- »Five Elite Poker MTT Players Hailing From Belgium
Five Elite Poker MTT Players Hailing From Belgium
Belgium is famous for its amazing chocolate, thirst-quenching beer, and its impressive national soccer team. Belgium is a small country with a population of approximately 11.5 million, similar to the U.S. states of Georgia and Ohio. The Kingdom of Belgium, to give the country its official name, produces some amazing poker players.
The country’s top five live poker tournament earners have $26,785,775 in winnings between them. Seven World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets adorn their wrists, too. Be on the lookout for the following five Belgian if you head to the 2022 WSOP.
Davidi Kitai is a Triple Crown Winner From Belgium
Davidi Kitai lives in Malta but Brussels, Belgium, is his real home. Kitai is the biggest live poker tournament winner from Belgium courtesy of his $10,157,562 winnings. The Belgian has amassed this incredible sum without ever enjoying a seven-figure haul. However, he has come close on numerous occasions. He won the EPT Berlin Main Event in 2012 for €712,000 ($930,816), which is his largest live score.
Kitai has a trio of WSOP bracelets to his name. The first came in 2008 in a $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em tournament. He won his second in 2013, taking down a $5,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em event. The third came in 2014 in the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event.
Kitai is the only Belgian to win a WSOP, WPT, and EPT title, earning himself a coveted Triple Crown.
Pierre Neuville is a Living Legend in Belgium
Pierre Neuville is one of the nicest people you will ever meet at the poker table. The man from Montigny-le-Tilleur in Belgium is almost 80-years-old but loves poker, and uses it to keep his mind sharp.
Neuville has $4,798,067 in live tournament winnings, mostly from the European Poker Tour. He has a quartet of runner-up finishes in high-stakes EPT tournaments. $1,203,293 is Neuville’s largest haul, his reward for a seventh-place finish in the 2015 WSOP Main Event. Joe McKeehen won that day for $7,683,346.
The popular Belgian is a successful businessman, and loves nothing more than inventing new board games aimed at children.
Kenny Hallaert is a Poker Player and Tournament Director
Kenny Hallaert has $4,479,845 in live event earnings, which places him third in the Belgium all-time money list. Hallaert is an exceptional player who mixes up his time by turning out as a tournament director for some European events.
Hallaert is another Belgian who reached a WSOP Main Event final table. He finished sixth in 2016 as Qui Nguyen marched on to victory. Hallaert received a career-best $1,464,258 for his deep run.
He moved from his native country to the United Kingdom to continue playing online poker. Online poker is allowed in Belgium but there are some weird rules and regulations. Hallaert has an additional $6,809,095 in online poker tournament winnings.
Michael Gathy is the Owner of Four WSOP Bracelets
Michael Gathy is one of the best mid-stakes No-Limit Hold’em players on the planet. He hails from Brussels, Belgium, but resides in Malta where he continually grinds online poker tournaments under the alias “merla888.” Gathy keeps his online winnings secret, but he is well into seven figures of earnings and profits.
Gathy is no slouch in the live poker realm. He has four WSOP bracelets to his name, plus two runner-up finishes, and another five final table appearances on top of those results. Betting on Gathy adding to his bracelet collection and his $3,766,028 earnings in 2022 is a shrewd move.
Thomas Boivin Shines Online and Live
Thomas Boivin is another man from Belgium who lives in sunny Malta. Boivin relocated to Malta to continue his online poker grind; he has $3,272,086 in online winnings. Live, Boivin has $3,586,170 in cashes, with $426,861 being his largest score. Boivin scooped this sum after winning a €25,000 Single Day High Roller in Prague in 2018.
He has twice come close to reeling in a WSOP bracelet, both times in 2017. Boivin was the runner-up in a $1,500 Shootout, and a third-place finisher in a $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em event.