Top 10 Poker Players of All Time

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In the following list you will find not just about the best poker players of all time, but also about the top poker players when it comes to their net worth and their total earnings.

10.   Howard Lederer

Howard Lederer

Born on 30th October, 1963 in Concord, New Hampshire, is a true titan in poker, a complete professional poker player.

He first discovered the game of poker at a chess club from New York and after that he made his debut as a professional poker player at the Mayfair Club, where he played poker for several years with other well known players such as Erik Seidel and Dan Harrington.

 For his analytical style he has got the nickname „the Poker Professor ”. He first appeared on the leaderboard of a major tournament in 1987 at the WSOP $1,500 Limit Holdem, where he finished 13th.

He has won two World Series Of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles in his entire career. In the WSOP events he finished in the money 43 times and in the WPT events he made 7 money finishes and 2 final tables.

 Howard Lederer was one of the founders and one of the co-owners of Tiltware, the company that owned Fulltilt Poker. He made a poker video for beginners named Secrets of No Limit Hold’em and he runs a poker training camp: Howard Lederer Poker Fantasy Camp.

Because his entire family is addicted to gambling his sister wrote a book about the Lederer family entitled Poker Face: A Girlhood Among Gamblers.

His career took a downfall in 2012 after the bankruptcy of Full Tilt Poker. He was blamed by a lot of people for the online poker rooms situation.

 At the end of 2021, his total poker winnings exceed $6,200,000

WSOP Bracelets Won by Lederer

2000$5,000 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo$198,000
2001$5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw$165,870

9.  Patrick Antonius

Patrick Antonius

Born on 13th December 1980 in Helsinki, Finland is a well known Finnish professional poker player. He is a former tennis player, also a coach in this domain and a Vantaa model. Patrick is also known in showbiz because of his good looks.

His first appearance in the poker world was in 2003, when he finished fourth at the St. Maarten $200 Pot Limit Omaha. After his debut he has finished in money at two World Poker Tour (WPT) tournaments in 2005 and at three World Series of Poker (WSOP) also in 2005.

 He became well-known at the end of 2005 when he finished 1st at the European Poker Tour (EPT) € 4,000 EPT – No Limit Hold’em and won $343,366.

 As a cash player he is one of the best in the world. He appears in many seasons of GSN`s High Stakes Poker and also in the show Poker After Dark where he lost one of the biggest live cash hands in history of $600,000 to Tom Dwan.

In total has seven money cashes at the WPT and one final table, one EPT title and two final tables, no bracelets for him at the WSOP but he has 14 money finishes and 2 final tables.

 In 2009, he won at that moment the biggest hand in the online poker history at a cash table against Viktor Bloom, $1,356,946. (Today this record is held by Tony G who won the largest pot in online poker history: $7.75 million.

Until 2022 he won more $12,000,000 in Live Poker Tournaments.

8. Gustav Hansen

Gustav Hansen

Also known as “Gus Hansen” (was born on 13th February, 1974 near Copenhagen, Denmark – currently lives in Monaco), is one of the well-known professional poker players, because he appeared in many Poker TV Shows in the last two decades.

He was also voted by “People Magazine” as one of the 50 sexiest men in 2004. He has won in his career three World Poker Tour (WPT) titles and before starting to play poker in 1997 he was a class backgammon player and a youth tennis champion.

His first real success was in 2002 when he won the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em and a $556,460 prize. Then, he did it again in the next year, in 2003, at the WPT, where he won the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship and a prize of $532,490 and again in 2004 when he won at the $ 7,500 No Limit Hold’em the first place and $455,780.

He was the first player to win three WPT open tournaments, and he did it in 3 consecutive years. In 2004, was included in the World Poker Tour Walk of Fame along with Doyle Brunson.

He is the protagonist along with Daniel Negreanu of a famous poker hand from the second season of High Stakes Poker TV Show when his 5♦ 5♣ defeated Daniel Negreanu’s 6♠ 6♥ on a board of 9♣ 6♦ 5♥ 5♠ 8♠.:

In 2010, Gus Hansen won his first WSOP bracelet in the £10,350 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Heads-Up event and a $451,880 prize. His last major win was on 27th January 2012, when he finished 3rd and won $823,579 at the $250,000 No Limit Holdem – $250,000 Challenge. 

