The 10 Best Poker Players Of All Time

Poker is one of the most classic card games there is, and you could make the argument that it is THE most popular card game in the world. Whether you’re playing Texas Hold ‘Em, Five Card Draw, or any of the other styles of poker, no one can deny the game’s popularity. There is a reason that the World Series of Poker gets broadcast on CBS Sports for all to see.

Unlike in many other sports, naming the top players of all time in professional poker can be tricky. Due to the nature of the game, it could be difficult to tell what makes a poker player great. They can be ranked through their winnings, but we think the amount of money they make is not the only thing that defines a good poker player.

So we made a list of the best poker players based on our own opinion. We considered their style of play, personality, and achievements. Please take note that this list is not absolute, and we do not mean to disrespect other great players that wouldn’t be included.

#1 Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey remains at the top of the poker world. He was the hottest young player back in the early 2000s, winning his first WSOP bracelet at age 23 and three more in one summer last 2002. His live tournament winnings amount to more than $26 Million. Whatever people may think about the issues surrounding this man, he has 10 WSOP bracelets, a WPT title, and respect and admiration among his peers.

#2 Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu, otherwise known as “Kid Poker”, is the most well-known poker player on Earth.  Negreanu has had 6 first place finishes in the World Series of Poker as well as 2 championships on the World Poker tour.  With over $40,000,000 in live poker tournament cashes, Kid Poker ranks 3rd all time for live tournament cashes. 

Indicated into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014, Negreanu will go down as one of the most successful players in the game of poker.

#3 Phil Hellmuth

Love him or hate him, the Poker Brat is undeniably one of the best players in the game. Phil Hellmuth is among the biggest names in the game today. He is also known as one of the toughest players with a brilliant understanding of poker. With 15 World Series of Poker bracelets and about $23 Million in earnings, you cannot deny that he has great skill. He won the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas in 1989 and in Europe last 2012. 

#4 Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson, now 87 years old, played professional poker for over 50 years. Throughout his epic career, he has collected plenty of wins in his pocket, most notably his 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, including the Main Event in both 1976 and 1977. He even made a WSOP final table at age 84 and held the record of the oldest winner of a Poker Tour event at age 71 back in 2004.

He went down to be one of the most recognized poker players in history. He has a career tournament earnings of $6.2 Million. Brunson’s greatness comes from his instinct, natural feel for the game, and his experience of seeing thousands of hands over the years.

#5 Antonio Esfandiari

Esfandiari held the record for all-time tournament winnings until 2014 when Daniel Negreanu took over the title.  Esfandiari was on multiple poker television shows (including the Big Game), has won the World Poker Tour championship twice, and has 3 World Series of Poker bracelets over the course of his career.

In his early life, Esfandiari was a professional magician and flipped that magic over to the tables where he is now considered one of poker’s all-time greats.

#6 Tom Dwan

At just 27 years of age, Tom Dwan, aka Durrrr has become one of the world’s leading professional poker players.

Competing in NBC’s National Heads-Up Poker Championship, Full Tilt Poker’s Poker After Dark and GSN’s High Stakes Poker to name just a few high profile televised tournaments.

An avid poker player and enthusiast with tournament career winnings of $2.2 million, and significantly more in cash game winnings he has already cemented his name on the poker scene. 

#7 Tony G

Tony G, who’s real name is Antanas Guoga, a Lithuanian born player has one of the more interesting backgrounds of players on this list.  Tony G was the Rubik’s Cube champion of Lithuania before the age of 11.  Finding the game of poker at 18, Tony G’s path to poker fame was a bit slower.  About 12 years after starting the game of poker Tony G began placing in high-profile tournaments including the World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker.

#8 Bryn Kenney

The number 1 in the all-time money list would surely make this list. Bryn Kenney has over $56 Million in live earnings, securing him the top spot. His skills make him a consistent finisher in the game. Kenney grew up playing Magic: The Gathering card game then transitioned to poker in 2007, joining his first tournament. He continued to win bigger and bigger stakes over the years until he won millions. In 2019, Kenney finished runner up in a £1 Million Triton event with a $20.5 million payday.

#9 Justin Bonomo

With $44.6 Million in winnings, ZeeJustin is easily one of the top earners in the game. At only 34 years old, Justin Bonomo’s dominance in the world of poker seems to be just starting. He has won 18 major tournaments starting only from 2016. His most notable wins include taking the $1 Million Big One for One Drop at the WSOP for $10 Million. Bonomo succeeds against the top players in the world using his keen game sense and intellect.

#10 Johnny Moss

If you are ever called the Grandfather of Poker, that must mean something significant. Johnny Moss was a Texas road gambler, and his cash winnings cannot be determined. But as a professional poker player, he has 3 Main Event titles, 9 WSOP bracelets, and $1.25 Million in tournament winnings. He passed away in 1995, at age 88. He is remembered as a keen competitor by the game’s forerunners and his contemporaries.

Summary

Poker is one of the greatest games in the world and it’s created legends that will be remembered for many years to come.

We put together this list from our own opinion and would love to hear your feedback! Do you agree with our list, what would you change about it?

Let us know in the comments below. 

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Good luck at the tables! 

 

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