How Much Money Did Players at the WSOP Main Event Final Table Really Make?
The nine players at the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event final table, which concluded Wednesday, received a combined $24,125,000. Well, kind of.
Russ Fox, a federally licensed tax professional with Clayton Financial and Tax of Las Vegas, writes an annual blog post about the tax burdens the players at the final table take on. In 2019, $12 million were owed in taxes among the nine participants.
Paying the Tax Man
Koray Aldemir, a German pro who resides in Austria for tax purposes (more on this in a bit), won the 2021 WSOP Main Event for $8 million. And, yes, he'll get to keep every last penny of that, unless of course he had backers.
Aledmir won an exciting heads-up match against Atlanta executive banker George Holmes, who is going to owe Uncle Sam a large chunk of the $4.3 million he won. According to Fox, Aldemir benefits from the U.S.-Austria Tax Treaty, which frees him of the IRS withholding taxes from income, and the country in which he resides doesn't tax gambling winnings. If he still lived in Germany, he'd owe 46% of those winnings to the government, or about $3.7 million.
Holmes, on the other hand, can't escape Uncle Sam because he resides in the United States. Fox estimates Holmes will owe the IRS around $1.8 million, leaving him with about $2.5 million in profits.
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Much like Aldemir, Jack Oliver (3rd place) and Jareth East (8th place), both benefit from a U.S. tax treaty as the British poker players aren't required to pay taxes on income, and gambling winnings in the United Kingdom aren't subject to taxation. Oliver won $3 million and East received $1.1 million, all of which they'll take home.
Josh Remitio, who lives in the Phoenix area, earned $2.3 million for 4th place, and is estimated to pay just over $1 million in taxes, leaving him a tad below $1.3 million in profits, minus the money owed to any backers.
Fox estimates that Ozgur Secilmis will owe about $700,000 of his $1.8 million winnings for 5th place, based on a 40% tax bracket for high earning residents of Turkey.
Hye Paying High Taxes
Hye Park, who lives in the high-tax state of New Jersey, is expected to pay the highest percentage of winnings to the tax man. The 6th-place finisher will likely owe about 45% of his $1.4 million score, or about $650,000, leaving him with "just" $750,000.
In 7th place, Alejandro Lococo, will also pay a hefty chunk of his $1,225,000 cash. The Argentinian rapper and PokerStars Ambassador is expected to have about 30% of his winnings withheld by the IRS because the U.S. and Argentina don't have a tax treaty in place. He'll still go home with about $800,000, which certainly isn't a bad payday for an inexperienced tournament player.
Chase Bianchi was the fourth American at the final table. The cash game pro lives in Massachusetts and is estimated by Fox to owe around $375,000 of his $1 million 9th place score (37.56% bracket).
In total, the nine players will pay a combined $4,955,000 in taxes, which is far less than the $12 million owed in 2019.
In this Series
- 1 WSOP 2021 Schedule: 88 WSOP Bracelet Events, Sept. 30 - Nov. 23
- 2 WSOP 2021: Best Events to Play on a Budget
- 3 WSOP 2021 Main Event Satellites From $80 Hit GGPoker
- 4 WSOP 2021: Former Champ Chris Moneymaker Set to Miss This Year's WSOP
- 5 WSOP 2021: COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Players, Update on Staff
- 6 WSOP 2021: Best Hotels in Las Vegas
- 7 WSOP 2021: Try These 5 Hidden Gem Las Vegas Restaurants
- 8 WSOP 2021: Read Phil Ivey's Top WSOP Tips
- 9 WSOP 2021: 8 Things Poker Players Should Definitely Bring to the WSOP - and 2 You Shouldn't!
- 10 How to Enter the WSOP 2021 Freezeout Events
- 11 Is It Worth Playing Cash Games During the WSOP?
- 12 What Game Should You Pick in Dealer’s Choice?
- 13 What We've Learned from the First Week of the 2021 WSOP
- 14 Hands That Helped GGPoker Ambassador Jason Koon Win 1st WSOP Gold Bracelet
- 15 GGPoker Successfully Brings Online Flip & Go Concept to Live 2021 WSOP
- 16 Jason Koon, Connor Drinan Lead 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Race
- 17 Anthony Zinno in Exclusive One-Player Club Following Fourth WSOP Title
- 18 Looking Back At The Illustrious History of the Poker Players Championship
- 19 Phil Hellmuth Blows Up AGAIN; Rails Against WSOP POY Rules
- 20 Poker Fan Loses Job, Twitch Streamer Gifts Him WSOP Main Event Package
- 21 WSOP 2021: Are the Fields Tougher or Softer than Recent Years?
- 22 Doyle Brunson Treats Crowd to Surprise WSOP Return on Halloween
- 23 Spooktastic: Best & Worst Halloween Costumes from the 2021 WSOP
- 24 Phil Ivey NFT Launch Party a True 'What Happens in Vegas' Night
- 25 Poker Community Buys Man Facing Terminal Cancer into WSOP Main Event
- 26 Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 27 WSOP Temporarily Goes on Lockdown Over Suspect's "Suspicious Item"
- 28 Did Phil Hellmuth's Sex Ban Lead to 1989 WSOP Main Event Glory?
- 29 Doyle Brunson Arrives; Defending Champ Salas Busts Before 1st Break of 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 30 Aces Cracked Leaves Kevin Campbell as the 2021 WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 31 Quads Vs. Quads Sends Chang Liu Home Near WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 32 The Muck: Mike "The Mouth" Matusow Wants to End Max Late Reg
- 33 Doyle Brunson Proves He Still Has it Despite WSOP Main Event Exit
- 34 Phil "Gandalf" Hellmuth Makes Grand Entrance in 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 35 Chris Moneymaker Makes Late Decision to Play WSOP Main Event
- 36 Who is GGPoker Ambassador and YouTube Vlogger 'Greg Goes All In?'
- 37 The Muck: Poker Twitter Debates Potential Angle-Shooting in WSOP Main Event
- 38 Nick Rigby Plays the 2-3 "Dirty Diaper" in 2021 WSOP Main Event
- 39 Is Josh Arieh Running Away with WSOP Player of the Year?
- 40 'Wedding Crashers' & 'Old School' Star Vince Vaughn to Join WSOP's Move to Strip in 2022
- 41 Eli Elezra Selected as 2021 Poker Hall of Fame Inductee
- 42 Master of Ceremonies Vince Vaughn Suffers Bad Beat in His First WSOP Tournament
- 43 Players Implement Covid Contract During WSOP $250K Super High Roller
- 44 How Much Money Did Players at the WSOP Main Event Final Table Really Make?
- 45 Phil Hellmuth Breaks WSOP Single Series Final Table Record
- 46 Daniel Negreanu's Most Mind-Boggling WSOP Stat at the Rio
- 47 Josh Arieh a Surprising 2021 WSOP Player of the Year Winner