Many names have been mentioned when talking about the top players in the world of poker, but few stand out when we talk about the greatest players that this game of skill and mental sport has produced. Surnames like Ivey or Negreanu are so important that they are associated with certain plays, styles and ways of understanding poker.
Next, we are going to make a review of those who, in our opinion, are the best poker players of our time. This post is a subjective view of what we believe are the great references of poker. Some are well known, but others may surprise you. All of them have, however, the same common trait: an unbridled talent that has taken them to the top.
Who is the best poker player in the world?
1. Daniel Negreanu
Although today there are different opinions, for many Daniel Negreanu has been and still is the best poker player in the world for his technique, his style, his talent and his way of understanding poker.
Relentless, decisive, determined, never overacting, with no weaknesses when it comes to keeping his game opaque and with a great sense of honor, he has managed to be considered by a good part of the international poker community as the top player.
Negreanu stood out since he was young in poker, and by the end of the 20th century he had already managed to win two events in the World Poker Finals, different cash prizes and was obtaining several distinctions that immediately put him in the spotlight of the whole community.
Today, Daniel Negreanu’s round figures speak for themselves: four dozen of World Series played and 6 WSOP titles consecrate him as the top player of his generation.
They complete the top 10 of the best poker players
2. Phil Ivey
He is one of the great figures of modern poker. He has been involved in some of the best poker plays, although he has also tried his luck in other games in which he has also excelled. His court case opened in 2012 due to the use of edge sorting in baccarat games, which was settled in 2020 thanks to an agreement between the parties and the partial return of the winnings.
He ranks fifth in the ranking of players with the most wins in poker tournaments, with total winnings exceeding the $23 million barrier. He holds the title of winner of the WPT in 2008 and has won 10 WSOP bracelets.
3. Adrian Mateos
The professional poker player, originally from Madrid, was an early poker standout. With only 19 years old he won the World Poker Series of Europe, and nowadays he is one of the best of his generation.
He is considered the best Spanish poker player on his own merits and after the milestones in the National Poker Circuit and after making the leap to European competitions, he began to devote himself entirely to online poker, starting an international career that has catapulted him to the most prestigious professional competitions.
4. Justin Bonomo
He holds the title of poker player with the most money accumulated in prizes in the history of poker: almost 60 million dollars and rising, a figure that few aspire to reach. Well known was his duel against Bryn Kennedy in 2021, when he took the victory in a High Roller at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas.
He came to prominence for having developed the ability to be able to play several tables at once, up to a dozen, which demonstrated the caliber of his figure. To this day, he is still one of the top poker players, and in terms of net winnings, the best poker player in the history of the game.
5. Phil Hellmuth
He is one of the greats of world poker, and has starred in memorable moments. The mythical “I can dodge bullets, baby!” in the WSOP in 2005 still resonates. He won his first bracelet when he was only 24 years old, in 1989, and from then on, he began to accumulate wins and victories in the WSOP.
He has won major prizes in poker tournaments in the years 1992, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2015 and 2018.
6. Erik Seidl
Native of Las Vegas, he is one of the most prestigious sleepers. His origin is curious, because Seidl started playing backgammon tournaments, where he lasted 8 years, until he made the leap to the financial sector and then decided to leave it to start his own career in poker.
His extensive experience led him to finish second in his first major poker tournament, a statement of intent. That was the beginning of a prolific trajectory that led him to win the 2008 WPT, where he won a prize of almost one million dollars.
7. Bryn Kenney
A self-described lone wolf of poker, he is one of the most famous faces in professional poker. Originally from New York, he is one of the most unique figures in the world.
With almost 200 prizes and 20 titles, he is considered the biggest winner of live poker tournaments, and a few years ago he managed to win what was the biggest prize of the Triton Million, a milestone that consolidated his figure in professional poker.
8. Fedor Holz
He accumulates almost 35 million dollars in prizes. Of German origin, he is considered one of the best poker players of the moment. Barely 30 years old, he has shaped an exceptional career, winning three WSOP bracelets, obtaining a trophy from the WPT, the Triton and the European Poker Tour.
9. Doyle Brunson
One of the oldest on the list, Brunson has shared a table with legends such as Amarillo Slim. He belongs to the generation that brought poker to where it is today. He had excellent results in the World Series of Poker in the years 1976 and 1977.
In 2018, a total tally of his winnings in live tournaments was made, exceeding 6 million. At the WSOP, his payouts amount up to $3 million.
10. Stephen Chidwick
In 2022 he made his way into the top 10 list of the world’s top 10 poker earners, a list in which he climbed to 4th place, behind only Justin Bonomo, Bryn Kenney and Daniel Negreanu.
He has faced players of the caliber of Adrian Mateos. In the High Roller of the EPT Paris, the British player beat the Spaniard, winning a prize of more than 320.000 euros.