing $2.8 million on Full Tilt, but he also came 8th place as well, because he won over $630,000 on PokerStars under the screen name "w00ki3z.". If you haven't followed the jungle man before, add him to the top of your list in 2015.
The Bottom 5
Just a heads-up, a few of the names on this list are really going to shock you.
Number 5 - Paul Phua (Screen Name "MalACEsia")
Paul Phua is the ultimate proof that clever screen names don't win pots. But then again, Phua doesn't really need to win at poker, given that he is extremely successful in his business pursuits. Overall, he lost about $800,000 online in 2014.
Phua has had a tough year for many reasons, including being arrested under suspicion of being involved with an illegal gambling ring. Another name on this list was responsible for paying his bail.
Number 4 - Phil Galfond (Screen Name "OMGClayAiken")
Phil was one of the first group of players to really make it big online. With his iconic screen name "OMGClayAiken", he quickly rose to popularity as he was crushing the games. This year, however, he's struggled a bit, and ended down just over $1 million.
Galfond may have had a bad year, but don't feel too bad for him. Overall he's still won close to $10 million online, and a substantial amount offline as well. It will be interesting to see if he can bounce back and get back to the top, or if he's really been surpassed by the next generation.
Number 3 - Elior Sion (Screen Name "Crazy Elior")
Elior may not be as well known as some of these other names, but he's been around the top level of the game since about 2011. While he's had a few good years, 2014 was not one of them. He has consistently lost this year, ending up down over $1.2 million. Expect Elior to sharpen his game and get out of his downswing in 2015.
Number 2 - Phil Ivey
No, that is not a typo. Phil Ivey, one of the greatest poker players in history had another tough year, losing more than $2.5 million. On top of legal trouble and gambling issues, Ivey is one that a lot of the poker world is concerned about. Everyone will be keeping an eye on him on and off the tables to see if he can recover.
Number 1 - Gus Hansen
Gus is the most loveable loser in history. Even though he shows sparks of brilliance at times, he's come out on the losing end consistently the last few years.
His insanely loose and aggressive style ensures that he's involved in a ton of strange and crazy big pots, which is why he's one of the most enjoyable to watch.
He played most of his action this year on Full Tilt, where he lost an almost unbelievable $5.4 million.