2005 made millionaires out of many poker pros

More money was given away on the professional poker tournament circuit in 2005 than in any other year, it was recently revealed.

In 2005, 34 players took home $1 million or more at final table wins, as compared to 22 players in 2004. In addition, 11 people won $2 million or more in 2005, while only 4 took home $2 million or more in 2004.

Also interesting is the rise in the amount of players (63) who won $500,000 or more in tournaments as compared to in 2004 when just 32 players took home half a million dollars or more from tournament play.

These numbers were helped along by the fact that all 9 final table finishers in the 2005 World Series of Poker $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em Main Event walked away with a minimum of $1 million each. Another major factor in the drastic increase of tournament poker millionaires in 2005 is the fact that a significant amount of big buy-in events, where players shelled out more than $10,000 to compete, hosted massive playing fields which in turn bolstered prize pools and tournament payouts.

The top tournament money makers in 2005 are as follows:

1st Joseph Hachem $7,614,022
2nd Steven Dannenmann $4,350,000
3rd Phil Ivey $3,333,426
4th Tuan Lee $2,856,150
5th John "Tex" Barch $2,528,085
6th Michael Mizrachi $2,472,439
7th Michael Gracz $2,292,271
8th Nick Schulman $2,241,995
9th Rehne Pedersen $2,112,200
10th Mike Matusow $2,009,225

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