Ever since the game of poker underwent a huge expansion in the 70s, many poker players turned into real rockstars. After all, why wouldn’t they be? They are great at what they do, and they have a lot of money.
The question here is — what makes a successful poker player? Is it their lifetime poker earnings? Their net worth? Is it the number of WSOP bracelets that each of them has? The thing is — it’s very difficult to make an objective list of the most successful players, but we can make one that incorporates all aspects of their success.
All of the players we’re about to list either played or still play poker at the top level. They won millions of dollars in cash by playing tournaments and cash games. Even if you don’t have a clue about the poker industry, the chances are you already heard about some of the players below. Read on.
Tony G’s real name is Antanas Guoga, and he is a Lithuanian businessman. However, he also happens to be a very successful poker player with more than $5 million in live tournament earnings. Tony G may not be as wealthy as other players on this list, but his great personality made him immensely popular in the poker community.
Phil Ivey’s live tournament earnings are estimated at $26.2 million from both live and online cash games and tournaments. The “Tiger Woods of Poker” holds 10 WSOP bracelets and 59 money finishes. Apart from poker, Ivey also enjoys baccarat, and he was even part of the big scheme, which exposed the edge-sorting system that helped him win millions from casinos.
Born in China, Johnny Chan moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and then Houston, Texas, when he was just a kid. He developed an early passion for poker and managed to become one of the best in the world. His career winnings are estimated at $4.5 million. More importantly, he holds a total of 10 WSOP gold bracelets.
Doyle Brunson is probably one of the most important players responsible for the popularity of this card game. Nicknamed “Texas Dolly” and the “Godfather of Poker,” Brunson was one of the earliest winners of a WSOP bracelet. He also currently holds ten of them, in addition to hundreds of other trophies from land-based tournaments.
Daniel Negreanu is probably the most popular poker player at the moment. He is active on social media, plays online poker as much as its land-based counterpart, and actively participates in all shows related to poker. “Kid Poker” has a total of six WSOP bracelets, and his career earnings are estimated at $18.6 million.
Phil Hellmuth is the most successful WSOP player of all time. He holds the record of 15 WSOP bracelets. Due to his exceptional personality, Hellmuth is nicknamed “Poker Brat,” but that didn’t stop him from using the personality to pressure opponents and achieve goals. Hellmuth’s live tournament earnings are north of $24 million.
Erik Seidel is one of the richest poker players in the history of poker. His lifetime earnings are more than $34.6 million, with $5.3 million being from WSOP. He managed to receive a total of eight WSOP bracelets and made money from WSOP events 92 times. Seidel’s poker nickname is either “Sly” or “Seiborg.”
Justin Bonomo proved that a poker player doesn’t need a lot of time to become a living legend. The year 2018 was the time when Bonomo displayed all his poker might, emerging to the top of the list of the best poker players at that time. He recorded a total of 55 money finishes in WSOP events and three WSOP bracelets. Nevertheless, he won some essential super high roller tournaments, and his current career earnings are estimated at $48.5 million.
Fedor Holds entered the world of poker at a very early age. As soon as “CrownUpGuy” became old enough to take part in online poker games legally, he was dominating ever since. His live tournament earnings exceed $32.5 million, but he also won a lot of money on the web. At the moment of writing this, the German “wunderkind” is only 27.
Bryn Kenney is the player with the biggest live tournament earnings at the moment. He has managed to win a total of $55.5 million in land-based poker tourneys. On the other hand, he has just one WSOP bracelet and 32 money finishes. However, he is still in his thirties and has a lot of time to win more trophies.