Top 10 Best Poker Players in the World

best poker players

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Posted by: casino4you

Since the end of the pandemic, professional poker players around the world have gone back to their usual live grind.

But this time, it seems that poker is more appreciated than ever as the popular card game is getting more and more media coverage.

With the high stakes battles on Coin poker, the return of Poker After Dark, and the streams from many casinos like the Hustler, it feels like poker is as popular as ever.

One of the main reasons why fans around the world watch these games are the amounts of money exchanging hands in every hand. Today, we decided to bring you the list of the top 10 best poker players who won the most money.

10. Mikita “fish2013” Bodyakovsky

Mikita best poker players

Image courtesy of PokerGO

We start our list of famous poker players with Mikita Bodyakovsky, the most successful Belarussian poker player of all time.

Bodyakovsky is an ex-chess player who entered the live poker scene back in 2010 when he won $5,610 on the Russian Poker Tour in Kyiv.

Between 2010 and 2015, most of his success came on the online scene, where he had a significant number of big scores under his alias “fish2013.”

These include winning  $164,429 as a runner-up in the Sunday Million and chopping the WCOOP Super High Roller for  $594,069.

The ex-Party Poker ambassador joined the live scene around 2016 and instantly made a name for himself in the poker world.

Mikita’s preferred live poker format is high rollers, and he made almost all of his money battling the best poker players in the world.

He recorded some of his most notable wins in the Triton Series and held the record for most titles in this poker series with four wins.

His last Triton win came in May of 2022 when he won a €50,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $1,407,519.

Total Live Earnings $35,218,764
Best Live Cash $5,257,027
World Series of Poker bracelet(s) 1

9. Phil “No Home Jerome” Ivey

top poker players phil ivey

Image courtesy of PokerGO

Phil Ivey is one of the most famous poker players in the world, and his name is well known even to those who are not so much familiar with poker.

One of the reasons for his popularity is the fact that he has been on the poker scene since 2000, when he won his first World Series of Poker bracelets.

Since then, Ivey has won 10 WSOP bracelets, which is even more impressive if we consider that these wins came from six different poker formats.

Apart from being regular in the WSOP events, he is best known for crushing other poker pros on the TV show Poker After Dark, after which many crowned him as the best poker player in the world.

In the last couple of years, the “Tiger Woods of Poker” has been mostly playing live high roller tournaments and short deck poker.

His last big win came in April of 2022 when he won the $75,000 No-Limit Short Deck Hold’em Triton event in Cyprus for $1,170,000.

Total Live Earnings $35,625,590
Best Live Cash $3,582,753
World Series of Poker bracelet(s) 10

8. Dan “Cowboy Dan” Smith

dan smith famous poker players

Image courtesy of PokerGO

Dan Smith is another player on our list that replaced chess with poker. He was born in New Jersey in 1989 and started playing card games when he was sixteen. In 2007, Smith decided to pursue poker as a full-time career.

Over the course of his online career on PokerStars, where he played under the nickname “Danny98765”, the American won upwards of $3 million dollars.

After establishing himself in online games, he transitioned to live tournaments, which turned out to be the right decision.

For his outstanding play in 2012, he was awarded the “Best Player of the Year” by the GPI. Smith’s live tournament career is full of seven-figure scores, but the one that stands out came in 2019 when he won $8,765,628 for his third place in the £1,050,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Triton Million for Charity that was held in London.

Total Live Earnings $38,231,025
Best Live Cash $8,765,628
World Series of Poker bracelet(s) 1

7. Jason “JAKoon1985” Koon

Jason Koon worlds best poker players

Image courtesy of partypoker

Jason Koon began his poker career online back in 2006 while he was at college. Since then, he has amassed over $3,500,000 in online earnings under his nicknames “JAKoon1985” and “NovaSky.”

His first big win came in 2009 when he won a $2,150 NLHE SCOOP event on PokerStars for $302,000.

He began playing live tournaments in 2008 and found success hitting multiple six and even seven-figure scores.

In 2016 he took the next step and joined the high roller scene, where he plays both Hold’em and Short Deck tournaments.

A case could also be made that he is even more successful in the latter as his two biggest live cashes came from Short Deck.

The one-time WSOP bracelet winner won the Short Deck Ante Only at Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in 2018 for $3,580,000 and then won Short Deck Ante Only at Triton Poker Super High Roller Series a year later for $2,840,945.

Just like Bodyakovsky’s, his latest win came during the Triton Poker Series in Madrid, when he won the €150,000 No-Limit Short Deck Hold’em Ante Only for $1,863,228.

Total Live Earnings $38,251,390
Best Live Cash $3,579,836
World Series of Poker bracelet(s) 1

6. David “Silent Assassin” PetersDavid Peters poker best players

Image courtesy of Upswing Poker

Like many other players from his generation, David Peters became interested in poker after Moneymaker’s win in the 2003 WSOP.

