The last 25 years or so of poker have seen the game becoming more popular as something of a spectator sport, and as such, it’s given rise to celebrity players.
Some have won the biggest events, others won the most number of tournaments, and there are those with the most experience. So, who are actually the best ones of all time? It may be debatable, but here is our list of the best poker players in history.
1. Phil Ivey
Nicknamed the “Tiger Woods of Poker,” and considered by many to be the best all-around poker player, Phil Ivey is a poker celebrity. He was able to win 10 WSOP bracelets prior to reaching 40 years old, which made him eligible to be inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
Besides playing poker, Ivey is a big basketball fan. His favorite teams are the Houston Rockets, LA Lakers and Buffalo Bills. You can catch him at the tables sporting his favorite basketball jerseys.
2. Daniel Negreanu
Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu earned his nickname when he won the 1998 WSOP at the age of 23. Since then, he’s been one of the most popular poker players on tour as he has proven his ability to be one of the best. As of this writing, he has the second-highest WPT earnings of $6.4 million
Some fun facts about Negreanu are: in his spare time he has a blog called Full Contact Poker where shares his opinions and ideas about poker, politics and life; and he has been a vegan since 2006 because he says that a healthy lifestyle makes him a better poker player
3. Phil Hellmuth
Long nicknamed the “Poker Brat,” and considered by some to be the most successful player in modern history, Phil Hellmuth is nothing short of a legend. His career has spanned over four decades in which he has successfully acquired 15 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, which is the current world record held by any poker player.
On a personal note, while studying at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Hellmuth met his future wife, Katherine Sanborn. In 1990 they tied the knot, had two boys, and today they live in Palo Alto, California.
4. Doyle Brunson
Designated as “Texas Dolly” or “The Godfather of Poker,” Brunson has been given two nicknames to go by and he lives up to them like a boss. His poker career has spanned over decades making him the so-called leader of the game, thus carrying the “Godfather” name. The poker legend is a Poker Hall of Fame inductee and he was the first player to ever win $1 million in poker tournaments.
Some fun facts about Brunson are during his younger years, he was part of the All-State Texas basketball team. In fact, the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA expressed interest in Brunson. He later went on to complete his bachelor’s degree in 1954 and a master’s degree in administrative education in 1955 from Hardin–Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.
5. Fedor Holz
Fedor Holz, tagged with the poker name “CrownUpGuy,” is one of the best online tournament poker players. In fact, in 2014, he was named the world’s best online MTT player and in 2016 he won his first WSOP bracelet. In 2020, it’s said that he has amassed more than $32 million in his bank account by playing poker.
When Holz isn’t playing poker, he works on his website project called Primed Mind. He offers mindset coaching and teaches poker players the mental side of the game – how to deal with emotions, handle stress, and create a positive mindset.
As you can see, these guys are the best of the best when it comes to poker. They play their hands exceptionally well, at the tables and even in life. We hope you’ve enjoyed our picks. Check out other pages on our site to explore more content on games, sports, and athletes, including a look at cross play games you can enjoy on both PlayStation and Xbox.