The introduction of poker in the early 19th century gave rise to elite poker players. These are individuals with exemplary poker skills that have helped them make massive profits playing the game. However, substantial poker winnings are not enough to define the world’s top 10 best all-time poker players. As a result, the individuals mentioned in this post are top-rated all-around poker gamers with exemplary mastery of the game. The list will also analyze the poker players’ achievements and gaming styles.
1. Johnny Moss
Johnny Moss was one of the top poker performers ever to walk the earth. Moss was known for his multiple poker triumphs, which earned him the title ‘the grandfather of poker.’ He was among the first participants of the World Series of Poker or WSOP, and after the competition, his fellow players named him the best poker player. He went on to win eight more WSOP bracelets which saw him prove his unmatched poker skills. During his poker career, WOSP won around $834,422 in WSOP tournaments. During poker tournaments, Moss was known to play survival mode during the early stages. He would then go-ahead to test his opponents with bigger pots and aggression.
2. Stephen Chidwick
Chidwick is one of the few prolific British poker players who have managed to make a name for themselves playing poker. He first came to poker fans’ attention in 2019 after scoring big in an online poker event for $142,000. From there, he became incredible at the game and started taking part in live poker events. In 2011, Chidwick participated in the WSOP $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em and came fourth. He later competed in a WSOP event and won. Besides having a WSOP bracelet, Chidwick has accolades from many other championships, most of which have earned him substantial amounts. He is described as an emotional and calculative poker player who is always thinking about poker hands.
3. Doyle Brunson
In a time when many gangsters were involved in gambling, Doyle Brunson managed to remain one of the few casino poker players who had a clear record. Brunson played professional poker for 50 years and was the first poker player to win $1 million in a poker event. During his career, he won 10 WSOP bracelets and pocketed significant cash prizes. His love for poker saw him hold the record for the world’s oldest winner at the 2004 Poker Tour event. What made Doyle Brunson an incredible poker player was his experience and instinct. These key things are why he managed to win about $6.2 Million throughout his professional career.
4. Justin Bonomo
If you’re searching for the best modern poker player, then Justin Bonomo, popularly known as ZeeJustin, is someone you should know. Since 2016, Bonomo has won around 18 major tournaments accumulating around $44.6 million. His massive winnings come from a couple of high roller poker tournaments which he has participated in, and some of the most renowned poker championships. For instance, in mid-2018, Justin Bonomo walked away with $185,965 while playing the $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship at the WSOP tournament. He also won $5 million at the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl. That includes many other substantial cash prizes he has pocketed. He is popular in the game due to having an intellectual understanding of poker.
5. Daniel Negreanu
Negreanu is a renowned modern poker player who has proven fantastic at the game. He has made a fortune playing at different casinos including some of the oldest casinos in the world not to mention participating in multiple poker tournaments. Famously known as Kid Poker, Negreanu has participated in renowned championships, including WPT and WSOP. Furthermore, he has played in numerous televised poker cash games, which have seen him amass approximately $40 million. Negreanu’s social personality and ability to analyze his opponent’s cards are why he is always a fan favourite in every competition. With two ATP titles and five WSOP bracelets, Daniel Negreanu is one of the all-time top poker players in the world.
6. Dan Smith
Dan Smith is a familiar name in the poker world. He is one of the elite players whose poker skills had surprised many since 2008 when he made his debut in the poker arena. Popular for live tournaments, Dan Smith has accumulated around $37.1 million. In 2012 alone, Smith won around $3.7 million, and in 2019, he participated in the £1,050,000 Triton Million, one of the biggest tournaments in poker history, and came in third place. Being a former chess player, Dan Smith is great at analyzing the gameplay and coming up with the best hand combination. Over the years, he has proven to be excellent in making six-figure scores and above.
7. Fedor Holz
If you are always wondering ’how do you measure a poker player?’ understanding Fedor Holz will give you the answer. That is because Holz is a versatile and charismatic poker genius who has unique qualities. He first started his poker career playing online poker tournaments. After some time, he transitioned to live poker, which saw him soar high. In 2016, Holz triumphed in the Super High Roller Bowl for $3.5 million. He also has a WSOP bracelet which he won in 2016 after shining in the $111,111 Big One for One Drop, a competition that earned him $5 million. Holz is an incredible analytic player with an unmatched focus in the game, which is why he has been able to outshine most poker stars.
8. Bryn Kenney
Topping the all-time money list with approximately $56 million is one of the many achievements of Bryn Kenny. The New York-born poker star found his love for card games playing Magic: The Gathering. In 2007, Kenny participated in his first poker championship, and after that, he continued taking part in different poker tournaments. After a couple of wins, Bryn Kenny made his initial six-figure score in the WSOP 2010 event, winning $255,242 for the 28th spot. He made one of the top 10 world biggest wins made in casinos. Despite holding only one single WSOP bracelet, Kenny is one of the best all-time poker players in the world.
9. Erik Seidel
Seidel, a former stock trader, grew up playing Backgammon which gave him the critical thinking skill and the ability to make stunning analyses. After mastering the game, he began participating in tournaments and other championships. The more he played, the more he got exposed, and that saw him finish second in the 1988 WSOP main event. His performance did not stop him from playing and instead made him better, winning the 1992 WSOP $2,500 NLHE event, which he pocketed $168,000. Seidel also has a WPT title and another WSOP bracelet which he won in 2007. He is an accomplished poker player and one of the few poker stars mentioned in The Biggest Bluff, the bestselling book by Maria Konnikova.
10. Stu Ungar
Stu Ungar is one of the few players who have won the WSOP main event thrice. He was famous and natural on the poker felt with a winning mentality. He won the 1980 WSOP main event and broke the record for the youngest player ever to win a WSOP main event bracelet. According to other poker players, Stu Ungar was excellent with a sixth sense for cards. He ended his career with tournament winnings amounting to $3.7 million and five WSOP bracelets. Ungar was also posthumously inducted into the prestigious Poker Hall of Fame in 2001. He was fantastic at making ruthless aggression, a trick that often ran over his opponents.
That is so far the list of top 10 best all-time poker players in the world. Each of the players had unique gaming skills, from card analysis to ruthless aggression. Even though some have never won a WSOP main event bracelet, many have triumphed in different high roller tournaments and other championships, earning both fame and money.