The five listed below saw their star power dry up almost on the spot. Lucky for them, they had plenty of money stashed away (we think) to laugh at all the way to the bank. They are no longer with the poker world leading many to wonder how they left the game in the first place.
1. Darrell Dicken (Gigabet)
Known as “Gigabet” in the online world, Dicken was as OG as it gets when it comes to the first wave of internet tournament superstars. Dicken racked up millions in earnings and left all to wonder how he was able to do it so easily. The success Dicken had playing against virtual opponents translated into the live game. Dicken accumulated $1.865 million in earnings with two World Poker Tour final tables highlighting the list.
Dicken’s last live cash came in 2009 at the World Series of Poker and since then, Dicken has been in the wind. There is no social media trail to find Dicken on and can only hope that he is using the brain he used to make millions with on another constructive project.
2. Craig Marquis
The first-ever World Series of Poker Main Event November Nine final table took place in 2008. In a field of 6,844, nine fortunate souls regroup almost four months later to battle for the Main Event title. The first player to depart was Texan Craig Marquis. The college student earned $900,000 for his finish and plenty of camera time with his battles against Brandon Cantu and Tiffany Michelle.
Like Dicken, Marquis last cashed in the WSOP and has yet to be heard from since. That payout came in 2010 and one can imagine that Marquis has since then moved on to other projects. His degree could possibly be involved there and the near $1 million he won likely serves as a nest egg.
3. Clonie Gowen
As a member of the massive Full Tilt Poker roster, Gowen was regularly featured on shows such as Poker After Dark. Gowen put together a strong list of results in the late-2000s but left the tournament scene in the days following Black Friday. Not many televised characters have come close to matching Gowen’s flair and charisma in the years since she left the game.
There have been rumors about Gowen’s whereabouts posted in recent years but they have not lead to anything affirmative. Should Gowen ever return to the live poker world, her positive personality would light up any table.
4. John Hanson
Remember the 2009 WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship event final table that took over 20 hours to complete? John Hanson sure does. The New Yorker with a background in cash games made the $50,000 event his personal playground in 2007 and 2009. Those years, Hanson finished third and second, respectively. In 2009, Hanson battled David Bach for seven hours in heads-up play before falling short of victory.
Hanson has not recorded a single tournament cash in the time since that event. The $789,199 he earned in 2009 along with the $852,000 he claimed in 2007 are not bad numbers to have as two of four career cashes. The $50,000 field has undergone a makeover in recent years but Hanson’s black hat stands out almost 10 years since his last appearance.
5. Jason Lester
If a card or two goes different in the 2003 WSOP Main Event, then maybe we’re having a conversation about the “Lester” effect. Alas, Jason Lester wound up placing fourth and earned a footnote in poker history. Lester followed that disappointment up a few years later with a bracelet win in 2006.
The Florida resident appears to have given up the tournament grind a few years ago. Lester will always have the tale of the “one” he could have had but overall, a career of $2.3 million in earnings is solid.
Lester appeared stoic and often humorless on television, perhaps not a full representation of his personality. Based on that perception, though, perhaps it is best he was not thrust into the ambassador role bestowed up Chris Moneymaker.
There are probably dozens if not hundreds of other poker players who have since disappeared from the scene. Give us a shout on Twitter with your favorite poker player that vanished.