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Five of the Greatest Poker Tournament Heaters Ever

Dan Colman, Fedor Holz, Erik Seidel, Steve O'Dwyer and Daniel Negreanu
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  • When elite poker players run hot, there's simply no stopping them.

One of the deadliest combinations you will stumble across in the poker world is when a talented player is riding on the crest of a wave of positive variance. When the world’s elite players go on a so-called heater, there is little anyone can do except sit back and watch them rake in pot after pot and add a few zeros to the end of their bank balances.

Dozens of high-profile players have enjoyed the experience of seemingly being able to do nothing wrong at the poker tables and it is something that will continue to happen as long as poker is played. There is no doubt that some of of these hot-running spells have been missed in this article, but here are some of my favorite live poker heaters from the modern game.

Dan Colman: $22,389,481 won during 2014

As someone who used to enjoy playing heads up sit & go tournament online, I was already aware of the name Dan Colman because, playing as “mrge33n13,” he was a regular crusher at the highest stakes in one-on-one games. After several cashes in major live tournaments, Colman burst onto the live poker scene in 2014 when he swept the floor with opponents in the majority of events that he entered.

A 27th-place finish in a $25,500 High Roller event at the 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure bagged Colman $59,300. While impressive, it was not exactly a result to write home about.

The same can’t be said of Colman’s next cash, which was an outright victory in the €100,000 Super High Roller at the European Poker Tour Grand Final that bagged him a massive €1,539,300.

Colman, who calls Massachusetts home, reached the final table of a €10,300 buy in turbo event while in Monte Carlo before jetting off to Las Vegas for the 2014 World Series of Poker where he finished third in a $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Heads-Up event for $111,942 before securing a life-changing $15,306,668 by winning the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop.

The heater continued throughout 2014 with Colman helping himself to four scores of $800,000 or more, including two results worth more than a million dollars.

Although the number of tournaments Colman entered in 2015 was less than his golden year, he still managed to win $1,854,121 in 2015, $1,301,756 in 2016 and has already won $1,923,946 in the first few months of 2017.

Dan Colman’s amazing 2014:

DateTournamentPlacePrize (local currency)Prize (USD equivalent)
Jan. 11$25,500 NL Hold’em High Roller27th $59,300
April 24€100,000 NL Hold’em Super High Roller1st€1,539,300$2,127,398
May 2€10,300 NL Hold’em 6-Max Turbo5th€49,400$68,526
June 19$10,000 NL Hold’em heads-Up3rd $111,942
June 25$5,000 NL Hold’em19th $22,309
June 29$1m Big One for One Drop1st $15,306,668
July 10$100,000 NL Hold’em Super High Roller3rd $796,821
Aug. 18€50,000 Super High Roller2nd€843,066$1,118,479
Aug. 28£60,000 WPT Alpha8 London1st£600,000$957,396
Nov. 1HK$500,000 Super High Roller7thHK$2,900,000$373,932

Fedor Holz: $16,484,153 won during 2016

The poker media are running out of superlatives to describe Germany’s Fedor Holz. Already an accomplished and feared online poker tournament player who had won a World Championship Of Online Poker Main Event, and a player who had won several six-figures scores in live events during 2015, Holz made the live circuit his own during 2016.

After winning the $100,000 WPT Alpha8 event in Las Vegas for $1,589,219 in December 2015, Holz started 2016 as he left off and triumphed in a $200,000 Triton Super High Roller Series in the Philippines for $3,463,500.

A couple of cashes at the PCA were followed up by a six-figure score at the Aussie Millions, before all hell broke loose in Las Vegas and around Europe. Check out Holz’s incredible 2016 results:

DateTournamentPlacePrize (local currency)Prize (USD equivalent)
Jan. 3$200,000 Triton Super High Roller1st $3,463,500
Jan. 8$5,300 PCA Main Event18th $32,360
Jan. 14$2,200 NL Hold’em 8-Max Turbo4th $19,700
Jan. 24AU$100,000 Challenge6thAU$281,260$196,901
March 2$1,100 NL Hold’em Bounty14th $1,130
April 19$25,500 NL Hold’em High Roller13th $58,750
April 26€10,300 NL Hold’em High Roller4th€169,000$190,123
April 29€1,075 NL Hold’em Hyper Turbo21st€1,940$2,199
May 1€50,000 NL Hold’em Super High Roller5th€271,670$310,892
May 3€5,200 NL Hold’em Hyper-Turbo7th€15,450$17,743
May 5€2,200 NL Hold’em 8-Max25th€4,280$4,918
May 29$300,000 Super High Roller Bowl2nd $3,500,000
June 3$50,000 Super High Roller1st $637,392
June 8$1,500 NL Hold’em 6-Max18th $17,380
June 10$25,000 NL Hold’em1st $393,120
June 14$3,000 NL Hold’em 6-Max47th $8,716
June 17$25,000 NL Hold’em1st $276,012
July 5$5,000 NL Hold’em39th $15,823
July 7$50,000 NL Hold’em3rd $407,310
July 8$111,111 High Roller for One Drop1st $4,981,775
Aug. 20€50,000 NL Hold’em Super High Roller1st€1,300,300$1,473,127
Aug. 23€25,500 NL Hold’em23rd€46,900$53,002
Oct. 28$100,000 NL Hold’em Super High Roller4th $299,880

Erik Seidel: $6,530,154 won during 2011

Erik Seidel is a true poker legend, one who has continually adapted his game to ensure he is still one of the front-runners when it comes to tournament poker.

Seidel won more than $6.5 million in 2011 before banking more than $2.1 million in 2013, $1.53 million in 2014 and more than $5 million in both 2015 and 2016, nothing short of remarkable. Seidel believes he's the first player to have two different years of winning at least $5 million in the history of tournament poker.

