Are poker pros paid more than athletes?

American dollars

In a recent article by ‘The Mirror’ it is claimed that PokerStars Team Pro Daniel Negreanu and many of the other top poker professionals are winning just as much money at the tables than some of the world’s highest earning sporting stars at their respective sports.

They used Negreanu (who turned 40 the weekend just gone) as an example after he has already earned $7 million so far this year with there still being five months of it still to go. This puts him up there with the likes of David Beckham, Phil Mickleson and PokerStars Team SportStar Rafa Nadal.

Negreanu recently revealed via Twitter what he has made from the game so far this year, though you have to remember that the majority of it came from a massive $8 million score for second place in the $1 million buy-in World Series of Poker ‘Big One For One Drop’.

The Mirror goes on to show that the top ten poker players in the world have recorded almost as much earnings as both the top 10 golfers and top 10 tennis players. They did use the end of year figures for 2013 though as not everyone is as open as Negreanu is about their income.

“In 2013, the top 10 PGA golfers earned $52,775,979, the top 10 ATP tennis players earned $48,566,433 and the top 10 ranked poker players in the Global Poker Index earned $47,870,710.”

According to The Mirror.co.uk, the only sportsman they list that has earned substantially more than Negreanu this year is Tiger Woods on $13 million. We are fairly sure there are other sportsmen at the top of their games that have also earned more than Negreanu but it is still an interesting list nonetheless.

Apparently Roger Federer earned $7 million last year putting him about equal with the PokerStars Team Pro whilst the likes of David Beckham and Phil Mickleson were trailing behind him with around $5 million in earnings a piece.

What has to be taken into consideration however is that players often stake other players in tournaments and get staked themselves. Take the ‘One Drop’ event that Negreanu won most of his reported earnings for the year as an example, he has already admitted he only had 44% of himself in that event, so in reality his earnings are not quite as much as originally reported.

Still, top poker players are up there with top sportsmen when it comes to pure earnings and it really is no wonder with the amounts of money they are playing for.

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