How Much The WSOP Main Event Final Players Really Win

Hossein Ensan scooped pokers ultimate prize, but the $10million he won will look a lot more like $5million once the German taxman gets his grubby paws on it!

By: Andrew Burnett


The Taxable Talk breakdown of the final table’s pre- and post-tax winnings will likely bring tears to the eyes of everyone involved, except for the UK’s Nick Marchington that is, according to Russ Fox.

Winner Before-Tax Prize After-Tax Prize
1. Hossein Ensan $10,000,000 $5,393,531
2. Dario Sammartino $6,000,000 $3,427,650
3. Alex Livingston $4,000,000 $2,800,000
4. Garry Gates $3,000,000 $1,949,187
7. Nick Marchington $1,525,000 $1,525,000
5. Kevin Maahs $2,200,000 $1,329,271
6. Zhen Cai $1,850,000 $1,143,321
8. Timothy Su $1,250,000 $758,850
9. Milos Skrbic $1,000,000 $525,537
Totals $30,825,000 $18,852,347

“The US-UK Tax Treaty exempts gambling winnings of UK residents from tax. And the United Kingdom doesn’t tax gambling winnings. As my mother says, location, location, location”, says Fox of the Londoner’s tax-free 7th spot cash of $1,525,000.

New Main Event champion Hossein Ensan, however, is unlikely to be so fortunate.

“Whether he’s a professional or an amateur makes a huge difference for taxes,” says Fox , adding: “…the classification is the difference between earning $10 million and earning $5,393,531.

This distinction, he says, is the “reason why many German professional poker players reside in the United Kingdom: They avoid the high German taxes”.

Italy’s Dario Sammartino will also lose a massive chunk of his $6million runner-up payout, Fox expecting that “Mr. Sammartino will owe an estimated $2,572,350 to Italy’s Agenzia delle Entrate".

That’s a whopping 42.87%, above the average 38.84% of the winnings at the final table’ going toward taxes, according to Fox.

The unluckiest of all, however, is 9th-placed Milos Skrbic – a massive 47.5% estimated to be heading the way of the tax authorities due to him living in California.

Fox’s excellent Taxable Talk breakdown shows that the various tax systems will take more than the $10million first prize between them – a staggering $11,972,653 as shown in this next table.

Amount won at Final Table $30,825,000
Tax to BZSt (Germany) $4,606,469
Tax to IRS $3,313,395
Tax to Agenzia delle Entrate (Italy) $2,572,350
Tax to Illinois Department of Revenue $108,900
Tax To Franchise Tax Board (California) $108,414
Tax to Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue $63,125
Total Tax $11,972,653

Fox’s full article can be found here in which he details each and every player and the respective ‘tax bite’.

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