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Biggest Payouts in WSOP Main Event History

On October 30th, 2012, we'll see yet another poker player join the elite ranks of WSOP Main Event winners. Not surprisingly, chip leader Jesse Sylvia is the odds-on favorite to win the 2012 Main Event, but any of the other eight remaining final table players could easily take the title too. Since we're on the subject of WSOP ME winners, let's go over the top payouts in Main Event history.

1. Jamie Gold - 2006 Main Event

After navigating through the largest WSOP ME field in history - 8,772 players - Jamie Gold earned the tournament's biggest ever prize at $12 million. Up until Antonio Esfandiari won $18,346,673 in the 2012 WSOP Big One for One Drop tourney, Gold's payout was a record for any poker event. Since winning in 2006, this Hollywood producer has failed to do anything significant in the poker world.

2. Peter Eastgate - 2008 Main Event

At just 22 years old, Eastgate managed to win a WSOP title along with more money than most people could imagine in their lifetime. The Dane's $9,152,416 payout is the second biggest since the Main Event officially began running in 1970. Following his big victory, Eastgate retired from poker at one point; however, he later re-entered the game and has managed to earn $11,127,554 in his lifetime.

3. Jonathan Duhamel - 2010 Main Event

Duhamel became the first Canadian to win the world's most famed poker tournament when he beat John Racener heads-up. His prize for doing so was $8,944,310 and a place in WSOP lore. Sadly, Duhamel was the victim of a horrific robbery where he was tied-up, beaten, and robbed of his Main Event bracelet. But police were able to recover the Canadian's gold bracelet and he has since returned to the felt with successful results ($11 million in winnings).

4. Pius Heinz - 2011 Main Event

Just one year after Duhamel won his country's first WSOP title, Pius Heinz grabbed the first WSOP Main Event win for Germany. Heinz collected $8,715,638 and became the sixth non-American to win after out-dueling Martin Staszko heads-up in the 2011 ME.  

5. Joe Cada - 2009 Main Event

While people may think that Eastgate was young when he won the Main Event, Joe Cada proved to be even younger when he captured the title as a 21-year-old. Besides laying claim to the fifth largest payout in WSOP history - $8,547,042 - Cada is also the tournament's most youthful champion.