DateTournamentPlacePrize (local currency)Prize (USD equivalent)
Jan. 10$5,250 NL Hold’em 6-Max3rd $46,560
Jan. 13$25,500 NL Hold’em High Roller4th $295,960
Jan. 22AU$100,500 Challenge4rdAU$625,000$618,139
Jan. 27AU$250,000 Super High Roller1stAU$2,500,000$2,427,555
Feb. 22$5,100 Heads-Up Championship5th $14,500
Feb. 27$25,100 High Roller1st $144,570
March 3$25,000 NL Hold’em Heads-Up1st $750,000
April 9$10,000 NL Hold’em WPT Lawrenceburg2nd $155,103
May 18$100,000 Super High Roller1st $1,092,780
June 1$1,500 Limit Omaha-832nd $6,868
June 14$5,000 NL Hold’em Shootout25th $13,368
June 18$10,000 7-Card Stud13th $32,057
June 30$1,500 PLO-858th $4,188
Aug. 9$20,000 NL Hold’em 6-Max2nd $604,330
Sept. 6$20,000 NL Hold’em 8-Max4th $184,100
Oct. 12€10,000 WSOPE Main Event21st€37,000$49,427

Steve O’Dwyer: $4,879,828 won during 2015

Steve O’Dwyer enjoyed a superb run of fortune from November 2014 to January 2016 that saw his already glowing reputation bolstered significantly. O’Dwyer ended 2014 by winning a HK$500,000 Super High Roller for HK$14,050,000 ($1,811,638) and started 2016 with two scores of $950,000 each, one weighing in at $745,000 and another at $180,000.

His 2015 results:

DateTournamentPlacePrize (local currency)Prize (USD equivalent)
Jan. 6$100,000 Super High Roller1st $1,872,580
Jan. 23AU$25,000 NL Hold’em6thAU$156,000$126,181
March 12HK$20,000 NL Hold’em1stHK$993,120$127,925
March 18€1,100 NL Hold’em22nd€7,200$7,623
March 26€10,400 NL Hold’em High Roller17th€36,700$40,176
April 3€3,500 NL Hold’em Irish Open15th€12,500$13,525
May 2€10,600 EPT Grand Final Main Event74th€19,175$21,517
May 6€25,500 NL Hold’em High Roller3rd€528,700$589,297
May 11€3,300 NL Hold’em WPT Amsterdam Main Event31st€6,500$7,278
May 27HK$25,000 NL Hold’em57thHK$43,600$5,623
Aug. 4€5,100 NL Hold’em 6-Max1st€35,550$38,990
Aug. 22€50,000 NL Hold’em Super High Roller7th€221,000$249,486
Aug. 25€25,500 NL Hold’em High Roller12th€63,300$72,751
Oct. 9€550 NL Hold’em5th€43,409$48,904
Oct. 24€2,200 NL Hold’em43rd€3,835$4,250
Oct. 25€5,300 NL Hold’em57th€10,580$11,654
Oct. 26€10,200 NL Hold’em High Roller1st€327,030$360,241
Oct. 30€1,100 NL Hold’em6th€8,750$9,576
Nov. 9HK$100,000 NL Hold’em15thHK$350,000$45,151
Nov. 13HK$500,000 NL Hold’em Super High Roller4thHK$2,666,000$343,974
Nov. 16€4,250 NL Hold’em22nd€8,067$8,686
Dec. 1€3,300 NL Hold’em WPT Prague14th€10,300$10,895
Dec. 8€50,000 NL Hold’em Super High Roller1st€746,543$809,752
Dec. 11€25,500 NL Hold’em High Roller11th€49,000$53,793

Daniel Negreanu: $4,465,907 won during 2004

Another massively impressive heater occurred in 2004 when Canada’s Daniel Negreanu smashed the live poker circuit. Negreanu kicked off the year with a third-place finish in the then World Poker Tour PCA and ended it with a brace of WPT titles, a WSOP bracelet, and five WSOP final tables to show for his efforts.

DateTournamentPlacePrize (local currency)Prize (USD equivalent)
Jan 24$7,500 WPT PCA3rd $192,270
Mar 3$5,200 WPT Shooting Stars17th $7,980
Mar 18$7,000 partypoker Million III2nd $675,178
Apr 19$25,000 WPT Five-Star World Poker Classic42nd $33,266
Apr 23$2,000 NL Hold’em43rd $4,400
Apr 28$1,000 NL Hold’em3rd $100,940
May 2$2,500 Limit Hold’em7th $21,800
May 6$2,000 Limit Hold’em1st $169,100
May 8$1,500 NL Hold’em Shootout9th $5,000
May 19$5,000 PLO8th $45,000
Jun 4$10,000 NL Hold’em1st $310,000
Jul 25$1,060 NL Hold’em6th $13,315
Sep 19$10,300 WPT Borgata1st$1,17,400 
Dec 14$15,300 WPT Championship1st$1,770,218 

PokerNews can't talk about heaters without doffing our caps to the likes of Sam Trickett and Mustapha Kanit. Trickett banked almost $4.6 million during 2011, an additional $11.1 million (thanks to a runner-up finish in the Big One for One Drop) in 2012 and a further $2.4 million in 2013. Italy’s mustachioed Mustapha Kanit won $1.5 million in 2014, $2.3 million in 2015, $2.87 million in 2016 and is already past $1 million in 2017.

Then there is Ole Schemion whose entire life seems to be one big heater. He has won almost $11.5 million since 2012. Jason Mercier had an incredible 2016 WSOP run. The list goes on.

Which is your most memorable poker heater? Let us know in the comments below.

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