Eight of the Greatest Poker Pros

Poker has a vast and storied history. It has been around for nearly two centuries and is nowadays one of the most popular card games worldwide. It is also one of the fairest casino games out there, with short-term luck always losing to skill in the long run since you play against other players, not the casino. All of these traits combined make poker a competitive and lucrative sport. The best poker players know how to play the game for a living even through streaks of bad luck. This article will name some of those pros and what they are known for.

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1. Daniel Negreanu

This Canadian poker pro has quickly become one of the most recognizable figures in modern-day poker. His first breakthrough was in 1997, winning two events at the World Poker Finals. He has since risen in popularity through various poker tournament wins and appearances in television shows. Known for his exceptional ability to read other players and small ball poker – his signature style of play – he has amassed over 46 million dollars in tournament winnings, won six WSOP bracelets, and was inducted into the poker hall of fame.

2. Phil Ivey

Born in America, Phil Ivey is an incredibly respected poker player. He is well-known for his cash game skills, regularly playing at the Bellagio $4000/8000 mixed game. Perhaps his most famous achievement would be winning 16 million dollars in three days, playing heads-up poker against Andy Beal. Despite focusing on cash games, he is certainly not a stranger to tournaments. He has won over 37 million dollars in tournament winnings and ten WSOP bracelets. His most notable skills are consistently making it to the final rounds with his poker face, adapting his playstyle to his opponents, and being able to bluff and spot bluffs incredibly well.

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3. Phil Hellmuth

Phil Hellmuth is an American poker pro and owns various poker world records. He won the WSOP main event in 1989, giving him the record for youngest player to win the main event until Peter Eastgate broke it in 2008. Known as the “poker brat,” he also has the all-time record of sixteen WSOP bracelets, having recently acquired another in November 2021. His live tournament winnings exceed 28 million dollars, and he also holds the record for most cash-outs from the WSOP.

4. Stu Ungar

Stu Ungar was widely regarded as the most excellent Texas Holdem and gin rummy player of all time. Known as “The Kid,” he won over 30 million dollars in his life and took the poker scene by storm. He was one of two to win the WSOP main event three times and one of four to win it back to back. He had a photographic memory that was so infamous that he ended up getting banned from various casinos thanks to his skill at counting blackjack cards.

5. Vanessa Selbst

It is rare to see a woman in the male-dominated scene of poker. This makes the success of Vanessa Selbst all the more extraordinary. She has won three WSOP bracelets and is the only woman to do so. She is also the highest earning woman in poker history, with career earnings of almost 12 million dollars. She is also the only woman ever to get number one on the global poker index.

7. Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson is one of the most influential poker players in the world. He is known as “Texas Dolly” and has played poker professionally for nearly 50 years. He is one of the four to win the WSOP main event back to back and has 10 WSOP bracelets. He even has a famous hand named after him, the two and a ten. This hand gave him a backdoor full house draw to win the WSOP main event. This was already unlikely, but he won the next year again with the same hand and in the same backdoor draw fashion. His influence on poker goes past just his gameplay, as he authored Super/System, considered one of the essential reading materials for serious poker players.

8. Johnny Moss

Johnny Moss is known as the Grandfather of Poker, and for a good reason. He was the first person to win the WSOP back in 1970, and at the time, it was a cash game where he won thanks to the votes of his peers. He also had a famous match against Nick “The Greek” Dandalos, lasting five months and consisting of different poker variants. This match gave Benny Binion the idea to establish the WSOP two decades later. He and Stu Ungar are the only two people to win the WSOP main event three times. Part of the first group to be inducted into the poker hall of fame, he won nine bracelets and over a million dollars in tournament winnings.

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The best site to practice and hone your skills

We hope this article helped you learn about some of the most significant poker pros who made the scene what it is today. If you aspire to be a professional poker player and one day compete in the World Series of Poker, it is a great idea to practice by playing online poker. One of the best poker sites is GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. Officially partnered with WSOP, GGPoker offers numerous benefits compared to playing offline. You can play many games in less time, get bonuses for signing up, and get a free poker tracker plus a heads-up display courtesy of GGPoker. Sign up today!