Per total he has 1 WSOP bracelet, 8 money finishes at WSOP, 3 WPT titles, 7 WPT final tables, 9 WPT money finishes, 1 EPT final table and 2 EPT money finishes. At the end of 2017 his total winnings from live tournament winnings exceeded $11.250,000.

WSOP Bracelets Won by Gus Hansen

2010£10,350 No Limit Hold’em High Roller Heads-Up£288,409

7. Chau Tu Giang

Chau Tu Giang

Born on 2nd July 1955 in Vietnam, now his home is in Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of the most respected professional poker players from the entire planet and in top 3 all-time asian poker players. He has won three World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets and reached 3 times at the final table of the World Poker Tour.

 His cashes only from live tournaments winnings exceed $3,400,000. He fled from Vietnam at the end of the 70`s in a small boat and reached the coast of Florida, working minimum wage jobs.

Chau left Florida and moved to Colorado where he worked as a chef for $160 a week. He started to learn poker and his success led him to move to Las Vegas where he won $100,000 in his first year.

His first real success was in 1993 at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), where he finished in 2nd place in $1,500 Pot Limit Hold’em and won his first bracelet in the $1,500 Ace to Five Draw event. Chau first cashed in WSOP Main Event in 1996 where he finished 13th place.

His second WSOP bracelet was won in 1998 in the $2,000 Omaha 8 or Better event and his third in the $2,000 Pot Limit Omaha event in 2004. Chau Tu Giang is well-known as a poker player that never believed in luck his exact words are: “Poker is not luck, poker is skill, you cannot be lucky every time”.

 At the end of 2018 his total earnings from live tournaments exceeded $4,400,000, more than $2,123,400 were from his 51 WSOP cashes.

WSOP Bracelets Won by Chau Tu Giang

1993$1,500 No Limit Ace to Five Draw$82,800
1998$2,000 Omaha 8 or Better$150,960
2004$2,000 Pot Limit Omaha$187,920

6. Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson

Born on 10th August 1933, Longworth, Fisher County, Texas is one of the most respected poker players, being a pro for over 60 years.

He became well-known in the gambling and poker world in the late 70’s when he won his first two World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event bracelets in 1976 and 1977.     

He is the first poker player to earn $1,000,000 in poker tournaments and has won 10 WSOP Bracelets, being tight on the 2nd place along with Johnny Chan, behind Phil Hellmuth`s 11 bracelets.

He won his last WSOP bracelet in 2005 at the event: $5,000 No Limit Shorthanded Texas Hold’em (6 player table) cashing out $367,800.

He won in 2004 the WPT: Legends of Poker and won a total prize of $1,100,000. Brunson is, along with Bill Boyd, the only poker player which has won WSOP bracelets in 4 consecutive years.

He currently plays day by day in Las Vegas in “Bobby’s Room” at the casino Bellagio $4,000/8,000 limit mixed poker game.

At the end of 2018, when he retired from poker, his total winnings from live tournaments exceeded $6,350,000, almost $3,000,000 from WSOP events from his 34 cashes.

As a true legend in poker, Doyle Brunson has two Texas Holdem hands named after him. He won the title of “The most influential force in Poker” in January 2006, given by Poker Bluff Magazine.

A short video with Doyle Brunson from his peak years:

WSOP Bracelets Won by Doyle Brunson

1976$5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw$80,250
1976$10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship$230,000
1977$1,000 Seven-Card Stud Split$62,500
1977$10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship$340,000
1978$5,000 Seven-Card Stud$68,000
1979$600 Mixed Doubles (with Starla Brodie)$4,500
1991$2,500 No Limit Hold’em$208,000
1998$1,500 Seven-Card Razz$93,000
2003$2,000 H.O.R.S.E.$84,080
2005$5,000 No Limit Shorthanded Texas Hold’em$367,800

5. Barry Greenstein

Barry Greenstein

Born on 14th December 1954, Chicago, Illinois is one of the greatest live poker players ever. He has won many major events, including three World Series of Poker (WSOP) and two World Poker Tours (WPT). He donates his profit from poker to charity and that’s why he got the nickname of “Robin Hood of Poker”.

