11 Greatest Poker Gamers Ever – Poker Fortress

The best poker players that ever lived.

A battle to be the king of the felt occurs so quick that we regularly solely understand every participant’s genius after reviewing the sport. That’s why we solely rank poker gamers based mostly on how a lot we like a participant’s persona, their whole earnings, and stats.

Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, and Phil Hellmuth are three of probably the most infamous gamers on the felt. Nonetheless, if we rank poker gamers based mostly on whole earnings, solely Negreanu will get into the highest 10. Some gamers like Daniel Colman and Jason Koon made some huge cash however aren’t within the Corridor of Fame.

There’s lots of elements that we’ve to think about when rating the most effective poker gamers. It may be subjective and open for opinions with lots of room for disagreements and debates as to who deserves the highest spot. We’ll offer you probably the most complete record of the most effective poker gamers, together with a bonus record that ranks them based mostly on whole earnings.

The best poker players that ever lived.Who’re the most effective poker gamers of all instances?

Johnny Moss – The Grand Previous Man of Poker

Johnny Moss is, maybe, a reputation you’re not conscious of as a result of his reign as top-of-the-line poker gamers began lengthy earlier than poker video games hit the mainstream. He had a complete of solely $834,422 in WSOP winnings, which can not appear rather a lot in at present’s requirements, however this man was the primary particular person to win the WSOP Primary Occasion in 1970!

There’s no technique to evaluate him with different gamers that we’re apt to see today. However he received two championships on the present event format that we see in WSOP Primary Occasions in 1971 and 1974. From 1970 to 1995, he managed to win 9 WSOP bracelets and three WSOP Primary Occasions. Johnny Moss is a poker champion for a 3rd of his profession and #3 on the record of gamers with probably the most variety of WSOP bracelets.

Legend has it that in the course of the first-ever WSOP, Benny Binion requested each participant who they assume is the most effective participant within the event. All of them voted for themselves, which isn’t what Binion supposed. After that, he carried out one other ballot to ask each participant who they assume is the second-best participant—most of them voted for Johnny Moss.

Johhny Moss retired earlier than successful 3 WSOP world titles

The entire quantity received isn’t an element that we thought-about to have him on this record as a result of he’s successful all of it even earlier than the poker increase. He was a dominating drive again then, and most gamers at present nonetheless can’t match his achievements in poker. That’s why Moss stays top-of-the-line poker gamers to have ever hit the felt.

Phil Hellmuth – The Poker Brat

Phil Hellmuth’s robust persona on the felt isn’t one thing that many individuals admire, however his achievements communicate for his expertise as a poker participant. He’s the one particular person on this planet with 15 WSOP bracelets; the #2 on that record is a tie between Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey, at 10.

In the course of the 1993 World Sequence of Poker, he formally grew to become the second particular person in WSOP historical past to have received 3 bracelets in a single WSOP occasion that got here in three consecutive days. He’s had 57 closing desk appearances, and 154 cash finishes in WSOP tournaments. Hellmuth is the one particular person on this planet to win WSOP and WSOPE Primary Occasions. He received the WSOP Primary Occasion in 1989, then WSOPE Primary Occasion in 2012.

Greatest Phil Hellmuth’s Poker Unhealthy Beats & Blow Up Moments!

Apart from his spectacular WSOP efficiency, Hellmuth additionally had 5 closing desk appearances within the World Poker Tour. He additionally got here near successful the Champions Cup when he completed first-runner up on the Legends of Poker in Bicycle On line casino.

His e-book Poker Brat: Phil Hellmuth’s Autobiography, provides you with a walkthrough on his life. It contains all of the struggles and successes that he went via to change into one of many world’s most recognizable poker gamers.

You will not be a fan, however we will’t deny that Phil Hellmuth stays one of many hardest gamers with ingenious insights into the sport.

