With the shutdown in tournament poker due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of the all-time money earner lists have also paused as there aren’t any new tournaments to add to the totals. Prior to this, we’ve looked at the Scandinavian nations that make up part of Europe. In this part of our look at the individual countries and their legends, we will look at Northern Europe and find the one country whose entire Top Ten list has something in common with the States of America.
The United Kingdom Does Better Than You Might Think
For the United Kingdom – the countries of Ireland, Scotland and England – you might be surprised at how well those countries are doing in the rankings. It could be arguable that, outside of the U. S., the U. K. has embraced poker for many years and, thusly, would have some “legends of the game” on the list. Additionally, the U. K. has put up some players that have benefitted from the largesse of the game in the “Golden Era of poker.”
In Ireland, a couple of “blasts from the past” are still holding strong on the all-time money list. Andy Black still is leading the contingent from the Emerald Isle and the late “Mad” Marty Smyth is high on the list, too. But creeping up on these gentlemen is the son of another Irish poker legend, who could conceivably pass them in the near future.
Here’s the Top Five on the all-time money list from Ireland (courtesy of The Hendon Mob database):
1. Andy Black, $4,859,983
2. Marty Smyth, $3,885,685
3. Eoghan O’Dea, $3,218,281
4. Marc MacDonnell, $3,078,566
5. Dermot Blain, $2,443,678
In Scotland, Niall Farrell has seized control of the all-time money list, partly aided by the plethora of “high roller” events in today’s tournament poker scene. In three of the last four years, Farrell has earned over $1 million in earnings, with 2019 making “only” $393,898 his regression mark. Such work as this has allowed Farrell to basically dominate the Scottish list.
1. Niall Farrell, $6,163,809
2. David Vamplew, $3,878,238
3. Ludovic Gelich, $3,003,153
4. Aymon Hata, $2,681,553
5. Gordon Robert Huntly, $917,197
In England, the entirety of the “old guard” has been replaced. The legendary Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott a mere decade ago was on top of the standings in the country. Now, he is in danger of being pushed off the Top TEN, let alone the Top Five. Even Chris Moorman, who some would say has had a fairly good live career, is down the list (only in ninth place).
The Top Five that wave the Union Jack has been revamped heavily (once again, “high roller” tournaments), as you can see here:
1. Stephen Chidwick, $34,487,646
2. Sam Trickett, $21,772,841
3. Charlie Carrel, $9,571,776
4. Ben Heath, $8,684,921
5. Jack Salter, $8,419,427
Germany Dominates Northern European Rankings
As we sweep across the north of the European continent (and, if we don’t hit your country, be patient!), we land in the land of wine and cheese, France. They also have some excellent poker players, if you haven’t noticed, led by a duo that seem to keep swapping the French lead back and forth. Separated by only about $1.7 million, it wouldn’t take much for there to be a change, potentially in the next couple of years.
Without further ado, here’s the Top Five players from France:
1. Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, $14,664,515
2. Benjamin Pollak, $12,934,492
3. Rui Cao, $8,752,503
4. Antoine Saout, $8,147,557
5. David Benyamine, $7,681,708
The leader on Poland’s all-time money list basically used one year to get ahead of the field and has stayed there. Dzmitry Urbanovich has done well over the past three years – no year lower than $288K – but his monstrous year in 2015 basically put him in the lead on Poland’s rankings. That year, Urbanovich pulled in over $4 million, which would have given him the lead outright.
Here’s the rundown of the all-time leading money winners from the nation of Poland:
1. Dzmitry Urbanovich, $6,130,472
2. Dominik Panka, $3,163,195
3. Bartiomiej Machon, $2,509,494
4. Jakub Michalak, $1,873,253
5. Sebastian Malec, $1,432,822
We’ve now reached Germany, which arguably has become the center of poker on the European continent as far as players go. Germany is the only country other than the U. S. where the entirety of their Top Ten players are in eight digits in career earnings. In fact, if 11th place Manig Loeser was nearly any other country, he would be in the lead with his $11,126,206 in career earnings.
Alas, Loeser is in Germany, where he isn’t even on the front page of the leaderboard! Here’s the rankings for Germany as of this point in 2020:
1. Fedor Holz, $32,556,379
2. Christoph Vogelsang, $25,064
3. Rainer Kempe, $21,427,269
4. Dominik Nitsche, $18,649,882
5. Ole Schemion, $16,331,584
If your country didn’t come up (I can hear you, Belgium!), we will get to them soon enough. Next time, however, we’re going to look at the Southern European countries and see how Italy, Spain and Switzerland stack up against the rest of their European brothers and sisters.