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Poker Players Who Went from Rags to Riches

Inspiring Rags to Riches Stories of Famous Poker Players

Is poker a game of luck? What do you think? Have you ever got the chance to play out the royal flush? To become a successful poker player, you need to do a lot of hard work and have patience and determination. Be assured, the biggest names in poker didn’t have it easy. The rags to riches stories of most of the famous poker players have become a source of inspiration for people across the world. Learn from them and play poker online before hitting an actual casino to have the best shot at winning. This is a list of some of the world’s well-known poker players who went on from being just another poker player to ‘the’ poker players.

Inspiring Poker Players Who Made Their Own Destiny

Here are the famous poker players in history who went on from nothing to become millionaires overnight.

Sam Trickett

Let’s begin with Sam Trickett, the brand ambassador of who is the number one cash games player in the world and number seven in all-time tournament and event rankings. Currently, Trickett is the twelfth-highest earner in tournament play of all time. However, his dream journey is no fairy tale.

Poker was never Trickett’s first love. He wanted to be a professional footballer before anything else. Trickett had a brief stint with Hartlepool United before an ACL injury shattered his dreams. Although he played poker as a side hobby, he once horribly lost nearly half a million dollars in just six months! However, at the 2010 WSOP, Trickett took second place at the $1 million buy-in Big One for Drop tournament after losing heads-up to Antonio Esfandiari but won over $10 million as prize money! A true inspiration for many upcoming poker players!

Mark Fleddermann

Mark Fledderman was facing a real tough time as a poker player in Las Vegas because of the downslide in the US economy. Along with the money, his patience was also running out. However, he managed to walk out with over $65,000 when he only had $4 in his pocket before the start of the game.  

As a last try, Mark and his pal Tom Christopher decided to take a road trip to Tunica, Mississippi, to participate in poker events, which attracted massive crowds. On the journey, Mark used up his credit limit to gas up his car, became totally broke, and had to ask a favor from a friend to book a room for two nights. However, Mark managed to turn his luck around by going on a consistent winning streak. After competing for two days, he won more than $65,000 to make an epic turnaround of his fate and return with his pockets full. 

Chris Moneymaker

Chris Moneymaker was just an ordinary accountant with a normal lifestyle, but his whole life changed when he entered a $39 satellite tournament that helped him to secure a seat in the 2003 WSOP. He went on to win the main tournament and bagged the prize money of $2.5 million. Believe it or not, it was his first-ever live poker tournament!

Chris had earned a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee, after which he worked as a controller and a part-time employee at a restaurant. Chris had never considered poker seriously until he won that small satellite tourney and eventually the WSOP tournament. Chris was an unexpected winner whom nobody had seen or heard of previously. 

Daniel Cates

Daniel Cates, an ex-Economics student from the University of Maryland, is regarded as one of the best heads up No-Limit Texas Hold ’em players in the world and is a popular face on the online circuit as well. 

In 2010, Daniel won over $5,000,000, making him the highest winning poker player that year. Again in 2014, Daniel earned over $11,000,000 in online cash games at the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Oh my God! Was it always that easy? Daniel denies so. He claims that in his initial days, he lost a lot and had to take up odd jobs like working at McDonald’s to earn his living. But come today, he is one of the most famous poker players in both the online poker arena and live poker events.  


Now, with the rise of online poker, there will be many more shot-to-fame stories that will continue to inspire many rising poker players throughout the world.

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The Indian Wire Staff

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