Doyle Brunson – Texas Dolly

On the age of 85, it’s shocking and entertaining to observe Doyle Brunson battle wits towards a few of at present’s greatest poker minds. In 2018, he even made it to the WSOP closing desk. He’s the oldest poker participant to win the World Poker Tour occasion, and even received the Legends of Poker in Bicycle On line casino on the age of 71! 

Doyle Brunson holds the #2 spot for many WSOP bracelets, tied with Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey. He additionally received back-to-back WSOP Primary Occasions in 1976 and 1977, then joined the Poker Corridor of Fame in 1988. Brunson is a daily in televised money video games with 26 WSOP closing desk appearances. Regardless of his spectacular profession run, he’s solely amassed a complete of $2,994,116 in event winnings.


Doyle Brunson steamrolling the desk.

Near $3 million in event winnings will not be one thing that’ll get you excited, however he’s additionally performed a number of the greatest money video games. All through his profession that spans 50 years, he’s change into a daily in nearly each televised poker event.

Apart from being a dominant participant that stood the take a look at of time, Brunson additionally authored two of the best-selling poker books: Tremendous/System: A Course in Energy Poker, then adopted by Tremendous System 2. Each books function a method information for aspiring poker gamers that’ll will let you decide the methods of a number of the greatest poker gamers at present, together with Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, and Johnny Chan.

Stu Ungar – The Comeback Child

Stu Ungar was one of many biggest poker gamers to have ever lived.

His story goes down in historical past as one of many wasted abilities introduced down by numerous challenges in life. Everybody he’s ever performed with him remembers “Stuey” because the participant with the sixth sense for playing cards. He’ll show ruthless aggression when on the felt, and he received’t hesitate to run down his opponents who confirmed weak spot.

He’s the one poker participant to have ever received the Tremendous Bowl of Poker, the second most prestigious poker event within the Eighties, 3 times. Stu additionally managed to be one of many solely two gamers to have received three WSOP Primary Occasions together with Johnny Moss. On high of all these, he’s one among solely 4 gamers to win again to again WSOP Primary occasions, along with Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, and Johnny Chan.

The story of Stu Ungar.

Stu Ungar died in November 1998 in an inexpensive Las Vegas lodge, the place he solely paid $48 per evening. Years of drug abuse is alleged to be the reason for his unlucky and premature dying. When requested about Stu’s dying, Doyle Brunson mentioned: “all people felt horrible, nevertheless it wasn’t a shock.”

Regardless of having 5 WSOP bracelets and accrued event winnings of $3 million all through his profession, he died with nothing in his possession. The one cash he had was $800, which was what’s left of his $25,000 money advance. His pals needed to contribute to pay for all of the bills at his funeral.

The Comeback Child grew to become a WSOP Poker Corridor of Famer in 2001. With such achievement in a comparatively quick poker profession, one can solely think about the depth that he might have delivered to the desk. That’s why Stu Ungar will all the time be top-of-the-line poker gamers to have ever lived.

Phil Ivey – The Tiger Woods of Poker

Phil Ivey is a dwelling proof that arduous work pays off.

He took poker extra severely than anybody. At a younger age, Ivey was taking part in poker for as much as 15 hours a day. He even saved a journal on gamers, conditions, palms, and all the pieces that he can use to up his recreation. All of those paid off when he grew to become the primary participant to win the Jack Binion World Poker Open at solely 21.

He obtained his first WSOP bracelet in 2000 when he was solely 23 and acquired $195,000. Ivey cemented his repute as top-of-the-line and youngest gamers in the course of the 2002 World Sequence of Poker, the place he received three bracelets. To at the present time, Phil Ivey’s WSOP profession highlights embody 59 cash finishes, 31 closing desk appearances, and 10 WSOP bracelets—tied at #2 with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan.


Phil Ivey: Greatest moments.

As for his World Poker Tour profession, he debuted in 2003. He has but to win a title however had 9 closing desk appearances and 13 cash finishes. One of many greatest scores he had in his profession was when he received the L.A. Poker Traditional for $1.6 million.