He started his poker journey online under the nicknames “DPeters17” and “Davidp18”. In the beginning, he was mostly playing freerolls, but it didn’t take him long to transition to higher stakes.

Up to this moment, the Ohio native has won over $6.5 million playing online poker. However, most of his career earnings come from the live poker scene, which he joined back in 2006.

Peters won his first WSOP bracelet in 2016 when he was also named the Player of the Year by the GPI. In 2020 and 2021, he added two more titles to his WSOP resume and then another one in 2022.

One of the things the American is most known for is his consistency, as he has won over $2.9 million each year since 2015 (except in 2020 because of COVID19).

His last big win came in October of 2021 when he came second in the $200,000 No-Limit Hold’em PokerGo event at Aria for a payday of $1,387,200, followed by his most recent bracelet win in June 2022.

Total Live Earnings $38,998,769
Best Live Cash $2,699,752
World Series of Poker bracelet(s) 4

5. Erik “Seiborg” Seidel

erik seidel top poker players

Image courtesy of PokerGO

Erik Seidel is an ex backgammon player who transitioned to poker. He started playing card games in the former Mayfair Club in his hometown of New York.

It didn’t take him long to find success with poker, as he finished second in the 1988 WSOP, which was his first major poker tournament.

Over the years, Seidel has won nine World Series of Poker bracelets which ties him for fifth all-time. What is even more impressive is that he won these WSOP bracelets across multiple formats and decades.

His first WSOP win came in a Limit Hold’em event in 1992, while his last came in the No-Limit Hold’em Super Million High Roller, which was played online in 2021.

Between these two titles, Seidel won bracelets in formats such as Omaha 8 or Better, Deuce to Seven Draw, and Pot-Limit Omaha.

His last major score came in May of 2022 at the Triton Poker Series in Madrid, where he was the runner-up in the 7-handed €30,000 No-Limit Hold’em event and won $535,180.

Total Live Earnings $39,777,266
Best Live Cash $2,472,555
World Series of Poker bracelet(s) 9

4. Stephen “stevie444” Chidwick

stephen chidwick famous poker players

Image courtesy of PokerGO

Stephen Chidwick is an English poker player who is considered one of the best tournament players in the world.

He started playing online freerolls under the screen name “Stevie444” when he was sixteen and, after some time, transitioned to small and mid-stakes tournaments.

Before his 25th birthday, he already had a $3 million bankroll and decided to give live poker tournaments a go.

He became fond of the live poker scene so much that since 2010 he has mostly been playing live tournaments. In 2013 he was voted the UK Player of the Year, and in 2019 he received the GPI award Players Choice for the Toughest Opponent.

In the same year, Chidwick also won his first and only World Series of Poker bracelets when he defeated James Chen in the $25,000 Pot Limit Omaha High Roller for $1,618,417.

The British had one of his best performances in the Triton Poker Series in Madrid in May of 2022, where he won the €100,000 No-Limit Short Deck Hold ’em – SD Main Event, came second in the €50,000 No-Limit Hold’em – 8-Handed Turbo, and third in the €75,000 No-Limit Hold’em – 8-Handed for a total payday of $3,566,665.

Total Live Earnings $42,746,702
Best Live Cash $5,368,947
World Series of Poker bracelet(s) 1

3. Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu

negreanu daniel - worlds famous poker players

Image courtesy of PokerGO

Ever since Daniel Negreanu appeared in Season 1 of the cult TV show Poker After Dark, he has been one of the most recognizable and popular professional poker players in the world.

However, his poker success started much earlier with his win in the $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em event at the 1998 World Series of Poker that earned him his first WSOP bracelet. (and also the nickname Kid Poker as he was the youngest-ever WSOP champion at the time).

Over the last couple of decades, the Canadian added five more WSOP bracelets to his resume, as well as several World Poker Tour Titles, a SCOOP Title, and a World Championship of Online Poker title.

Kid Poker got his greatest ever recognition in 2014 when he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.

In the last couple of years, the six-time WSOP bracelet winner has been mostly playing high buy-in tournaments around the world.

His last big payday was in October of 2021, when he won $519,764 for his third place in the $50,000 Pot Limit Omaha – High Roller at WSOP 2021.

Total Live Earnings $46,121,360
Best Live Cash $8,288,001
World Series of Poker bracelet(s) 6

2. Justin “ZeeJustin” Bonomo

justin bonomo best players in poker

Image courtesy of PokerGO

Justin Bonomo started playing poker at the age of 16 after switching from Magic the Gathering. His initial poker success came from the online play, where he dominated Sit & Go tournaments, but his first big win came in the PokerStars Sunday Million.

Around 2005, Bonomo started playing live tournaments, and it didn’t take him long to match his online success. However, it took him a long time to get into the poker stratosphere – 13 years, to be exact.

The biggest year of his career came in 2018 when he took the poker world by storm by winning ten tournaments for a total of over $24 million.

