This week, the World Poker Tour is hosting an extra special tournament, the $15 million guaranteed WPT World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. ‘ which ended up boasting a prize pool of nearly double(!) that. From across the globe, elite professionals are joined by determined amateurs and everyone in between. Stars of the felt such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, and Daniel Negreanu all have taken part.
Who will win the seven-figure Main Event top prize is anyone’s guess — in fact, the top six finishers will become millionaires! — but there could not be a better place to find out.
Over the years, the Wynn in Las Vegas has been spoken about in glowing terms as one of the best places to play poker on the planet. Who has won the most money in poker tournaments at the Wynn? Seven Americans, one British citizen, a Canadian, and a South Korean are among the top 10. Can you guess the top dog?
10th – Jinho Hong (South Korea) $706,046
South Korean player Jinho Hong is the first of just three non-Americans on the list. He just scrapes into the top 10 past American Joe Cheong by $6,000. Much of Hong’s winnings come from his standout career performance, the victory he enjoyed in this year’s Wynn Summer Classic.
The Wynn Summer Classic cost $3,500 to enter, and Hong’s win over Andrew Moreno was worth an outstanding $696,011. A deep run to 43rd in a $1,100-entry NLHE tournament a week later cemented his place above the aforementioned Cheong.
9th – Zachary Hyman (U.S.A.) $729,033
Zach Hyman won his entire ‘Wynnings’ in one fell swoop, but unlike Hong, his signature tournament victory came a long time ago in poker years. Taking down the $10,200 buy-in Wynn Classic back in March of 2007, Hyman outlasted players such as Mike Matusow (5th for $76,824) and Johnny Chan (8th for $38,412) at an entertaining final table, with Ted Lawson taking second billing.
Hyman’s many cashes in a career worth almost $2 million in live events included his latest cash in 2017 when he made deep runs in a spate of high-roller events at ARIA.
8th – Jeremy Kottler (U.S.A.) $736,062
Winning over $2.3 million in a poker career that has included cashes in far flung destinations such as The Bahamas, England, and France, American player Jeremy Kottler’s biggest win remains the $643, 267 he banked at the Wynn Fall Classic in October of last year. At a truly continental final table, Kottler’s win against Canadian Albert Nguyen heads-up came after the exits of poker superstar Chris Moorman, and Australian Shachar Haran in third place.
Kottler also won money in last year’s Mystery Bounty event, and came second in July’s Wynn Summer Classic for just under $70,000.
7th – Alexander Livingston (Canada) $761,240
The 2019 WSOP Main Event third-placed finisher Alex Livingston is Canada’s 13th most winningest player of all-time in live poker tournaments. But if you thought that his $4 million win three summers ago represented the long and short of his career, you’d be mistaken. He has won over $2.5 million in other events, and a third of that total came at the Wynn.
Livingston came third in the Wynn Million last March, getting the better of another Canadian at the final table when he finished in third place, just one place clear of popular past Sunday Millions winner, Vanessa Kade. The $10,000 buy-in event, which had 1,075 entries, tested the mettle of every player, proving once more that Livingston is a truly impressive player and one to watch for the all-time money list.
6th – Chris Moore (U.S.A.) $894,623
The American Chris Moore’s best career cash of over $850,000 did not come from play at the Wynn, rather that score was courtesy of his fifth-place finish in the High Roller for One Drop back in 2017. That was five years ago, but it was an even older victory that gave Moore his biggest score at the popular Las Vegas destination of the Wynn.
Taking down the 2008 Wynn Classic, Moore got the better of Ryan Young heads-up at a final table that featured players such as Ricky Chow and Larry Wright. Over his career, Moore has won over $3.5 million, with another cash in the November 2021 version of The Wynn Fall Classic earning him a 49th-place finish.
5th – Isaac Kempton (U.S.A.) $1,132,323
There’s little that can be said that hasn’t already been mentioned about Isaac Kempton. The young player’s incredible rise to prominence has come from nowhere to outsiders, with those in the know seeing his rise coming. Moneying in high rollers is something already common to the Newark player despite only having cashed for the first time in a tournament in February 2020. Kempton might be the best ‘post-COVID’ elite player out there.
Finishing second in the same Wynn Millions that Alex Livingston won, Kempton has supplemented his biggest score of $1,093,314 with a 92nd-place finish in the Wynn Summer Classic of that year, winning over $32,000 in the process. Kempton is definitely one to watch in the very biggest games in the world.
4th – Toby Lewis (United Kingdom) $1,250,969
Our highest-placed non-American on the list, Britain’s Toby Lewis has become one of the most consistent performers in both tournaments and cash games, live and online. A former Aussie Millions winner, Lewis is red hot in tournament play and earned the biggest single part of his $8.5 million tournament earnings not in Melbourne but in Las Vegas.
Lewis’ Aussie Millions victory was worth over $1.1 million, but the Hampshire player’s third place finish in the 2021 Wynn Summer Classic saw him outlast players such as Phil Shing and Maria Ho as the thrilling event reached its conclusion. Only his late fall in the Classic denies him a podium place. Speaking of…
3rd – Clayton Maguire (U.S.A.) $1,636,651
Claiming third on our list is the runner-up from that very event, Clayton Maguire. On that day, Maguire’s climb past Lewis into second earned him over $1.44million. That’s not his only cash at the Wynn, with his fifth-place result in the 2022 Wynn Million Poker Series contributing another six-figure score of $118,408 to his coffers.
2nd – Tony Sinishtaj (U.S.A.) $1,862,283
Tony Sinistaj has the dubious honor of being the owner of perhaps the most discussed winner’s photo of all time, thanks to his victory in the Wynn Millions held earlier this year in March. Famously pictured looking exhausted at the end of an intense final table battle with Kempton and Livingtson, Sinishtaj’s win, which he dedicated to his family, was proof of his poker prowess and catapulted him to stardom for all the wrong reasons. Sinishtaj wasn’t miserable, but never have so many words been written about how a poker player looked rather than how he – quite brilliantly – played. His second place on this list is evidence that the latter is infinitely more important.
1st – Andrew Moreno (U.S.A.) $2,103,606
Our winner – or Wynner – is the redoubtable Andrew Moreno. Brother of Johnnie ‘Vibes’ Moreno, younger brother Andrew went on a tournament heater over the past couple of years. As well as his win in the 2021 Wynn Summer Classic for over $1,460,000, Moreno came second in 2022 for a score of $460,000.
Charming the crowd, bewitching the rail with his mesmeric skill and perfect personality for tournament poker, the affable and humble Moreno is a winner for the ages and truly represents poker at its best. Losing to Jinho Hong was no shame one year on as Moreno fell just short of going ‘back-to-back’ in tournament terms, something so rarely done in poker history.
With Andrew Moreno, you can never rule out victory, and he’s the only player to have won more than $2 million at the Wynn… possibly until this week.
Who’ll win the WPT World Championship? No-one would bet against Moreno if he decides to enter the field.
Here is the full list of top winners from the world-famous Wynn casino in Las Vegas in ranking poker tournaments, courtesy of The Hendon Mob.
Wynn Las Vegas All-Time Top 10 Tournament Winners:
|4th||Toby Lewis||United Kingdom||$1,250,969|
|10th||Jinho Hong||South Korea||$706,046|