Ivey has an estimated $26 million price of winnings from dwell tournaments on high of a number of high-stakes money video games. Regardless of his spectacular profession, his accrued earnings aren’t sufficient to place him on the highest 10 highest winnings. It’s one of many the reason why we needed to create a separate record for the most effective poker gamers based mostly on earnings. Ivey is a fierce competitor and has gained admiration not solely amongst his friends but additionally from thousands and thousands of poker gamers worldwide. 

Daniel Negreanu – Child Poker

This record received’t be full with out the fan-favorite, Daniel Negreanu. He’s one of many friendliest poker gamers and is obvious by the variety of following that he has. He’s the #3 on the record of highest earnings with a complete of $41.8 million in event winnings. It’s not shocking, although, as a result of he holds 38 profession titles, together with six WSOP bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles.

Daniel Negreanu.

All of us acknowledge Negreanu along with his distinctive “card studying” expertise via a mixture of his skill to infer his opponents’ tells and congenial persona on the felt. All of those, mixed along with his onerous work paid off when he acquired the WSOP Participant of the 12 months award in 2004, WPT Participant of the 12 months in 2005, and WSOP Corridor of Fame in 2014.

In Could 2008, he launched his e-book Energy Maintain’em Technique, which is analogous to Doyle Brunson’s e-book. It contains accounts and techniques from numerous skilled poker gamers, together with Evelyn Ng, Erick Lindgren, and David Williams.

Immediately, Daniel Negreanu is among the most energetic, seen, and recognizable poker gamers via a number of social media appearances and vlogs.

Corporations take into account him one of the bankable poker gamers with numerous sponsorships from totally different corporations. Large winnings, dozens of titles from totally different poker tournaments, and an unlimited fanbase; these are a number of the causes we take into account him top-of-the-line poker gamers at present.

Bryn Kenney – Mega Crusher

Bryn Kenney had a narrative that resembles one other participant on this record—Justin Bonomo. At solely 33 years outdated, he has already amassed a complete of $56 million in poker winnings. There are two issues that he had in widespread with Bonomo; they each grew up taking part in Magic: The Gathering card recreation, and each of them topped the record of probably the most poker winnings.

His first dwell money poker recreation was at East Coast Poker Championships in 2007. In 2010, he had his first 6-figure poker winnings from WSOP Primary Occasion, the place he completed twenty eighth for $255,242. From there, his profession took off, successful a number of excessive stakes tournaments, together with EPT, WPT excessive rollers, Masters Classics of Poker, and many others. In just a few years, he was capable of high the opposite notable poker professionals in cash-winnings.

Bryan Kenny makes an incredible bluff.

Kenney had his first, and solely, WSOP bracelet in 2014. He had seven closing desk appearances, and 32 cash finishes. The primary time he acquired a 7-figure earnings was in 2016 when he received the PCA’s $100,000 Tremendous Excessive Curler for $1.7 million. That very same yr, he scored $1.4 million from the Triton Tremendous Excessive Curler. The next yr, he had two large wins from PVA excessive rollers for $1.4 million and $100,000 Excessive Curler in Monaco for $1.9 million.

In two years, he’s made extra winnings than {most professional} poker gamers. Kenney belongs to the brand new breed of poker gamers targeted on taking part within the greatest occasions around the globe as a substitute of taking part in on the prestigious WSOP tournaments. He’s eager on proving that he’s obtained the talents to again his large paydays from excessive curler tournaments.

Johnny Chan – Orient Specific

Johnny Chan is the primary international nationwide to win the World Sequence of Poker in 1987 and once more in 1988, making him one of many solely 4 poker gamers to win two consecutive WSOP Primary Occasions. He’s on par with Doyle Brunson and Phil Ivey for having the second most variety of WSOP bracelets at 10, and one of many solely 4 gamers with ten or extra bracelets.

