Poker has seen a massive surge in popularity recently thanks to many high profile events and tournaments, including many nationally televised competitions such as the World Series of Poker. While players from all around the globe have garnered substantial success recently, the vast majority of the top earners hail from the United States, with U.S. player all-time earnings totalling over $4 billion compared to Australian players as the next closest at $400 million total.
Big names in poker such as Antonio Esfandiari, Erik Seidel, and Phil Ivey – all hailing from the United States have found incredible success in recent years, earning over $65 million between the three of them and ranking them amongst the top five earners of all time.
Yet there can only be one top dog, and right now the most successful player of all time is undoubtedly Daniel Negreanu. At the age of 39, Negreanu has collected well over $30 million during his career. Daniel Negreanu was named the World Series of Poker Player of the Year twice, the first player in history to achieve the feat, once in 2004 and then again in 2013. With multiple $1 million+ prize pools under his belt, Daniel’s biggest prize came during the Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, NV where he earned an astonishing $1,770,218!
As successful players such as Daniel Negreanu continue to dominate the offline poker scene, the battle continues to try to push legislation forward regarding online poker in states like California. A statement was recently published from twenty-five California card rooms which summarized concerns over Internet poker bills introduced by State Senator Lou Correa and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer. The argument, as outlined from the card room supporters, focuses primarily on allowing offline poker establishments to be allowed to easily and legally transfer business interests into Internet poker markets.
“While the legalization of Internet poker will bring more attention to our poker games, we believe that it will increase competition for poker patrons and that the major benefits will accrue to those operators who have stake in Internet poker operations,” the statement reads. “It is essential that card rooms be able to participate in Internet poker in a meaningful way to protect our existing poker business, jobs, and tax base.”
The card rooms are focused on four key aspects of the legislation: fair methods of transferring card room ownership interests that focus on Internet poker, proper enforcement against unlicensed poker websites, prevention of “bad actor” companies that have operated illegal Internet poker sites within California to receive state gambling licenses, and moderation on oversight and regulations for day-to-day business operations.