Meet Stephen Chidwick - England’s Greatest Poker Tournament Player

Jordan C

Oct 5, 2023

Stephen Chidwick

Stephen Chidwick is a 34-year-old English poker player, born in Deal Kent, and is known as one of the best high-stakes tournament players in the world. His intimidating stare has become a trademark of the high-stakes tournament scene, and he is known for being a fierce competitor on the felt.

During his poker career, Stephen has managed to amass over $51.5 million in live tournament winnings - good enough for 3rd on the Global Poker Index Ranking, the All-Time Money List Current and Best Ranks, as well as the number one spot on England’s All-Time Money List by nearly $30 million!

Starting Out

Stephen’s first tournament cash came in 2008 when he won the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em PCA event in the Bahamas for over $88,000. It was clear even back then that Chidwick was a force to be reckoned with, and he was also known as a fearsome online player, playing under the handles “Stevie444” and “TylersDad64” in different poker rooms. 

Two years after his first recorded live cash, he cashed for the first time at the World Series of Poker, racking up three cashes worth over $35,000 in Vegas, before cashing for nearly $6,500 at WSOP Europe in London. A year later he would finish 4th in the $10,000 Pot Limit Hold’em Championship for nearly $200,000 and cash in three other events at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

Stephen would continue his impressive results at the 43rd WSOP, finishing third in the 2012 $1,500 H.O.R.S.E event for over $110,000 before following that up with a 6th place finish in the prestigious $50,000 Poker Players Championship event for over $250,000.

In fact, from 2011 to 2016, Stephen would get to the final table of at least one World Series of Poker event each year! The furthest he got in that time was a second-place finish in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Split-8 or Better Championship when he lost to Italian pro Max Pescatori heads-up. 

While the wait for a bracelet would continue, 2017 ended up being a significant year for Stephen Chidwick, as he found another valuable source of revenue outside of the WSOP.

High Roller Events

While they’re now commonplace on the poker calendar, there used to be a time when high roller events were a rarified breed, only happening a few times a year. While Stephen had been playing high-stakes tournaments in the early years, we can see a big increase in the volume of $25,000+ tournaments from 2017.

Despite the big step-up in average buy-in, Stephen was crushing these events, and made 10 final tables from Jan 2017 to August 2017, winning over $1.4 million in the process. Steven’s first win in one of these high roller tournaments came in August 2017, when he took down the €25,500 No Limit Hold’em 8-Handed event at the Pokerstars Championship in Barcelona for over $813,000. Just two days later, he was seen at the final table of another €25,500 event; this time finishing third for over $260,000.

2018 would also be a big year for Stephen, as it marked the launch of the US Poker Open - a series of high-stakes tournaments held at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, with a $50,000 prize for the best-performing player of the series.

There were a total of eight events in the inaugural US Poker Open, and after finishing 5th in the first event for $54,400, Stephen won event #3, the $25,000 + 1,000 No Limit Hold'em event, and event #4, the $25,000 + 1,000 Mixed Game Championship for over $750,000, putting him firmly in the driving seat. He followed up those impressive wins with a 3rd place in event #6, the $25,000 + 1,000 No Limit Hold'em, and a 2nd place in event #7, the $25,000 + 1,000 No Limit Hold'em.

These results yielded a return of $1,256,600, putting him at the top of the leaderboard and earning him another $50,000 in cash.

First Bracelet Win

While Stephen was crushing the high roller events around the world, he always made sure that he returned to the World Series of Poker every year as he hunted for his first bracelet. After missing out on a final table appearance in 2017, he rectified that in 2018 when he came 6th in the $100,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller event for over $484,000.

By the time 2019 rolled around, Stephen was regularly listed as one of the best players without a bracelet, and due to the number of final tables he made, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time. Then, nine years after his first WSOP cash, he did it - taking down the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller 8-Handed event for over $1.6 million; it had to be a high roller, didn’t it?

While Stephen was used to seven-figure cashes at this point, you could see how much the bracelet meant to him as he held it aloft in the winner’s ceremony. Speaking on his bracelet win, Chidwick said, “It means a lot, it feels great. It is obviously a great one to do it in and I am in shock… I had so many people supporting me for the last 10 years since I have been grinding so hard to win a bracelet and I know I have a lot of people in my corner that are really happy for me and that means a lot.”

Post-Covid Poker

Since live poker has returned after the lockdown, you can see a clear shift in the type of tournaments that Stephen plays. He is now almost exclusively focused on high-roller events, only dropping his buy-ins below $10,000 for a tournament series main event or the WSOP.

While he hasn’t yet added a second WSOP bracelet to his resume, he’s recorded a number of impressive tournament victories, including the €100,000 No Limit Short Deck Hold’em Main Event at the 2022 Triton Poker Series in Madrid for €1.8 million, back-to-back $10,000 event wins at the PokerGo Tour for over $200,000 combined, and two €25,000 High Roller events in two days at the 2023 European Poker Tour (EPT) Paris for over $550,000 combined.

Given Stephen’s immense talent and work ethic, we expect him to be a big part of the high-stakes tournament scene for a long time to come.

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