The World’s Most Famous Poker Players
Have you ever wondered who the most famous poker players are? Who are these first-class champions who have made such a huge impact on the global poker industry with their amazing techniques and skill?
Since the beginning of the game’s history, there have been some amazing and inspiring players, but only a few have truly succeeded and left an indelible mark on the industry. Those are the people who, besides winning the biggest tournaments in the world, have become huge legends who continue to inspire everyone who enjoys the game.
Read on to learn more about the most famous poker players in history and how they became so successful and popular over time.
1. Daniel Negreanu – Kid Poker
Daniel Negreanu, one of the most successful players in the history of poker, is best known by his nickname, Kid Poker. He is from Canada, and he’s a two-time World Poker Tour champion and a six-time World Series of Poker winner.
Back in 2014 he was adjudged the best poker player of the decade by the Global Poker Index, and the WPT player of the Year between 2004 and 2005. In addition to being the third-best live tournament poker winner in history, he was proclaimed to be one of the best poker players ever in the year 2019.
Thanks to his top-notch poker skills – which he worked on since his teenage years – Daniel Negreanu’s net worth is estimated to be approximately $50,000,000. When it comes to his tournament earnings, he has earned more than $17,000,000 over his long career. One of his most impressive achievements is winning a bracelet at each of the WSOP locations- Asia, Europe, and Las Vegas.
Besides winning the greatest tournaments all around the globe, Daniel Negreanu has appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as well as many famous poker TV shows. He was also introduced to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014 as one of the most famous poker players of all time, which made him a true rockstar in his gaming niche.
2. Phil Ivey – No Home Jerome
When the name Phil Ivey is mentioned among poker fans around the world, the first thing that comes to mind is the huge respect they all have for him.
They call him the “Tiger Woods of Poker” and “No Home Jerome,” referring to the times he missed the bus home, forcing him to sleep on the Atlantic City beach.
The reason Phil Ivey is not only one of the most famous American poker players, but one of the best players in the entire history of the game, is because of his incredible wins and no fewer than 10 World Series of Poker bracelets.
This American professional poker player has also won one World Poker Tour title and appeared at nine WPT final tables, which has helped him gain huge worldwide popularity. Thanks to his great achievements, he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2017 and has been proclaimed the best poker player ever by many contemporaries and observers.
Today, Phil Ivey’s net worth is estimated to be around $100 million.
3. Vanessa Selbst – One of the Most Famous Female Poker Players
Even though men are more stereotypically known for gambling, there are also many women who dominate the poker scene. One of these female gamblers is Vanesa Selbst from New York, who has proven her genius many times throughout her amazing poker career.
She is best known as the first and only woman to reach the number-one ranking in the Global Poker Index. Known for being one of the most successful and most famous women poker players ever, this incredible woman still works her day job as a hedge fund manager at Bridgewater Associates, while achieving great success in poker by night.
Her biggest achievements are winning three bracelets as a WSOP player in various events and winning twice in a row at the North American Poker Tour Main Event.
After her amazing win at PCA High Roller 2013, Selbst became the highest-paid woman in the history of poker. When it comes to her overall earnings, it’s no secret that Vanessa Selbst net worth is around $11,897,000. She is the richest female poker player in history.
4. Tony G – A Genius Among Famous Poker Players
Antanas Guoga, known worldwide as Tony G, is a Lithuanian poker player who is also a politician, businessman, and philanthropist. Before moving to Australia at the age of 11 with his family, Guoga was a Rubik’s Cube champion in his home country.
He has been actively playing poker since he was 18 years old, which has helped him develop and improve his unique skills – intimidating his opponents and engaging in wacky table talk. In 2002, he created the website pokernews.com, where he started earning his first poker money.
He has become one of the top world-class poker players thanks to his wins at countless tournaments, including the European Poker Championship, WPT Bad Boys of Poker II, Moscow Millions Main Event, and Aria High Roller. He was also awarded the title of Lithuanian of the World in 2011.
He created the Lithuanian Poker Federation and played at the TV final table in the famous World Series of Poker. It’s estimated that Tony G’s poker net worth is about $6,094,182.
5. Phil Hellmuth – The Poker Brat
As one of the most successful WSOP players – he has 15 bracelets – it’s no wonder why many people consider Phil Hellmuth to be one of the world’s top poker players. The nickname “The Poker Brat” was given to this American professional poker player because of his temperamental personality.
In 1989 he won the Main Event of the World Series Of Poker and the Main Event of World Series of Poker Europe in 2012. In 2007 he was inducted into the Poker Hall Of Fame, making him a true legend of the gambling world.
