Poker is so popular it’s played by 100 million people worldwide, according to the World Poker Tour (WPT). The introduction of online poker in the late 1990s played a significant role in popularising the game by giving millions of people the opportunity to play poker online from the comfort of home and try out new variants of the game, including live dealer games.
With the number of poker fans increasing through the 2000s, successful professional poker players became almost as famous as rockstars. Here is our pick of the top 10 poker players in the world today.
1. Stephen Chidwick
Englishman, Stephen Chidwick, has earned his place on our list of current top poker players, having accumulated live poker tournament winnings that exceed £25.8 million, which places him first on the England all-time money list and eighth on the all-time money list. Chidwick took his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in the £18,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller event and netted a cool £1.2 million.
The 32-year-old started competing in live poker tournaments in 2008, playing under the aliases “stevie444” and “TylersDad64” in various online casino card rooms.
2. Bryn Kenney
Kenney, who hails from New York, started playing poker in 2007 and seven years later won his first WSOP bracelet. In a single year, from 2018 and 2019, his Global Poker Index (GPI) ranking jumped from eighth place to number one. In 2019, Kenney took home £15 million, the largest prize in poker tournament history at the Triton Million. Today, he’s worth £41 million.
The American has won a WSOP bracelet in 2014 and has made a total of seven final WSOP tables and cashed 32 times, including 28th place in the 2010 Main Event.
3. Daniel Negreanu
Canadian Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu has been awarded six WSOP bracelets, made 38 final tables, and cashed 108 times. It’s his impressive skill in accurately reading his opponents that has contributed to his £31 million success and earned him a reputation as one of the world’s top current poker players and indeed one of the best of all time. The 47-year-old was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014.
4. Justin Bonomo
The American high-stakes professional Bonomo became the youngest player in 2005, at the tender age of 20, to feature at a televised final table event. He took home £30,000 on that occasion, and it was clear the lad was just getting started.
In 2006, Bonomo was excluded from two online casino sites after he was caught playing poker online in major tournaments using multiple accounts. He did mend his ways, however, and by 2018, he’d taken the number one slot on the All-Time Money List.
The three-time WSOP bracelet winner is a regular on the High Roller circuit, winning the Triton High Roller Series, ARIA High Roller Event, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and Super High Roller Bowls in China and Las Vegas. His total winnings come in at around £38.5 million.
5. Dan Smith
Also known as Cowboy Dan from the US state of New Jersey, Dan Smith has clocked up a number of poker accolades in a relatively short time. Starting in 2014, he won over £15 million at the Bellagio Super High Roller $100,000. That year, he rose to number one in the world on the Global Poker Index, and in September 2018, he placed third in the WSOP $1 million Big One for One Drop event for £3 million. He’s never won a WSOP bracelet, but he’s worth a cool £26 million.
6. Phil Hellmuth
Professional poker player Phil Hellmuth has won 15 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets and authored the poker strategy book Play Poker Like the Pros, which offers some interesting insights and is worth a read. Whether you play video poker for the sheer joy of it or want to seriously increase your poker tournament skills, Hellmuth also has a number of poker tutorial videos that you can access online.
7. Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey has collected a whopping 10 WSOP bracelets and also won £8 million playing baccarat in 2012! This just goes to show, even if you’re only into poker or the best online slots, you just might get a lot of enjoyment out of trying the other games on offer at your favourite mobile casino!
8. Chris Moneymaker
If ever a person has lived up to their name, it’s Chris Moneymaker! After taking the Main Event in the World Series of Poker in 2003, he penned his autobiography, Moneymaker: How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker. Moneymaker has also gone down in history as the first player to win his entry into the WSOP by playing poker online.
9. David Peters
David Peters, aka the Silent Assassin, was inspired by Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 WSOP win and started honing his skills playing poker online. The 34-year-old from Ohio is now one of the biggest winners on the circuit, with two WSOP bracelets in 2016 and 2020, and more than 50 cash finishes in the WSOP alone. This has netted him career wins of around £24.5 million so far.
10. Jason Koon
West Virginian Jason Koon started playing poker at online sites while studying and went on to win a SCOOP tournament that netted him £22,000, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open for £725,000 and the Triton Series main event for £800,000. His biggest win so far has been the Short Deck Triton Super High Roller tournament in Montenegro, where he was awarded £2.6 million for his win. Since this win in 2018, Koon has concentrated on high roller tournaments where he can pull in the biggest profits.
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