TOP 5 Biggest Rushes in Poker History

It is said that “Luck Is What Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity” Her what happen when top players meet the run of lifetime!


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Script and Voice by Craig Bradshaw. Video by Bruno Thienard

At number 5 is Johnny Chan with an incredible run in the WSOP Main Event

There was a time in the late 1980’s when Johnny “Orient Express” Chan was considered an invincible monster of live tournament poker. One of the main reasons for this was his back to back victories in the Main Event in 1987 and 1988. Two consecutive wins in such an event was already an amazing accomplishment.But the story wasn’t over, and in 1989 Chan once again seemed unstoppable in the Main Event.

He steamrollered through hundreds of players to get heads up for what would have been his third title in a row. In a finale reminiscent of David and Goliath, a young kid named Phil Hellmuth took on the unstoppable force and somehow stopped it,becoming the youngest ever champion in the process.

Chan picked up a total of 1,627,000 dollars for those 3 consecutive scores at the Main Event but seems to have lost his magic touch ever since Matt Damon bluffed him in the film “Rounders”.

Watch more: The day that Phil Hellmuth ended Johnny Chan’s Main Event reign

Erik Seidel is number 4 on our list with his stunning year in 2011.

Erik Seidel is a remarkable individual in terms of longevity and consistency,having been hitting solid tournament scores for the best part of 30 years. In addition to that stream of cashes, he enjoyed his best ever year in 2011, when he went on a historic winning streak,reeling off multiple six figure scores through the year along with a couple of seven figure ones for good measure.

This fantastic run allowed him to collect a total of 6.53 million dollars in a single year. Naturally, he made a name for himself as a High Roller specialist, even inspiring a song to be written about him, called Seiborg.

The song put forward a theory of Seidel being half machine, and not without supporting evidence.After all, if a computer were to dress as it expects a human poker player to dress,it would probably wear a red visor in the 1988 Main Event when he finished runner-up to none other than Johnny Chan.

Steve O’Dwyer comes in at number 3 with an epic run between January 2015 and January 2016.

Throughout 2015, the high stakes poker world was collectively frightened on numerous occasions, by a particular foe sat across from them, as he won 3 High Rollers, 2 Super High Rollers, and a few other tournaments along the way.

Steve O’Dwyer was an imposing figure, glowering and bearded, with his top knot hairstyle, and an army of voodoo dolls at his disposal. Yep, that’s right, you did hear that last part correctly.It is a little known fact that O’Dwyer started taking clay dolls with him on the tournament circuit,and since his amazing run of results, some have speculated that they must be imbued with voodoo magic.

Isaac Haxton, Scott Seiver, Jennifer Shahade and Bill Perkins are all confirmed owners of these magic dolls, but haven’t seen quite the same level of success as O’Dwyer, who banked 7.71 million dollars in a 12 month period.

Number 2 is Fedor Holz and his run of tournament results which were so persistent that they couldn’t even be stopped by his retirement.

During the first 8 month of 2016 Holz accumulated a grand total of 14.65 million dollars,banking a seemingly endless stream of huge scores before announcing his retirement just after the WSOP One Drop event, which he inevitably won, for almost 5 million dollars. It was less than 6 weeks later when he decided to see if an old retired pro could still cut it, and hopped into the 8 Handed Super High Roller at EPT Barcelona. And of course… He won, picking up another 1.47 million.

Fedor Holz became a live poker sensation in 2016, but he didn’t just spring from nowhere. Online results can’t be included in a list of great live tournament runs of course, but it’s worth mentioning that he arrived on the scene by winning the WCOOP Main Event in 2014.

Since his phantom retirement he has dipped his toe into the online waters again at the 2016 WCOOP, winning another million dollars or so by chopping the biggest online tournament in terms of buy in, that’s ever been held.

Occupying our number 1 spot is Daniel Colman with his incredible run in 2014.

Daniel Colman had always been known of in the poker world where he worked under the name “MrGr33n13”, and had occasionally sampled the world of live poker without major success in the years previously.

In April 2014, something clicked into place when he won the EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller for over 2.12 million, and the floodgates then opened in June when he won the Big One for One Drop at the WSOP for $15.3 million dollars. In a curious similarity to our number 2 entry on this list, Colman seems a little unhappy about winning everything in sight and famously irritated many people, by refusing to smile after his One Drop win.

Colman claimed to be conflicted about poker and the fact that he sees it as having a negative effect on the world, and so, in a state of solemn sadness and deep inner reflection he did what anyone in his shoes would do… and spent the rest of the year destroying tournament fields across the globe, amassing millions more in live earnings along the way, and sending the total winnings in his tournament run rocketing to 22.38 million dollars.So while he may not top the list for people whose actions make the most sense, Daniel Colman sure as hell tops ours.

Watch more: The day that Daniel Colman Won $15m and shocked the poker world