Poker is a game that can take decades to master. There is no better evidence of this than taking a look at some of the best poker players in the world. These players have spent a long time mastering their craft, and have gone through some tough losses to get to where they are now. If you want to be one of the best poker players in the world, you have to beat the best, and in order to do that, you need to know your competition. Here are just a few of the best poker players, according to the World Series of Poker’s all-time leader list.
1. Phil Hellmuth – Phil is arguably the greatest poker player of our time. He has won an unprecedented 13 bracelets at the World Series of Poker, more than anyone else. Through these tournaments alone he has won over $12,000,000, making him one of the richest players as well. Known as the “Poker Brat” for his competitive and colorful personality, Phil once declared that “If there was no luck involved, I would win every hand.”
2. Phil Ivey – Close behind Phil Hellmuth in total number of bracelets is another Phil – Phil Ivey. Ivey grew up playing poker in New Jersey, using a fake ID to get into Atlantic City casinos before he was old enough to enter. Phil has won 10 bracelets at the WSOP, and has amassed over $6 million in earnings. He has also started two companies, one which aims to teach people how to play poker liked the pros called Ivey League, and an app that allows people to play poker for free against him and other professionals called Ivey Poker.
3. Johnny Chan – Another 10 time winner at the WSOP, and the first to win that many, is Johnny Chan. Johnny grew up in China, but moved to Arizona at a young age. He attended the University of Houston, but dropped out in order to become a professional gambler. That gamble seems to have worked out for Chan, as he has won more than $4 million at the WSOP alone. Chan is known for having a lucky orange with him on the table at all times, and after winning back to back WSOP championships, many other players started bringing fruit in hopes that it would bring them luck.
4. Doyle Brunson – One of the most tenured players on this list is Bruson, who has been playing professional poker for over 50 years. He was the first person to win $1 million in poker tournaments, and has since won 10 WSOP bracelets. On top of that, he was written several books on poker aimed at helping people master the game. Brunson is one of only 4 players who can claim to have won the WSOP main event multiple times. In January of 2006, Bluff Magazine voted him the most influential force in the game of poker.
5. Erik Seidel – Lastly, we have Seidel, who has won 8 WSOP bracelets to date. In his first tournament, back in 1988, Seidel finish second, losing out to Johhny Chan in the end. As of 2014 his total live tournament winnings exceed $20 million, with almost $5 million of that coming from the WSOP. In 2010 he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.
And there you have it, the best of the best. The men above have dedicated their lives to studying and playing poker, and that is why they are the best that there is. These are the guys who seem to have a poker odds calculator in their heads, so if you want to beat them, you are going to have to study up.
While you may never reach the 13 bracelets won by Hellmuth, it doesn’t hurt to study these guys and try to learn from them.