He made it to five final tables at the World Poker Tour, and by 2017, he had earned more than $1,456,000. He is currently in fourth place on the WSOP all-time money list with $14.95 million. He is definitely one of the most famous poker players who has inspired many people to try their luck at the world’s most tempting card game.
Phil Hellmuth’s net worth is estimated to be around $23 million today.
6. Scotty Nguyen – The Prince of Poker
Five-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Scotty Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American professional player known as the Prince of Poker. This card genius is the first and only poker player who has managed to win both the World Series of Poker Main Event and the famous Players’ Championship.
Scotty is one of those popular poker players who has been around for a long time. He has been actively playing poker since his early teenage years, spending most of his nights in high school playing underground poker games.
By the late ‘90s, he was earning between $50,000 and $900,000 a night at Caesars Palace, a luxury hotel casino in Las Vegas, where he lived for a long time.
Nguyen has won five bracelets at the World Series of Poker, and one of his greatest achievements was winning the Main Event of WSOP in 1998 and the H.O.R.S.E World Championship in 2008.
Scotty is considered to be one of those famous poker players who have a string of great successes. His net worth is about $12 million.
7. Erik Seidel – Sly & Seiborg
The world-famous Erik Seidel was a professional backgammon player who worked at the American stock exchange before becoming a professional poker player.
Throughout his long-term gambiling career, Erik has won no fewer than eight poker bracelets as a WSOP player, as well as a World Poker Tour title. He made his poker debut in 1988 when he was a runner-up at the WSOP Main Event, an event that inspired the movie Rounders starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton 10 years later.
He is one of the United States’ famous poker players, and one of the greatest professionals in the industry. Erik Seidel’s net worth is considered to be around $42 million. Like many of his successful colleagues, Erik was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2010.
8. Antonio Esfandiari – The Magician
If you’ve ever thought about what makes poker players famous, look no further. Antonio Esfandiari is famous for more than just his poker skills. He is a magician with an analytical mind and a great sense of strategy, discipline, and patience.
Originally from Tehran, Esfandiari is a three-time WSOP bracelet winner and two-time World Poker Tour Champion.
Besides these truly remarkable wins in his career, this famous poker player is also known for performing elaborate magic tricks for his audience, helping him become the author of the poker strategy game, “The Magician’s Secret for Winning Tournaments.”
Esfandiari ranked number one for all-time tournament poker wins until 2014, when his colleague Negreanu dethroned him. Antonio’s estimated net worth is about $20 million.
9. Chris Ferguson – The Great American Poker Prodigy
Christopher Phillip Ferguson – known simply as Chris Ferguson, or “Jesus” thanks to his long, dark hair and beard – is one of the top professional poker players from Los Angeles. He has won six bracelets at World Series of Poker events. His best poker performance ever was in the year 2000.
One of the most interesting facts about Ferguson is that he started his poker career when he was only 10 years old. He began playing at a more serious level, however, when he was in college, where he improved his skills in online IRC poker. In 1994 he started participating in poker tournaments in California.
Ferguson earned a PhD in computer science at UCLA, where he spent most of his time studying virtual network algorithms. Since he is one of the most famous poker players in the history of the game, his net worth is estimated to be around $80 million.
10. Bryn Kenney – A Poker Tournament Emperor
They say he is one of the best professional poker players ever, and the most successful poker tournament player in the history of the game. His name is Bryn Kenney, and he is a talented player and entrepreneur, born in Long Beach, New York.
He won a bracelet back in 2014 and has made it to seven final tables at the World Series of Poker. Overall, he has cashed out no fewer than 32 times. As of August 2019, Bryn Kenney, who is proclaimed to be one of the most famous American poker players, was first on the Hendon Mob All Time Money List and fourth on the Global Poker Index.
His highest ITM Main Event finish was in 2010, when he placed 28th. In 2016 at the Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure $100K Super High Roller event, he managed to defeat WSOP champion Joe McKeehen, winning $1,687,000.
Kenney’s net worth is approximately $56 million, making him among the most successful and rich poker players in the world. He is also among the most famous online poker players according to his number one position in 2019 on the All Time Money List.
11. Stephen Chidwick – The English Master of Poker
The world of poker wouldn’t be the same without Stephen Chidwick from Kent in the United Kingdom. He is considered to be one of the most famous British poker players in history.
This great card player is best known for his leading position on the Global Poker Index for more than seven months – April until October 2018. He started playing online poker in 2008 and managed to finish runner-up in the FullTilt FTOPS Event #17.