In 1989, he nearly grew to become the one poker participant on this planet to have received three consecutive WSOP Primary Occasions. He was even so near being the primary, and probably the one, poker participant to get an NBA Championship ring, when Jerry Buss, the proprietor Los Angeles Lakers, promised him one if he wins three consecutive titles. Phil Hellmuth took it away from him, and solely completed second place.

Johnny showing within the well-known film Rounders.

Chan had an estimated earnings of $4,635,014 from tournaments, excluding all of his money recreation earnings. He joined the WSOP Corridor of Fame in 2002, and he proved that he’s worthy of the title in 2005, in the course of the $400,000 Poker Superstars Invitational Match. He went down from a stack of $3,200,000 chips to solely $20,000 however managed a comeback within the recreation and completed second place.

He grew to become knowledgeable poker participant on the age of 21, proper after he determined to drop out of the College of Houston. He shortly grew to become top-of-the-line poker gamers ever and has paved the way in which for international poker gamers to get into the distinguished poker tournaments.

Justin Bonomo – ZeeJustin

Justin Bonomo is a poker sensation that has earned the second most winnings than any poker participant on this planet at solely 34 years outdated. He’s a dominating drive for anybody who’s confronted him on the felt, and it’s evident along with his whole winnings to-date that reached $45 million! Most of his winnings didn’t come from prestigious tournaments, although.

He’s a daily excessive curler on the highest stakes desk, going towards a number of the world’s greatest poker gamers. That’s one of many the reason why he nonetheless hasn’t reached the WSOP Corridor of Fame. 

Daniel Negranu feedback a troublesome spot towards Justin Bonomo.

He’s a candidate, although, with 1 circuit ring, 3 WSOP bracelets, 19 closing desk appearances, and 55 cash finishes. Nonetheless early in his profession, Bonomo already received 18 main tournaments since 2016, together with the $300,000 Tremendous Excessive Curler Bowl for $5 million and the $1 million Huge One for One Drop at WSOP for $10 million.

Bonomo is shortly climbing the ranks of the most effective poker gamers ever. He’s nonetheless within the early phases of his profession however has already solidified his place as one of many gamers with probably the most winnings.

Erik Seidel – Sly

Erik Seidel had one of the thrilling profession runs that return years earlier than poker even hit the mainstream. He grew up taking part in backgammon and labored as a inventory dealer, so he’s obtained the analytical wits hardwired. All these expertise paid off when he collected eight WSOP bracelets and went face to face with Johnny Chan on the 1988 WSOP Primary Occasion.

All through his profession, Seidel has amassed an estimated $35.7 million in dwell poker event winnings, and $5,388,532 of it got here from WSOP. All of his WSOP bracelets got here in between 1992 and 2007. He has a complete of 35 WSOP closing desk appearances, and 92 cash finishes. 

One in every of his greatest wins was from his first WPT title, the Foxwoods Poker Traditional, for $992,890. He got here near successful his second WPT title in 2011, however solely ended up second with $155,103.

In between these achievements, he had been teaching Maria Konnikova, a Russian-American author and psychologist. She began the sport with none data about poker. By Sly’s mentorship, she grew to become a dominant drive and received the PokerStars Caribbean Journey No-Restrict Maintain ’em Championship. Seidel shot again up into the mainstream when Konnikova launched her best-selling e-book, The Largest Bluff, the place she featured her coach.

Interview with Erik Seidel.

Standards for Our Record of Greatest Poker Gamers

We all know that this record received’t be taken frivolously by different poker fans. That’s okay; everybody has their very own opinion on who the most effective poker gamers are, however allow us to provide you with a short rationalization of the standards that we used to rank these gamers. We didn’t pull these names out of skinny air, and it’s, maybe, probably the most complete record that you just’ll discover.

