The great thing about poker tournaments is that anyone can win if they have what it takes. They are the reason the competitive poker scene is always growing. Fame and fortune are potent motivators, driving countless new players to try and prove themselves on the world stage. 

The rise of online poker has also contributed significantly to the number of players in the competitive scene. It’s very common for players to get their start online, becoming notorious before transitioning to live tournaments. Today, we’ll cover Daniel Colman, once an extremely successful poker pro who has since stepped away from the scene. 

Player Overview

Daniel Colman is an American professional poker player with over $28.9 million in live tournament earnings. This puts him 20th on The Hendon Mob’s all-time money list. He’s best known for his one WSOP bracelet from the 2014 $1,000,000 buy-in Big One for One Drop event. He scored $15,306,668 after beating poker legend Daniel Negreanu heads-up, claiming the fourth-largest payout in tournament poker history. 

Beyond the WSOP, Colman has cashed six times at the World Poker Tour (WPT) and has one European Poker Tour title. He is the first-ever player to earn $1,000,000 playing hyper-turbo tournaments, an accelerated tournament format where the blinds ramp up much quicker. He did this in just nine months in 2013.

Colmans also has numerous poker-related accolades from various card game magazines. He won the 2014 Player of the Year award from three magazines: ALL IN, Bluff, and Card Player.

Early Life

Daniel Alan Colman was born on July 11, 1990, in Holden, Massachusetts. He was a natural-born gambler, frequently betting on sports before he became a poker player. He took poker up with the money he had left over from lost sports bets. Colman got hooked on the game, enjoying the sense of “finality” that came in heads-up scenarios. 

Colman played under the screen names “mrGR33N13” and “riyyc225” online. While he was a talented player, he had one major flaw: his propensity for gambling. This enthusiasm meant he needed to gain a sense of bankroll management or self-control. 

Any wins were offset because he couldn’t seem to help himself, raising the stakes at every possible opportunity. At one point, he built a $50,000 bankroll from $5,000 by playing low-stakes events and the next day, it was gone. 

Colman was banned from an online site for multi-accounting in 2013, and upon his return, he had apparently learned a lesson. When permitted to play again, he stuck to lower-stakes games, earning a consistent payout that saved his bankroll.

Live Career

Colman’s live debut was modest, taking fourth at the 2008 Heartland Poker Tour for $23,275. The slow start to his offline career didn’t prevent him from trying and his first big break came in 2013 – a third-place finish in the Playground Poker Fall Classic 2013 for $194,000. 

Immediately after, Colman kicked things into high gear. 2014 was a massive year for him, beginning with a $2,127,398 win at the European Poker Tour (EPT) Monte Carlo. Shortly after, he finished third at the WSOP’s $10,000 No Limit Hold’em – Heads-Up for $111,942. You’d be mistaken if you thought that was Colman’s biggest score at the WSOP.

For some background, the Big One for One Drop Event was (last held in 2018) a charity tournament known for its incredibly high $1 million buy-in. Exactly $111,111 of each player’s million-dollar buy-in was donated to the One Drop Foundation, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness for clean water initiatives. Colman fought his way through this tournament, outlasting 41 other entrants. He won his way to the final table, facing some of the top pros like Daniel Negreanu, Cary Katz and Scott Seiver. In the end, he defeated Negreanu heads-up for $15,306,668, the second-biggest tournament payout ever at the time.

2014 was the year that kept giving, with Colman earning more during it than some players have throughout their entire careers. After the WSOP, Colman took $796,821 by finishing third in the Aria Poker Super High Roller. He then made second in the EPT Barcelona for $1,118,479. And then, just ten days later, he won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open for $1,446,710.

To close the year, Colman claimed $957,396 from winning the World Poker Tour Alpha8 London and $373,932 from the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. It’s easy to see why he received all those Player of the Year awards – he earned well over $20 million. 

In 2015, Colman cashed in just two tournaments. He took third in the $111,111 No Limit Hold’em High Roller for One-Drop for $1,544,121. The second one was another third-place finish, this time in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open for $310,000. 

2016 saw Colman continue his trend of quality over quantity for his cashes. He made $502,000 from the World Poker Tour National Philippines, $216,211 from the WSOP, and $485,625 from the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open. 

2017 was the last year Colman participated in a poker tournament. He decided to step away from the game, though not after racking up a slew of impressive showings. $469,246 from winning in the Triton Poker Series Philippines, $217,686 from the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, and over $1.1 million total from the PCA are just a few of his numerous exploits that year.