Real poker online and cryptocurrency seem to go hand-in-hand as of 2023 with the two concepts collaborating more than ever. The speed of transaction combined with the security and privacy aspects make crypto the ideal currency to wager in, given that you can deposit, wager and win quicker than through conventional funds. Let’s take a look at some notable times when the players’ luck came in and they won big, really big.
$660,000 – July 2011
Bitcoin has actually been around for some time now. In 2011 it was available to use and PokerStars even used it as a prize pool for some tournaments, like this one, the $215 Sunday Million. Around 11,000 Bitcoin ended up on the final table as a user known as Lrrr_4_Call ended up taking the entire Bitcoin haul. At the time it was worth $660,000, while not shortchanged at the time, by 2023’s markets he’d be a multimillionaire as it surpassed $30k for the first time this year.
$1m– July 2019
That’s a big number to comprehend. At the time, it was around 104.23 Bitcoins, which led it to amount to such a dramatic prize pool. Winning Poker Network (International Process Services SA) a company based in San Jose, Costa Rica hosted this big tournament which lasted around 48 hours of play.
The final table consisted of eight players representing a multitude of different nations. It was however ‘TheBigKid’ the user from Brazil who won the tournament by winning the final table after more than five hours of poker hands.
$1.2m – 2017
Doug Polk is one of the men actively trying to bridge the gap between real poker online and cryptocurrencies by continually seeking new avenues to bring the two industries closer together. After all, it’s in his best interests as he’s relatively successful in both.
After forming a slight rivalry with his fellow poker and crypto enthusiast, Ben Sulsky, the pair made it to the final table of an online heads-up No-Limit Hold’em match. The pot consisted of a few different cryptocurrencies but mostly Ethereum, amounting to a grand total of around $1.2 million.
$1.3m – 2013
In the fascinating world of online poker, 2013 marked the rise of a remarkably successful player who would soon become the height of online poker and what it would take to be successful at it.. Going by the alias “ragen70,” this individual would later be revealed as Niklas Heinecker, a name that would resonate in the poker community. Little did he know that his remarkable winnings in online poker would eventually grant him significant media attention.
During that period, the concept of cryptocurrency was gaining traction, although its value of less than $1000 was nowhere near the heights it would reach in the following years. Nonetheless, Heinecker’s success was evident as he accumulated a jaw-dropping sum of 126,000 Bitcoins in a single tournament. At the time, this extraordinary win converted to a substantial $1.3 million in monetary value.
One can only wonder if Heinecker had the foresight to hold onto a portion of his winnings. As the cryptocurrency market experienced an unprecedented boom in subsequent years, that total value would have soared to instant life-changing sums of cash.
$1.35m – 2018
As part of the 2018 WCOOP Main Event, a player with the username, ‘Wann2play’ managed to win himself the entirety of the prestigious “WCOOP-79-H: $25,000 NLHE High Roller” tournament on PokerStars. This led the anonymous Dutch account to be credited with over 1,000 Bitcoins. This, of course, made him very wealthy, very quickly.
However, just a year and a half after winning the event the result was disqualified and the account was closed after suspicion of the user using multiple accounts to gain an unsporting advantage at the table during the tournament. No clarity was revealed whether the company retrieved the funds but they went as far as to proclaim the original runner-up as the winner.
$1.8m – January 2022
Tony G and Tsoukernik made poker history at Coin Poker’s insanely lucrative tournament. With a jaw-dropping $1.8 million at stake, the tension was sky-high. In a nail-biting final hand, neither player could outdo the other, resulting in an epic deadlock.
So, they split the entire prize pot right down the middle. Talk about a sweet payday for both players, for only a day’s work! Hats off to Tony G and Tsoukernik for their unforgettable performance and their place in poker crypto folklore.
$7.7m – February 2022
Remember Tony G from earlier in this article? Well, a month after earning that crisp prize with Coin Poker, he was back on the site and winning big tournaments again. This time, he earned a bit more for his back pocket as he earned $7.7 million from the final table on a Pot-Limit Omaha event. Tony G probably wasn’t short of money prior, however, having previously served as an MEP in the European Parliament for Lithuania.