Any card game with a sufficiently high skill ceiling and variance will produce some memorable pros. In fact, poker has produced so many top-tier players that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Some, like Chris Moneymaker or Daniel Negreanu, have been able to leverage their success into extremely lucrative endorsement deals.
Others have remained more under the radar but are no less skilled at the game. No matter what type of poker you prefer (or whether you prefer not to play it at all), there are plenty of brilliant minds in this arena. Here are ten men who stand out as among the greatest ever to play poker in our opinion:
- Phil Hellmuth
Phil “The Poker Brat” Hellmuth is one of the most recognizable names in poker. He earned that nickname early in his career by showing his emotion at the table. Hellmuth has been playing poker professionally since the late ‘80s and is one of just 13 people who have won all three of the game’s major titles: the World Series of Poker, the WSOP Europe, and the WSOP Asia-Pacific.
- Doyle Brunson
Brunson has won over $5 million in his poker career and has earned 10 WSOP bracelets, more than anyone in history besides Hellmuth. He has been described as a “legend in his own time” and is also one of the 14 members of the Poker Hall of Fame. He has been playing poker professionally since the ‘60s and has always been a successful tournament player with several lessons you can learn from when you play poker here.
- Johnny Chan
Johnny “Asian Poker King” Chan is one of only three players to win both the WSOP Main Event and the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific. He has won 10 WSOP bracelets, second only to Brunson. Chan has been playing poker since the ‘70s and has always been one of the most successful tournament players. Chan’s first major win came in the 1982 WSOP Main Event, which he won for a $125,000 prize.
- Erik Seidel
Erik Seidel is one of the most successful players ever to play in the WSOP, earning more than $6.5 million in tournament winnings. He has been a successful player since the ‘80s and is famous for his quick rise to the top of the professional poker world. Seidel earned his first WSOP bracelet in his first-ever WSOP event, making him the quickest person ever to win one of the coveted prizes.
- Tom Dwan
Dwan has been ranked as the best No-Limit Hold ‘Em player in the world for several years and has been a consistent presence at the top of the poker leaderboards since the early ‘10s. He has earned $5.5 million in tournament winnings and has been a consistently successful player since the ‘10s.
- Mike “The Mouth” Matusow
Matusow is one of the most famous and colorful figures in the poker world and has been a successful tournament player since the ‘00s. He has earned more than $5.5 million in tournament winnings and has won five WSOP bracelets.
Matusow is one of the best examples of an emotional player, often demonstrating his excitement and frustration in a dramatic fashion. He has always been an aggressive tournament player who has been willing to take risks at the table in order to achieve success. Matusow has become one of the most successful tournament players in the world through his emotional play.
- Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu has won more than $13.5 million in tournament winnings and is famous for his relaxed and cerebral style of play. He has been consistently successful since the ‘90s and is one of the most successful Canadian poker players of all time.
Negreanu has always been a calm and collected player who has earned a lot of money through careful and strategic play. He has been one of the best players in the game since he first started playing professionally, and he is one of the most successful poker players ever.
- Internet Pro
The Internet pro was an anonymous player who remained in the shadows despite his success. In fact, many people doubted that such a high-stakes player could remain anonymous for long. The Internet pro proved them wrong, though, and continued to be a successful and famous player for years. Eventually, his identity was revealed. It was none other than Dan Colman, who had been using a fake name to avoid detection and keep his identity secret.
- Justin Bonomo
It is almost impossible to curate a list of the greatest poker players of all times without including Justin Bonomo. He is known to be a dominating force in the game who outshines other players in earnings and game strategy. In his bright days, he won bracelets, embraced challenges, and remains a highly rated intellect.
- Johnny Moss
Moss is rated as the grandfather of poker because many of his skills are still in use today by several upcoming players. His intellect, tenacity, and attention to detail while playing all makeup reasons why he is among the best.
Poker has produced some of the greatest players in history, and it remains one of the most popular card games in the world today. There are many ways to play the game, and almost everyone can find a variation that is fun and challenging. The game can be played competitively or casually, and it can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels.