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 covered North American, Central America and the Caribbean, so it’s only natural to finish off the Western Hemisphere. Up next, we’ll look at the nations that make up South America, which feature some bigger names than you might imagine.

Twelve Countries, But Not All are Ranked

There are twelve countries that make up South America, but not all of them have been able to have players represent their countries. Of those twelve countries, there are four of them – Bolivia, Paraguay, Suriname and (surprisingly) Chile – that have no record of a citizen earning a cash in a poker tournament (information courtesy of The Hendon Mob database). Two more countries in South America, Ecuador and Guyana, have less than 100 players each (Ecuador’s all-time leader is the only player in the country to have earned over $100,000; Guyana’s all-time leader is the ONLY player to have cashed in a poker tournament, for $1029!) in their rankings.

Thus, there’s six countries we can look at that have significant action.

Starting alphabetically, Argentina presents some notable names and, to this point, the only woman who has made a nation’s Top Five. Poker veteran Ivan Luca is atop the Argentine all-time list with his $6.5 million in career earnings, but it is who is in third place that is historic. Maria Lampropulos, the former champion of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, comes in that third place slot with her more than $3.3 million in career earnings.

Here’s the Top Five players in the history of Argentine poker:

1. Ivan Luca, $6,510,584
2. Jose Ignacio Barbero, $4,333,551
3. Maria Lampropulos, $3,377,914
4. Damian Salas, $2,687,963
5. Leo Fernandez, $2,210,388

In Brazil, the battle for the Top Five is an intense one. Those players are separated by only $1.5 million in career earnings, so if one were to get a major win or go on a significant run, they would be able to make some significant moves on the board. Here’s the Top Five players for the country of Brazil:

1. Alexandre Gomes, $3,689,990
2. Joao Pires Simao, $3,099,139
3. Andre Akkari, $2,673,059
4. Felipe Tavares Ramos, $2,600,748
5. Thiago Nishijima, $2,174,732

For Colombia, there is one person at the top and the rest are fighting to catch him. Farid Jattin is celebrating his 10th year in tournament poker by holding down the top slot on the Colombian rankings. He also doesn’t have very many threats to his crown; his closest competitor is more than $4 million behind him!

Here’s the list of the top Colombian poker players all-time:

1. Farid Jattin, $5,633,309
2. Mayu Roca Uribe, $1,462,498
3. Daniel Ospina, $1,151,610
4. Alberto Sobogali, $633,888
5. Camilo Posada, $419,564

Close Battles in Three Countries

In Peru, Diego Ventura holds the top slot as the only player who has earned over $1 million in his poker career. He is the leader, however, of a 318-player strong contingent who call Peru home and there could be change on this list – once poker starts up again. Here’s the Top Five players in the history of Peruvian poker:

1. Diego Ventura, $1,249,551
2. Hugo Perez, $630,665
3. Felipe Davila, $495,252
4. Martin Sansour, $454,450
5. Antonio Lafosse, $425,475

For the nation of Uruguay, the fight is rather intense. On roughly $33K separates the top two men on the list and the Top Five is only separated by about $1.5 million. Here’s the Top Five for Uruguay as of this point in 2020:

1. Fabrizio Javier Gonzalez Cataldi, $2,318,472
2. Pablo Joaquin Melogno Cabrera, $2,271,662
3. Brian Kaufman Esposito, $1,126,739
4. Alex Gustavo Komaromi, $901,588
5. Francisco Benitez, $886,292

Finally, we’ll wrap up South America by running down the list for Venezuela. 388 players make up the all-time list for the country, with Ivan Freitez-Rosales holding the top slot for his countrymen. That lead is only about $1 million, however, as there are three other players that are all over the million-dollar mark in career earnings. Without further ado, here’s the Top Five for the nation of Venezuela:

1. Ivan Alexander Freitez-Rosales, $2,679,663
2. Giuseppe Iadisernia, $1,679,982
3. Joseph Di Rosa Rojas, $1,308,995
4. Dorian Alejandro Rios Pavon, $1,289,344
5. Jorge Arias, $510,836

With that, we’ve wrapped up the Western Hemisphere. It is now time to hop on a plane and head to the continent that enjoys poker almost as much as the U. S. – Europe! Join in next time as we run down the countries of the “Old World.”

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