The measure for success in the poker world is how much money a player has won. Take away the prestige of winning a bracelet or a major title, poker players play for the money, pure and simple.
This article showcases the top 10 European money earners of all time in regards to live poker tournaments. We could have compiled a world top 10, but that particular list has been flogged to death. Plus, the majority of Betfair Poker's customers are European-based so a Europe Top 10 makes perfect sense.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 European poker tournament players according to how much money they have earned from live tournament.
1.) Sam Trickett - UK - $19,877,332
Sam Trickett is the United Kingdom's superstar player, one who has almost $20 million in live tournament winnings. Trickett's colossal tournament earnings place him at the top of this list and second in the world overall.
Even if we remove the $10,112,001 that he won from the $1 million buy-in Big One For One Drop in 2012, Trickett would still be fifth on this European-focused list and that is mightily impressive.
2.) Carlos Mortensen - Spain - $11,469,510
Carlos Mortensen is Spain's biggest winner and second in our list. Having won the 2001 World Series of Poker Main Event early in his career, Mortensen went on to win an additional bracelet and three World Poker Tour titles, including the 2007 WPT World Championship that banked the Spaniard $3,970,415 -- the largest ever prize in WPT history.
Mortensen has the chance to secure a fourth seven-figure score at the 2013 WSOP but he crashed out of the Main Event in 10th place to scupper those plans.
3.) Gus Hansen - Denmark - $11,240,678
He may be a huge fish in the nosebleed online cash games (he has lost over $10 million) but Gus Hansen has had phenomenal success in the live tournament arena. Among his accomplishments, Hansen can boast about three WPT titles, an Aussie Millions Main Event win and a WSOPE bracelet and the fact he's had five $1 million or more scores.
If only he could stop playing cash games online!
4.) Peter Eastgate - Denmark - $11,131,450
The bulk of Peter Eastgate's impressive total stems from his victory in the 2008 WSOP Main Event. That result added $9,152,416 to the young Dane's bankroll.
In 2009, Eastgate finished second in the European Poker Tour London Main Event ($843,734) and won a $4,800 buy-in event at the PCA ($343,000) proving his Main Event win was no fluke.
5.) Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier - France - $10,661,626
France's Bertrand Grospellier, better known by his nickname "ElkY," is one of the feared poker players in the world. His loose-aggressive style of play often sees him exit early in tournaments, but when it goes right for him he is almost unstoppable.
The winner of live poker's coveted Triple Crown (a WPT, EPT and WSOP title) won nearly $3.7 million in 2008 and has since had four separate years where he's won at least $1.6 million. As ElkY himself often says, "So sick!"
6.) Pius Heinz - Germany - $8,976,480
Pius Heinz was a virtual unknown before 2011 when he exploded onto the poker scene. The young German finished seventh in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event for $83,286 and parlayed that money into a Main Event seat. Heinz went on to top the 6,865 field to win the $8,715,368 first place prize.
Since his Main Event win, Heinz has gone off the boil and has only added around $145,000 to his cash haul. That said, he does play a much reduced schedule these days so that would partly account for a lack of follow-up results.
7.) Eugene Katchalov - Ukraine - $7,408,077
With a WPT and WSOP title already in the bag, it is only a matter of time before Eugene Katchalov takes down an EPT and becomes a Triple Crown winner. The Ukrainian is as deadly playing Seven-Card Stud as he is No Limit Hold'em, which makes him a thorn in the side of a much wider audience!
8.) David Benyamine - France - $7,047,146
David Benyamine gained a reputation for playing one of the loosest and aggressive styles of poker ever seen, earning him the nickname "Degenamine." Benyamine's standout tournament results include a win in the 2003 WPT Grand Prix de Paris and a bracelet in the 2008 $10,000 Omaha Hi/Low event. He also finished fourth in the $50,000 Poker Players Championship at the 2013 WSOP.
Benyamine's winnings are made more impressive by the fact he prefers playing cash games. Maybe he should play more tournaments and see if he can catch his fellow countryman "ElkY."
9.) Ivan Demidov - Russia - $6,826,568
Russia's Ivan Demidov had two massive scores and has since failed to add any further big results to his poker CV. Demidov finished as runner-up to Peter Eastgate in the 2008 WSOP Main Event for $5,809,595 and then came third in the 2008 WSOPE Main Event for an additional $608,995.
Since those remarkable results, Demidov has added $340,000 to his winnings total, but one would have expected much more from the Moscow-based pro after such an explosive entry into the poker world.
Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott - England - $6,035,582
Some of you may be surprised to see the name of Dave "Devilfish" Ulliott in the top 10 rankings, but winning $6,035,582 in your career will see you up there with the best of them.
Ulliott has never had a score larger than $675,000, which makes winning more than $6 million even more impressive. The man from Hull has one WSOP bracelet to his name and a WPT title, too. He could have had plenty more titles on his resume had he not finished second four times in WSOP events and third in three WSOP events and one WPT.
We're delighted that Ulliott made the top 10 because it means we can resurrect this amazing video by Matt Broughton.
European All-Time Money List Top 10
|5th||Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier||France||$10,661,626|