Greenstein is a very popular poker player. He appeared on TV in each of the first three series of Poker Superstars, in all six seasons of High Stakes Poker and also appeared in the first three seasons of Poker after Dark from NBC.

He has won two WPT titles: Jack Binion World Poker Open, where he won $1,278,370 and 2006 WPT Invitational ($100.000).

He has also won other Special WPT events: 2006 World Poker Finals, WPT Father and Sons Tournament and WPT Poker by the Book: Chapter 2.

In 2008 at the WSOP he cashed over $750,000 and his total cashes from WSOP events reached 52 and $2,674,000. After the WSOP from 2002 he started to donate his net winnings to charity to help the children.

He wrote a book in 2005 named “Ace on the River”, a very popular book that can help the beginners in poker and also the advanced players.

At the end of 2018 his total winnings exceeded $8,350,000.

WSOP Bracelets Won by Barry Greenstein

2004$5,000 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw$296,200
2005$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha$128,505
2008$1,500 Razz$157,619

4. Johnny Chan

Johnny Chan

Born in Guangzhou, China in 1957, now living in Las Vegas is a professional poker player with great performances. He was one of the first asian poker players confirmed in the USA.

He began to be famous at the end of the 1980s when he won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event for two years in a row (1987 and 1988). He was close to win his third consecutive WSOP Main Event but he was defeated at heads-up by Phil Hellmuth. Images with him at the final table of the WSOP from 1988 were integrated in the movie Rounders (1998).

He is famous for his habit to bring, at the poker tables where he plays, a lucky orange. After he won his second WSOP title, other players began bringing “lucky” fruits to the table in hope to increase their luck.

He says that the orange is not for him like a totem, he just brings at the table the orange for its scent, because in the past he was a smoker and now the smoke bothers him. He currently doesn’t smoke anymore and he doesn’t drink.

In 2005 he was the first poker player to win 10 WSOP events. 

WSOP Bracelets Won by Johnny Chan

1985$1,000 Limit Hold’em$171,000
1987$10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship$625,000
1988$10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship$700,000
1994$1,500 Seven Card Stud$135,600
1997$5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw$164,250
2000$1,500 Pot Limit Omaha$178,800
2002$2,500 No Limit Hold’em Gold Bracelet Match Play$34,000
2003$5,000 No Limit Hold’em$224,400
2003$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha$158,100
2005$2,500 Pot Limit Hold’em$303,025

3. Phillip Jerome Hellmuth, Jr.

Phi Hellmuth

Born on 16th 1964 is a very well known poker player, because of his poker qualities, but in the first place because of his volcanic personality at the poker table, that’s why his nickname is the „Poker brat”.

He is the most prolific player in WSOP history. He has won 16 events, first one in 1989 when he defeated Johnny Chan at heads-up.

He is also a member of the Poker Hall of Fame. In May 2012, his total career live tournaments earnings were $13,220,000. He is in 5th place all time behind Eric Seidel, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey and Jamie Gold.

He was in 1989 the youngest player that ever won the WSOP Main Event at only 24. He held that distinction until 2008 when Peter Eastgate (22) won the Main Event and after that in 2009 when Joe Cada, even younger (21) has won the WSOP Main Event.

Phil Hellmuth is really a record-man. He won his 16th WSOP bracelet in 2021 in the $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw Event overtaking his own record of 15 bracelets. 

Behind him is Doyle Bruson, Johnny Chan and Phil Ivey (10 bracelets). Majority of his bracelets were won at the Texas Holdem events

He has the most cashes at WSOP (81), nine of them at WSOP Main Events (1988, 1989, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2021) and the most final tables (48).

His total prize money in live tournament winnings, at the end of 2021 exceeded $26,000,000.

