Learn from the World’s Best Poker Pros to Up Your Game
It takes nerves of steel and the ultimate poker face to play this high-stakes game with the big boys. If you’re getting into the game and thinking of going pro, it’s a good idea to get a handle on the fiercest players at the table to watch out for.
Make sure you’ve got a pen and paper, you might want to take notes.
1. Daniel Negreanu
Total winnings: $30.5m
WSOP wins: 6
Top of the list is, of course, the great and mighty Kid Poker, Mr Daniel Negreanu. With six WSOP bracelets, two WPT titles under his belt and a total winnings count of $30,516,290 so far, this Canadian means business.
He’s placed first in over 36 tournaments and was recently welcomed into the exclusive Poker Hall of Fame, making him the world’s ultimate pro right now.
Take a look at his top five moments at the table in this video:
2. Antonio Esfandiari
Total winnings: $26.2m
WSOP wins: 3
Number two is not only one of the world’s best poker pros, but a pro magician as well.
Esfandiari, ‘The Magician’, is sitting pretty with more than $26,250,000 in the bank and three WSOP bracelets on his arm.
This Iranian has been playing Texas Hold’em since the tender age of 19 and enjoyed the top spot for all-time tournament winnings until Negreanu took his title in 2014.
Check out this how-to video of his most elaborate chip tricks:
3. Erik Seidel
Total winnings: $24.4m
WSOP wins: 7
Coming in a close third is Erik Seidel, Sly or Seiborg, as he’s otherwise known. This poker pro has certainly earned his stripes, earning seven WSOP titles of his own and banking $24,461,260 in winnings.
Every pro has a weak spot, and Seidel’s is his legendary 1988 loss to Johnny Chan in the WSOP Main Event. Seidel’s fail was immortalized by Matt Damon in the cult film Rounders.
Watch Seidel take his revenge on Damon at a later WSOP Main Event here:
4. Phil Ivey
Total winnings: $22.8m
WSOP wins: 10
Despite suffering a loss of $2.4m in 2013, Ivey is one of our top ten pros for his $22,809,848 in all-time tournament winnings and impressive collection of ten WSOP bracelets.
At only 38 years old, Ivey is also the youngest player to earn so many bracelets, and the fact that he won all of them in non-Hold’em events secures his position as one of the world’s best pros.
Watch a compilation of his five slickest moves here:
5. Daniel Colman
Total winnings: $22.7m
WSOP wins: 1
It’s no mean feat that at 24 this American pro beat the champion Daniel Negreanu heads-up in the Big One for One Drop event at the 2014 WSOP, banking a cool $15.3m.
His current tournament winnings stand at $22,701,087 and he was named ALL IN magazine’s 2014 Player of the Year.
But don’t be fooled by Colman’s babyface and schoolboy charm, Colman gives nothing away with the aid of his infamous poker face. Check out his reaction (if you can call it that) to winning the second largest first place prize in the history of the game in this clip on the Daily Mail:
6. Sam Trickett
Total winnings: $20.5m
WSOP wins: 0
Britain’s most successful player might not have got his hands on a coveted WSOP bracelet just yet, but this pro isn’t doing badly with $20,566,809 in tournament winnings at the age of 28.
Trickett’s biggest achievement to date is his second place finish behind our number two, Mr Antonio Esfandiari, in the Big One for One Drop, where he cashed in more than $10m in one hit.
You can check out their showdown in this clip:
7. Phil Hellmuth
Total winnings: $18.1m
WSOP wins: 14
With a record breaking 14 WSOP bracelets to his name, Hellmuth is a serious contender for the biggest poker pro title. Placing first in 26 tournaments so far, we recommend staying out of his way in his speciality game, Texas Hold’em.
But it’s not just his ostentatious collection of jewellery that makes Hellmuth the game’s biggest diva.
With an infamously short temper, Hellmuth has been dubbed ‘The Poker Brat.’ Take a look at this hilarious compilation of Hellmuth explosions to see for yourself:
8. Scott Seiver – $16.4m
Total winnings: $16.4m
WSOP wins: 1
Number eight became one of the big boys in 2008 when he won his first WSOP bracelet in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event, raking in $755,891 in winnings.
He followed this up with a series of big wins, including $1,618,344 at the 2011 Season IX WPT World Championship in one of the year’s strongest fields and then $2,003,480 in the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller event.
See him take on and own our number pro, Daniel Negreanu, in this bold hand:
9. John Juanda – $15.6m
Total winnings: $15.6m
WSOP wins: 5
Number nine has come a long way since his days working as a door-to-door salesman.
This poker pro has brought in sums of $598,770 at the 2008 £20,000 High Roller event and $732,901 for his first place finish in the Crown Australia Championship speed event earlier that year.
Juanda has got an impressive five WSOP bracelets to his name and his total of 54 cashes that make up $4,702,392 of his live winnings put him in joint eighth position for all-time WSOP cashes.
He even gives Daniel Colman a run for his money with his legendary poker face in this Full Tilt ad:
10. Martin Jacobson – $15.1m
Total winnings: $15.1m
WSOP wins: 1
Last on the list with a cool $15,072,952 amassed in tournament winnings, this young Swede is a formidable pro on the up.
Named by Sweden’s Poker.se as Player of the Year in 2015, Jacobson is enjoying recognition for his recent wins, the highlight being his whopping $10,000,000 first place prize at the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em 2014 WSOP Main Event. For that win, he’s also the proud owner of a shiny WSOP bracelet.
Take a look at his victory in this clip:
Now you’ve got a handle on the world’s best poker pros, you might want to make yourself feel a little better with this list of the 10 worst players and their biggest losses. It’s a long way down from the top.