Canada is known for a lot of things. Maple syrup, hockey, excessive politeness, and now gambling. Yes, gambling. While Canadians have previously been associated with inventions like the basketball, the lightbulb, and the jockstrap, they have now firmly cemented their place in gambling history as well.
Why so many Canadians have risen in the ranks of the gambling world is hard to say. There was an online poker boom in the early 2000s, and online casino websites have probably played a role as well. Regardless of the how and why, let’s pay tribute to the most famous Canadian gamblers of all time.
This man is an iconic name in the online gambling industry, with a reputation for aggressive acquisitions and bold business decisions. Ayre is the founder of the company Bodog, which has risen to become one of the largest and most successful gambling sites in North America. If you’re looking for a reputable online casino in Canada with real money, there’s a good chance it will be a site owned by Calvin Ayre. He also owns slots.com, which he acquired for $5,500,000. On top of his online gambling empire, Ayre owns and runs a gambling magazine.
In 1984, Guy Laliberte founded Cirque de Soleil, but that’s not his only accomplishment. He won a whopping $696,000 in 2007 in the Bellagio’s World Poker Tour and has been on many televised shows since.
While his winnings are big, his losses are too. To date, Laliberte has lost over $31 million playing online poker. Regardless he has used his gambling fame to raise millions of dollars for various charities, earning him recognition and a spot on this list.
It’s quite possible that Daniel Negreanu is the world’s most famous poker player, not just Canada’s. The World Poker circuit took off in 2003, and he has consistently been one of their top players, earning himself World Poker titles and 6 WSOP titles.
With over $42 million in earnings, Negreanu is in the top three best poker players of all time. His success has now made him the face of the PokerStars team.
Giving the men a run for their money, Evelyn Ng has spent her time beating the world’s best poker players since 2010. Her gambling career has boasted $375,000 in winnings since her first appearance in the World Poker Tour’s Ladies Night.
You can find Ng on several televised events and the World Poker Tour video game. As a former PokerStars representative, she is currently competing on Team Bodog.
While most of the Canadian gamblers showcased here play poker, Monika Reeves deviates from the trend, as she has made her mark playing blackjack. In the Ultimate Blackjack Tour. She scored a win in the fourth round.
Don’t let the made for TV face of this former model fool you; she has skill too. So far, she’s earned over $40,000 in live tournament winnings.
You won’t find David Baazov in any live gambling tournaments, but you will most certainly see the names of his companies. Baazov is the current CEO of Amaya Gaming Group, the world’s largest online gambling company.
PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are among his more recent holdings, with Forbes magazine dubbing him as “the king of online gambling.” Though he was born in Israel, he’s lived in Montreal since the age of one. Given his success, Amaya Gaming is guaranteed to be a force to reckon with in the online gaming industry.
Michael McDonald is one of only three Canadians to win over $10 million in poker tournaments. He won his first tournament at the age of 18 and had amassed over $300,000 by the time he turned 21.
His career winnings currently total over $14 million, and since he’s only 31, he’s probably got a few more years left to continue his streak.