Listed here are the standards that we’ve used to have these gamers on the record of the most effective poker gamers ever:

Match achievements are the most important issue that we used to rank these gamers. We used every participant’s accomplishments in a number of the most prestigious tournaments. It’s the place the most effective gamers on this planet meet, and successful it isn’t simple, so we gave it the very best benefit when rating them.Votes from their friends is an uncommon metric to make use of when rating a participant. Nonetheless, when there’s an amazing variety of votes coming out of your opponents, it’s one of many tell-tale indicators that you just’re a worthy adversary of their bid for a win on the felt. Johnny Moss was the one participant the place this metric is relevant, which gave him our highest rank.Amassed earnings have the least impression on this record due to the large distinction in media participation from the times of Johnny Moss to what we’ve at present. Nonetheless, when there’s an amazing distinction with accrued earnings, particularly for the case of Bryn Kenney and Justin Bonomo, then it’s a metric that we will’t take with no consideration.

There’s no denying that rating by earnings is among the best methods to rank the most effective poker gamers. We don’t wish to lower you quick in your expectations, so we’ve included a shortlist of the ten poker gamers with the very best accrued earnings.

10 Greatest Poker Gamers Ranked by Earnings

Poker is all in regards to the expertise and stacks, so after protecting the talents, we’ll offer you the record of the gamers with the most important accrued stacks all through their careers. Listed here are the ten poker gamers with the very best estimated event earnings:

Bryn Kenney is on high of this record for amassing a complete of $56 million. At solely 33 years outdated, and with a profession that began solely in 2007, his earnings are already sufficient to place him on the record of the most effective poker gamers. He shot up on the highest after ending 2nd within the Triton Million, which netted him $20.5 million.Justin Bonomo shot to the highest of the accrued earnings after successful the 2018 WSOP $1 million Huge One for One Drop for $10 million, bringing his winnings to a complete of $45 million.Daniel Negreanu’s $41.8 million is partly due to his 38 WSOP closing desk appearances and 108 cash finishes. His ongoing participation in numerous poker tournaments may propel him even larger on this record sooner or later.Dan Smith took dwelling a complete of $36.7 million from all of his event participation. The most important win he had thus far was when he completed third place at Triton Million for $8,765,628.Erik Seidel often is the oldest poker participant on this record, however he managed to get a good spot with whole earnings that reached $35.7 million. His largest payout was in 2011 when he received the AMPC $250,000 Tremendous Excessive Curler NLHE occasion for $2.5 million.David Peters has a gentle climb in direction of the highest of the all-time cash record and at the moment sits with $33.1 million. In 2019, he added two 7-figure winnings in his record, and will quickly be on the next spot.Fedor Holz is the youngest on this record at solely 25 years outdated, however he already has a complete of $32.6 million. He made most of that cash in the course of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the place he received a complete of $21 million!Stephen Chidwick doesn’t solely have a complete of $32.3 million in winnings, he additionally has the vote for being top-of-the-line poker gamers on this planet, even by his opponents. Apart from his event winnings, he has greater than $5 million in his on-line poker accounts.Jason Koon is a daily within the Triton tournaments. The Triton Poker ambassador ended 2019 with an enormous win of $6 million, bringing his whole earnings to $30 million.Daniel Colman was the winner of the second-largest payout in historical past—$15.3 million, which accounts for greater than half of his whole event earnings of $29 million. If that’s not sufficient, he obtained that win after beating Daniel Negreanu within the 2014 $1 million Huge One for One Drop. 


Skilled poker will get extra aggressive yr after yr with the brand new breed of gamers turning professionals. Nonetheless, others have already solidified themselves as one of many biggest poker gamers of all time. Right here’s our record of who we predict must be within the record of the most effective gamers of all time:

Johnny Moss (The Grand Previous Man of Poker)Phil Hellmuth (The Poker Brat)Doyle Brunson (Texas Dolly)Stu Ungar (The Comeback Child)Phil Ivey (The Tiger Woods of Poker)Daniel Negreanu (Child Poker)Justin Bonomo (ZeeJustin)Johnny Chan (Orient Specific)Bryn Kenney (Mega Crusher)Erik Seidel (Sly)

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