Taxman Wins Big at 2017 WSOP Main Event

Taxman Wins Big at 2017 WSOP Main EventEach year after a new WSOP Main Event champion is crowned, the question is inevitably raised as to “how much money they will actually receive from their bumper first place prize?” The 2017 winner Scott Blumstein, for instance, collected a whopping $8.15 million for his monumental victory in Las Vegas this week, but in actual fact will receive just a fraction of that amount due to tax obligations, as well as having to payback family and friends who invested in his $10,000 tournament buy-in.
The latter includes Peter Gerolamo, Aldo Boscia, John Scuteri and Nick Muldrow, who invested a mere $60 each to help Blumstein’s raise his buy-in fee, but can now expect to receive $40,750 a piece on their investment. Asher Conniff, on the other hand, handed over $460 to Blumstein pre-Main Event, representing 3% of his buy-in, and can now look forward to scooping a $244,500 return on his shrewd decision.
By far the biggest cut, however, will be taken by the tax man who will collect almost half of Blumstein’s earnings; this includes about 36.72% in federal taxes, Federal Insurance Contributions, and Social Security and Medicare taxes. Furthermore, the New Jersey pro will also have to fork out a further 8.78% to cover the state’s tax rate, meaning he will see $4,244,409 of the winning he earned for his 2017 WSOP Main Event victory.
Similarly, fellow American finalists Daniel Ott, Bryan Piccioli and Ben Lamb won a combined $7.375 million from their final table finishes, but will have to pay out around $3,130591 in taxes, increasing to around $7.5 million when Scott Blumstein is added to the total.
More fortunate will be UK players John Hesp and Jack Sinclair who will get to keep all of their $2.6 million and $1.2 million winnings respectively. Ordinarily, Frenchmen Antoine Saout ($2m) and Benjamin Pollak ($3.5m) would be expected to pay an exorbitant 48% tax rate in their native country, but having now become residents of the UK will be able to keep the lot. Not so lucky Argentina’s Damian Salas ($1.425m), however, who may not have to pay any gambling taxes in his native Argentina, but will still be subject to a 30% non-resident deduction tax in the USA.

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