There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of extremely successful poker players throughout time, so making a list of the top nine is a somewhat challenging task. After you have read this article, you may want to hop onto your favorite poker app in the hopes of one day joining these players.
Nevertheless, whether they made a name for themselves through earnings, sparkling personalities or just overall contributions to the game, these poker stars have cemented their name in the game’s history.
Some players are famous for double barreling in poker, as they show their aggressive streak, while others are impressive at playing strategically. Below we will discuss nine famous poker players that you might not have been able to guess.
10. Antonio Esfandiari
First up is Antonio Esfandiari, who was born in Iran in 1978 but moved to the United States when he was just nine years old. At the age of 19, he was interested in becoming a professional magician, which meant he spent a significant amount of time in Las Vegas. During his time there, he became infatuated with the game of poker, and it wasn’t long before he was making appearances on TV as fans enjoyed his unique personality. He wasn’t too bad at poker, either! In 2004 he bagged himself $1.4 million after winning the WPT title.
9. Doug Polk
When it comes to successful poker players, a name that usually comes to people’s minds is Doug Polk. When he first started out playing poker back in college, he wasn’t particularly good. However, after years of dedication and drive, he slowly learned how to win. It wasn’t long before the titles started coming in. With just live games alone, Polk has earned over $9.4 million, and now he features in a number of poker TV shows as well as running his own poker site where people can learn how to play the game.
8. Patrik Antonius
Patrik Antonius was born in Finland in 1980 and has had a remarkable life. At an early age, Antonius was interested in playing tennis professionally, but unfortunately, an injury to his back cut his dreams short. At age 18, he became involved in playing poker in Helsinki. He didn’t have any big wins until 2005 when he bagged $145,000 after taking third place at a poker tournament in Barcelona. Things only went up from there as Antonius continued to win large pots of money and become recognized as a top poker player.
7. Tom Dwan
As far as new talent goes in the poker scene, Tom Dwan is up there as one of the greats. The area he found the most success in was high-stakes games, and then, later on, he became a notoriously gifted online poker player. From there, his popularity only increased, and he was soon sitting at the table with some of the most famous players in the world.
6. Fedor Holz
Fedor Holz is another newcomer to the game of poker that made a considerable amount of money at a very early age. At just the age of 22, he had made enough from poker to retire. It was in 2015 when the ball really started rolling for Holz. He took home around $1.6 million for the year and then a few months later bagged himself $3,000,000 at a high roller tournament.
5. Phil Hellmuth
Phil Hellmuth is well known in the poker community but perhaps not for the best reasons. He is regarded as a gifted poker player, but he is more known for his outbursts at the table and for being somewhat of a sore loser. It makes for great entertainment, but the other players might not see it the same way.
4. Stu Ungar
Born in 1952, Stu Ungar was surrounded by the gambling world at a young age. The first game he got involved with was gin rummy, in which he made a name for himself as a scary opponent. Ungar then became interested in poker and started dedicating a lot of time and energy to mastering the game. When he was 26, he won his first tournament, bagging himself £365,000 in the main event. He then went in and did it again, winning $375,000. It was clear at this point that Stu Ungar was no ordinary poker player, and he went on to win a number of titles creating a vast wealth from tournament earnings.
3. Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey is often recognized as one of the best poker players of all time. He learned the game of poker at a very young age and fell in love with it. Phil Ivey has a natural talent for understanding the game and has earned over $30,000,000 from tournaments alone, showing just how dominant he is.
2. Doyle Brunson
Doyle Bronson is one of the more recognizable players and has the nickname “Texas Dolly.” He has made around $6.1 million in tournament earnings but is better known for his interesting personality and big cowboy hat.
1. Daniel Negreanu
Another player that is regarded as being one of the greats is Daniel Negreanu. His talent for understanding the game is undisputed, and with a net worth of over $40,000,000, this comes as no surprise.