Who Are the Most Successful Canadian Poker Players of All Time?

Who Are the Most Successful Canadian Poker Players of All Time?

Oh, Canada? How about Go Canada! Poker has thrived in the land of maple syrup and so have a number of its residents. The country has delivered numerous successful Canadian casino players and we’re counting down a list of the 10 most successful Canadians overall. We’ll start with the 10th place and reveal the number one spot right at the end.

10. Mike Leah

Career Earnings: $7.9 Million

Biggest Win: $1.047 Million

Mike Leah

Mike Leah has an interesting background as he was a professional wrestler before becoming a professional poker player. That’s quite a transition. In wrestling, he was part of Canada’s National Team. Eventually, after dealing with a boring, insipid day job, he learned about poker and quickly became very good at it.

9. Peter Jetten

Career Earnings: $9+ Million

Biggest Win: $1.323 Million

Peter Jetten

Jetten started off with top online casinos, working the tables under the name ‘Apathy’. He would eventually become one of the top high stakes online players. He was still quite young at the time but that was good enough to take poker a little more seriously and become a pro.

Surprisingly, he doesn’t have a lot of huge outright tournament wins. However, he often finishes near the top or in the final table, which is why his career earnings are approaching $10 million.

8. Michael Watson

Career Earnings: $12+ Million

Biggest Win: $1.673 Million

Mike Watson

“SirWatts” collected a lot of wins online in the early part of his career. He dominated on Full Tilt and PokerStars – including a number of SCOOP titles. Many consider him to be Canada’s best online player.

7. Sorel Mizzi

Career Earnings: $12+ Million

Biggest Win: $2.073 Million

Sorel Mizzi

Mizzi has won a lot but some drama in 2007 will forever associate some negative headlines to his name. He was a top MTT player at the time but he was busted using multiple accounts (to gain an edge). He was flayed by the poker community and shunned for a while. However, he just focused on playing hands, games and tournaments, and trying to rebuild his reputation. He eventually did. That’s evidenced well by his $12+ million in career earnings. And now that it’s been more than 15 years since his scandal, few remember him for that.

6. Mike McDonald

Career Earnings: $13+ Million

Biggest Win: $1.701 Million

Mike Mcdonald

‘Timex’ Mike McDonald had the nickname because he used to win like clockwork. There was a period where he would win a significant amount of money in almost every event he played in. He was the youngest player ever to win the European Poker Tour main event at age 18. He would consistently be one of the front runners in the World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker series. Now, he’s more focused on investing in crypto currencies, although he still plays from time to time.

5. Daniel Dvoress

Career Earnings: $15.5+ Million

Biggest Win: $4.080 Million

Poker Champion Daniel Dvoress

Canada welcomes in many immigrants every year, and Daniel Dvoress is one of them. Born in Russia, he came to Canada when he was eight years old and he’s made the most of it.

He did a lot of damage online early in his career (known as Oxota) and that’s where he’s mostly comfortable. While a lot of players love the spotlight, especially on television and broadcasts – he actually prefers to be out of the limelight. He does make an appearance for super high roller casinos events though. If there’s enough money on the line, he’ll most likely play.

4. Jonathan Duhamel

Career Earnings: $18 Million

Biggest Win: $8.94 Million

Jonathan Duhamel

Duhamel is etched in Canadian poker lore (and all poker lore too). He’s the first Canadian to ever win the World Series of Poker Main Event, the WSOP Main Event, which is basically the Super Bowl of Poker. So, if you’ve got one of those bracelets, especially the main event, you’ll live like a king. That’s not his only big win, he has made big moves in the European Poker Tour and the WSOPE High Roller. The winnings from the WSOP Main Event are by far his biggest score. They also account for almost half of his lifetime winnings.

3. Sam Greenwood

Career Earnings: $22+ Million

Biggest Win: $1.85

Sam Greenwood

Greenwood doesn’t present like a celebrity or a star, but he is in Canadian poker. The stock-trader-turned-poker-pro has made some good investments. He loves to play in the super high roller events and he’s become a feared player in those circles. Prior to that, he was doing quite well online where he picked up more than $6 million in winnings and played under the screen name “IfHeDiesHeDies” in his early career.

2. Timothy Adams

Career Earnings: $24+ Million

Biggest Win: $3.6 Million

Timothy Adams

Adams maybe has a shot to catch up and make it to the number one spot. He made a name for himself online as “Tim0thee”, and has collected over $2.5 million in winnings at PokerStars and Full Tilt.

He has a real laissez-faire mood about him, which makes him fun to watch. It doesn’t mean that he’s not incredibly competitive. He seemingly plays for the love of the game, first and foremost. Several winnings have followed but the money doesn’t appear to be this poker enthusiast’s first priority.

1. Daniel Negreanu

Career Earnings: $42+ Million

Biggest Win: $8.2 Million

Daniel Negreanu

Drum roll please, we’ve reached the #Number 1 spot, a big congratulations to Mr. Daniel Negreanu! Negreanu is not just the most successful Canadian poker player, he’s the face of the game in the Great White North. He emerged in 1997 as not just a stellar player from Canada but a stellar player overall. To this day, he’s one of the poker greats. He has more than $42 million in winnings, including tons of World Poker Tour, World Series of Poker and European Poker Tour wins to his name. He’s the highest earning Canadian poker player by a mile (or should we say, kilometer).

Honourable Mentions

As stated earlier, there’s no shortage of skilled players in Canada. They are littered from coast-to-coast, and many are working tirelessly to crack the top ten:

  1. Ari Engle, Toronto, Ontario ($7,546,388)
  2. Shawn Buchanan, Vancouver, BC ($6,934,037)
  3. Gavin Smith, Guelph, Ontario ($6,321,096)
  4. Pascal LeFrancois, Rosemere, Quebec ($5,346,275)
  5. Kristen Bicknell, St. Catharines, Ontario (5,344,935)
  6. Andrew Chen, Mississauga, Ontario ($5,112,251)
  7. Alexander Livingston, Halifax, Nova Scotia ($4,861,292)
  8. Taun Lam, Mississauga, Ontario ($4,851,424)
  9. Scott Montgomery, Perth, Ontario ($4,835,321)
  10. Lucas Greenwood, Toronto, Ontario ($4,735,571)


By the way, Justin Bonomo is the all-time money leader. According to the Hendon Mob, the 36-year-old from Fairfax, Virginia has now earned $57,194,647, and recently surpassed Bryn Kenny for the number one spot. Don’t feel bad for Kenney, though. The 35-year-old Long Beach, New York native has made $57,108,861. Incidentally, Bonomo scored his best live cash by winning the WSOP’s Big One for One Drop in 2018 for $10 million, while Kenney’s largest cash came in 2019 at the Triton Million when he finished second for more than $20 million.

Again, it’s a nice gig if you can get it.

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