A History of How Amateurs Ended Up Millionaires in Poker Tournaments

A lot of amateur poker players think that big poker tournaments like the World Series of Poker are reserved for poker professionals. In actuality, anyone can enter these tournaments and, in fact, many amateurs have surprised the public and poker professionals by beating pros in these tournaments and taking home the prize.

Hal Fowler was the first amateur player to beat out the elite poker professionals in the World Series of Poker in 1979. Poker professionals worldwide were both shocked and embarrassed by this upset, but Fowler was only paving the way for amateur winners to come.

In 2003, amateur poker player Chris Moneymaker won a $39 online satellite tournament and gained entrance into the World Series of Poker. He surprised the world when, against all odds, he made it to the final table beating out professional players and turning his $39 into a $2.5 million prize.

The World Series of Poker began to grow in popularity among amateurs and the following year amateur Greg Raymer won $5 million!

Don't be fooled into thinking that amateurs can't win in big poker competitions. In actuality, amateurs seem to pop up as the underdog and win again and again, surprising the world when they take home millions of dollars in prizes.