WSOP Bracelets Won by Phil Hellmuth

YearTournamentPrize (US$/EU€)
1989$10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship$755,000
1992$5,000 Limit Hold’em$168,000
1993$1,500 No Limit Hold’em$161,400
1993$2,500 No Limit Hold’em$173,000
1993$5,000 Limit Hold’em$138,000
1997$3,000 Pot Limit Hold’em$204,000
2001$2,000 No Limit Hold’em$316,550
2003$2,500 Limit Hold’em$171,400
2003$3,000 No Limit Hold’em$410,860
2006$1,000 No Limit Hold’em with rebuys$631,863
2007$1,500 No Limit Hold’em$637,254
2012$2,500 Seven-Card Razz$182,793
2012€10,450 No Limit Hold’em Main Event€1,022,376
2015$10,000 Seven-Card Razz$271,105
2018$5,000 No Limit Hold’em$485,082
2021$1,500 No Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw$84,851

2. Phillip D. “Phill” Ivey

Phil Ivey

Born on 1st February 1976, is an US Pro poker player, with 10 WSOP bracelets won in his career. He won a World Poker Tour (WPT) title and he was present at 11 WPT final tables.

Phil Ivey is considered by many world poker critics as the best all-time poker player.

Ivey started to play poker at the end of the 90`s with his colleagues from New Brunswick, New Jersey, a telemarketing company. He is well known under different nicknames, the well known nicknames are: “No Home Jerome” and “Tiger Woods of Poker”

One of his accomplishments that will remain forever in the history book of poker was the winning of three WSOP bracelets in 2002.

Only Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Ted Forrest, Jeff Lisandro and Puggy Pearson have won 3 WSOP bracelets in a single year.

Phil Ivey is the youngest player to win 10 WSOP bracelets. He was 37 when he won his 10th bracelet.

He is also the player who won eight bracelets more quickly than any other player, in only 10 years (Johnny Moss took 11 years) and the player who won the most non-Hold’em WSOP bracelets (all eight WSOP bracelets were won in non-hold’em WSOP events)

 WSOP Bracelets Won by Phil Ivey

2000$2,500 Pot Limit Omaha$195,000
2002$2,500 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo$118,440
2002$2,000 S.H.O.E.$107,540
2002$1,500 7 Card Stud$132,000
2005$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha$635,603
2009$2,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball$96,367
2009$2,500 Omaha Hi/Lo / 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo$220,538
2010$3,000 H.O.R.S.E.$329,840
2013AA$2,200 Mixed EventA$51,840
2014$1,500 Eight Game Mix$166,986

1. Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu – the best Poker player in the world

Born on 26th July 1974, Daniel Negreanu is a Canadian professional poker player originally from Romania. He has won 6 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets  and 2 World Poker Tour (WPT) titles. Currently, he is on the second place in the all-time poker career earnings list.

Negreanu is a complete poker player. He is a very good tournament player and also an amazing cash game player. Daniel has won in his career 4 WSOP, 2 WPT, numerous final tables at WPT and many other tournament titles.

In 2004, he was named by the Card Player Magazine the “Player of the year”. In 2004-2005 was named the WPT player of the year and in 2006 was named the “Favourite Poker Player” by Card Player Magazine at the Year Awards Gala.

In the past Daniel Negreanu was one of the regulars at Bellagio Casino from Las Vegas at the Bobby’s Room where the limits are $4,000 – $8,000 or greater. He is a self-admitted action junkie and he is a well-known “player reader” because of his talent to read the opponent’s cards:

His first appearance in live tournaments was in 1997 with 3 tournament wins, including the World Poker final at Foxwoods. He has won $55,064 and the title of “The Best Player of the Tournament”. 

At his first stop at World Series of Poker (WSOP) he won his first bracelet and a prize of $169,460 in the $2,000 Pot Limit Hold’em event. In 1998 became the youngest winner of a WSOP tournament, a record held until 2004. He has won in total 6 WSOP events and has 27 final table appearances and 59 money finishes.

He also won two Scoop titles, in 2014 and 2016.

He is considered by many the best player in the world. In 2020 his earnings exceeded $42,000,000.

WSOP Bracelets Won by Daniel Negreanu

1998$2,000 Pot Limit Hold’em$169,460
2003$2,000 S.H.O.E.$100,440
2004$2,000 Limit Hold’em$169,100
2008$2,000 Limit Hold’em$204,874
2013AA$10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main EventA$1,038,825
2013E€25,600 High Roller No Limit Hold’em€725,000
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