He won a bracelet at the WSOP 2019 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller event, winning about $1.6 million. Chidwick is also considered to be one of the most famous online poker players, earning a net worth of around $7.8 million during his career.
12. Justin Bonomo – ZeeJustin
Many people know him by his online nickname ZeeJustin. He is a three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, and a former Magic: The Gathering competitor. This high-stakes poker player is the great Justin Bonomo.
He was the youngest player to be a part of the televised finale table at the French Open in Deauville in 2005. He placed fourth at only 19 years old. Thanks to his live tournament winnings, which amount to more than $48.5 million dollars, as of August 2019, Justin is one of the most famous online poker players of all time.
Before being surpassed by Bryn Kenney in 2019, Justin Bonomo was number one on the All Time Money List. His greatest achievements include winning three WSOP bracelets, one circuit ring for more than $14 million in winnings, 19 final tables, and 55 cash games.
Justin Bonomo’s net worth is about $49 million, which makes this poker player one of the richest ever.
13. Dan Colman – Jungleman
When it comes to famous poker players, American player Daniel Alan Colman, best known as Dan Colman, has drawn people’s attention more than once. First off, in 2013, he became the first player of all time to win $1 million in hyper-turbo tournaments in one year.
Then in 2014 he won the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker. The same year he won the $100K Super High Roller at the European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo, which made him one of the most successful players worldwide.
That year was truly his best one so far, since he also won the BLUFF player of the year prize at the time. This famous poker player from Massachusetts has a total net worth of $28,925,058.
14. Fedor Holz – CrownUpGuy
Feodor Holz, one of the youngest and most successful poker players, is originally from Germany. The highlights of his career include winning the WSOP bracelet in 2016, and ranking as the best online MTT player in 2014 and 2015.
Since 2012, he has played online poker under the nickname CrownUpGuy. In 2014, Fedor managed to win the World Championship of Online Poker, winning more than $1.3 million. His net worth is $32.5 million.
15. David Peters – One of the Most Famous Texas Hold’em Players
David Peters’ nickname – the Silent Assassin – says a lot about one of the greatest online poker players hailing from Ohio. Peters is currently considered to be number one in the No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament.
David’s greatest poker achievements and accolades include the WSOP bracelet in 2016 at the No Limit Hold’em event, eight final tables and 47 times, three final tables at the World Poker Tour, and fifth place at the Poker Central Super High Roller Bowl tournament in 2015. His estimated net worth in 2019 was between $1 and $5 million.
The Most Famous Poker Players That Went Broke
If you’ve ever wondered about famous poker players who have gone broke, we can give you a few names. Scotty Nguyen suffered from addiction problems and went totally broke. His estimated loss is about $20 million.
Erik Lindren – a player who has made among the most money of any player in history – has suffered from more than $25 million in losses due to his gambling addiction. This has forced him to face bankruptcy several times in his life.
But who are the most famous dead poker players? Well, one who left a huge mark on the poker industry is Stu Ungar, who was among the greatest poker players of all time. He lost a whopping $30 million due to many bad habits, but he went completely broke because of his cocaine addiction. It appears that a combination of debt and addiction led to Ungar’s tragic, untimely death in a Las Vegas motel in 1998.
Learning about broke famous poker players is a great lesson to anyone who loves poker but has problems with their addictions. It’s important to stay grounded and learn from their mistakes.
The world of poker is so dynamic. There are so many great events, talents, and championships to keep track of. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the best poker players in the world.
Who is the best poker player of all time?
Many people consider the best poker of all time to be Daniel Negreanu, who has $36 million in tournament earnings. His story is one of the most inspiring in the whole industry.
He continues to inspire all poker fans who enjoy playing and learning about poker techniques, styles, and psychology. Daniel Negreanu is today one of the most famous older poker players, a title that would likely be shared with Stu Ungar if it weren’t for the latter’s untimely death in 1998.
Who is the best poker player today?
The top poker player in the world as of today is Bryn Kenney, with a net worth of $55 million. He still continues to amaze the public with his exquisite gameplay.
Who are the top 10 poker players around the world?
1. Bryn Kenney (US) $55.5 million
2. Justin Bonomo (US) $45 million
3. Daniel Negreanu (CAN) $41.8 million
4. Dan Smith (US) $36.7 million
5. Erik Seidel (US) 35.7 million
6. David Peters (US) $33.1 million
7. Fedor Holz (GER) $32.6 million
8. Stephen Chidwick (UK) $31.1 million
9. Jason Koon (US) $30 million
10. Daniel Colman (US) $29 million