Below are some of the best poker players in the world, along with the details of of their biggest achievements and lives to date.
- Nickname: “Kid Poker”
- D.O.B.: July 26th 1974
- Place of birth: Toronto, Canada
- Current residence: Las Vegas, NV
- WSOP bracelets: 4
- Live winnings: $16,014,015
Daniel Negreanu is one of the most recognized names in poker. Even your grandmother knows Daniel thanks to his face time on television. Born in Canada, Negreanu first chose pool as his profession. In his early adult life Daniel would hustle pool and make a decent living in the process. In the early 1990′s he discovered poker and hasn’t looked back since. Daniel is considered by many to be an ambassador for poker. He is one of the biggest stars of the game and one of the official spokesmen for online poker room “Poker Stars“.
Daniel has won a total of 4 bracelets at the World Series of Poker. His first win was in the 1998 $2,000 pot-limit Hold ‘Em event. This win made Daniel the youngest player to win a bracelet at the time. In 2004 he added 2 more bracelets to his resume in the $2,000 S.H.O.E. and the $2,000 Limit Hold ‘Em events. His final win came in the 2008 $2,000 Limit hold ‘Em event. He has reached 25 final tables at the WSOP and his total WSOP earnings amount to $3,622,409. In 2004 his two bracelets were also awarded with the first ever WSOP Toyota Player of the Year and Card Players prestigious Player of the Year honors.
Daniel is no one trick pony; he has also added 2 WPT titles to his list of wins. Both came in 2004 at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic and the Borgata Poker Open. His WPT earnings exceed $5 million and include 8 total final tables. Add to this already staggering amount of winnings, 2 EPT final tables and over $1 million in cashes and his life time work is one of the most impressive of any poker player. Daniel is still young and will continue to dominate his profession for years.
- Nickname: “Texas Dolly”
- D.O.B.: August 10th 1933
- Birthplace: Longworth Texas
- Current residence: Las Vegas, USA
- WSOP bracelets: 10
- Live winnings: $5,694,557
We all know Doyle Brunson as one of the best poker players in the world. He helped bring the game to the masses and could be credited for making Texas Hold ‘Em the most popular form of poker today. Before becoming a professional poker player, Doyle was a 5 star athlete. After attending college he was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers to play basketball. Unfortunately his pro sports career would be cut short after suffering a severely broken leg. This accident led to his poker career and he began to travel Texas with fellow pros, Johnny Moss and the late Amarillo “Slim” Preston.
Brunson has 10 WSOP bracelets to his name, second only to Phil Hellmuth. His first 2 came in back to back wins that would later make “Ten Deuce” the most famous hand in poker history. He ended both wins with this same hand and now aspiring players from around the world play this hand simply for its fame. His total WSOP earnings reach $3 million with 24 final tables and 34 total cashes. Brunson also adds 1 WPT title to his name and over $2 million in winnings from 3 final tables and 8 total cashes.
Doyle is also one of the first players to search for other avenues of income from poker. He published his first book, “How I made Over $1,000,000 Playing Poker” in the early 1970′s. This book would later become “Super System”, perhaps the most well known poker book of all time. His second book, “According to Doyle” would be released in 1976 and retitled “Poker Wisdom of a Champion”.
- Nickname: “Orient Express”
- D.O.B.: January 1st 1957
- Birthplace: China
- Current Residence: Cerritos, USA
- WSOP bracelets: 10
- Live winnings: $7,217,082
Johnny Chan was born in China and moved to America in 1968. Before turning professional poker player, Chan attended the University of Texas. Although he is one of the best players of his time, his fame comes from a brief appearance in the poker film, “Rounder’s”. This movie spurned the poker boom and made Chan a cult icon. Quotes from the film can still be heard today at poker tables around the world. “Sorry John, I don’t remember”, is perhaps the most famous and quite frankly, annoying quote to come out of the movie.
The film briefly showed the first of Chan’s’ back to back wins in the WSOP Main Event. In what most consider to be the greatest feat in poker, Chan won the 1987 WSOP Main Event. He repeated the win in 1988 and ended this run in 1989 by finishing second to Phil Hellmuth. In total Chan has 10 WSOP bracelets, tied with Doyle Brunson for second all time. His WSOP earnings exceed $4 million and include 28 final tables. Chan was inducted to the Poker Hall of Fame in 1992.
- Nickname: “Poker Brat”
- D.O.B.: July 16th 1964
- Birthplace: Madison, WI
- Current residence: Palo Alto, CA
- WSOP bracelets: 11
- Live Winnings: $12,641,603
Like most well known players, Phil Hellmuth pursued other careers before becoming a full time poker pro. He attended the University of Wisconsin for 3 years before dropping out to become a professional poker player. He is the most well known player in the world, mainly due to his antics rather than his play. His achievements alone would leave one jealous but Phil decides to let his mouth and behavior dictate his fame. There’s no denying that he is one of, if not the greatest No Limit Hold ‘Em tournament player ever, but Phil is also one of the greatest self promoters the world has seen. He was the first face of online poker when he became the main spokesmen for Ultimate Bet. He continues to produce educational books, DVD’s and other material related to poker.
Phil became the youngest ever to win the Main Event at the WSOP in 1989 by defeating Johnny Chan at the ripe age of 24. The following year we saw the beginnings of the “Poker Brat” come to fruition. He was a color analyst for the 1990 WSOP Main Event final table and continuously berated would be champ, Robert Varkonyi. He said if Robert won the tournament he would shave his head. True to his word Hellmuth had his head shaved bald on national television.
Not only did this start Phil’s’ illustrious career as a self promoter, but it was the start of the greatest poker resume of anyone to play the game. His WSOP earnings total almost $8 million and include a record 45 final tables. His 11 WSOP bracelets are best among anyone ever. Phil is not only a WSOP expert, he has claimed numerous titles including the NBC National Heads UP Championship and The U.S. Poker Championship, which at the time of his win was considered one of the most prestigious events in the world.
His accolades reach beyond the felt as well. Cashing in on the poker boom of the late 90′s, Phil’s book, “Play Poker Like the Pros” was a huge success. He has had cameos in countless T.V. shows and movies and is a regular contributor to Card Player magazine. Phil is the guy everyone loves to hate, but his career has stood the test of time. Regardless of his behavior Phil will go down as one of the greatest of all time.