His most important tournament win came in the 2018 WSOP $1 Million Big One For One Drop, where he took the title and $10 million in prize money.

The 36-year-old keeps playing the highest buy-in tournaments around the world as the PokerGo’s $300,000 No-Limit Hold ’em – Super High Roller Bowl, in which he came second in 2021 and won $1,890,000.

Total Live Earnings $57,194,647
Best Live Cash $10,000,000
World Seris of Poker bracelet(s) 3

1. Bryn Kenney

brynn kenney best poker players

Image courtesy of PokerGO

At the moment, the honor of being the most successful live tournament player in the world belongs to the American Bryn Kenney. The former Magic: The Gathering player started playing online poker at the age of seventeen under his mother’s account.

Kenney’s first live poker experiences came in 2007, but he started having success on the live felt after 2014 when he won his first and online WSOP bracelets after winning the $1,500 10-Game Mix Six-Handed event. His efforts in this tournament earned him $153,220.

Over the course of his live poker career, Bryn had many six-figure and seven-figure scores, but one event made him the winningest poker player of all time.

The poker tournament in question was the £1,050,000 No-Limit Hold ’em – Triton Million for Charity, in which he was the runner-up and finished with a $20,563,324 payout (winning around $4 million more than the champion thanks to a deal).

At the moment, Kenney isn’t putting a lot of poker volume in. Instead, he is mostly focused on running his staking business.

It was his staking business that landed him in the center of controversy when one of his ex-players accused him of cheating in online poker tournaments. He denied these accusations, but the backlash from the poker community was quite severe.

Total Live Earnings $57,204,861
Best Live Cash $20,563,324
World Seris of Poker bracelet(s) 1

Bonus: Top 5 Cash Game Poker Players in The World

Because poker is a complex game that can be played in various formats, variations, and environments, it is pretty hard to make a list of the best professional poker players based only on the amount of money they made.

For this reason, we decided to add five of the best online cash game players that have proven their skill over a long period of time.

Most of these players have also proven themselves in live tournaments, although it is not their preferred poker format.

Since these players play different formats, limits, and sites, it is hard to rank them, so we will just mention them in no particular order.

Linus ‘LLinusLLove’ Loeliger

Linus Loeliger poker player

Image courtesy of Triton Poker

Linus Loeliger, better known under his PokerStars screen name “LLinusLLove,” is a Swiss professional poker player. He is known as one of the best poker players of all time, and his specialty is 6-max online cash games.

He started playing poker when he was 18, but things didn’t go as planned at first as he struggled to win even at the low stakes.

His rise started with his challenge on the 2+2 poker forum, where his goal was to track his progress from NL10 to NL100 back in 2013.

Fast forward to 2016, and he was already playing 10k NL (We guess the challenge worked). In the period from 2016 to 2018, Lolliger won more than $1.5 million on PokerStars alone.

Since then, he has been battling at the highest limits with other cash game crushers from this list. According to the information available online, LLinusLLove has won over $2.6 playing online poker.

After his identity was revealed in 2017, he started playing some live tournaments, and like with online cash games, he found success. At the moment, his live winnings are $2,272,764.

Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov

trueteller top poker players

Image courtesy of Triton Poker

Timofey Kuznetsov, better known as “Trueteller,” is a Russian professional poker player considered to be one of the best online poker players in the world.

Kuznetsov specializes in Texas Hold ’em No Limit cash games, but he has also been successful in other poker formats such as 2-7 triple draws and pot-limit Omaha.

He first appeared on the high stakes scene in 2011 when he started playing 5k NL and higher limits on PokerStars.

Trueteller made his name by battling some of the best poker players in the world both in heads up and in short-handed play.

Over the course of seven years (between 2011 and 2018), Kuznetsov made over $3 million.

Just like Loeliger, after his real name became public, he started playing live tournaments as well. Up to this moment, he earned $8,648,295 and currently sits in 2nd place on Russia’s all-time money list.

Jonas “OtB_RedBaron” Mols

For a long time, the true identity of online poker legend OtB_RedBaron was one of the biggest mysteries in poker as he was considered the best 6 max player in the world and the successor to Viktor “Isildur1” Bloom.

Just like Loeliger, Mols is one of the professional poker players that became famous at the beginning of his poker career thanks to a challenge that he tracked on the 2+2 forum.

His goal was to achieve 6bb/100 at 500 Zoom after 100,000 hands.

From when he was first spotted at online cash games on PokerStars to 2018, OtB_RedBaron has won $2.2 million in high stake games (5k+). However, since lower cash games and tournaments are not included, the number is probably much higher.

It is safe to say that Jonas Mols is not a big fan of live tournaments and feels much more comfortable in front of the computer as his live winnings are only $57,749.

Wiktor “Limitless” Malinowski 

Wiktor Malinowski best poker players

Image courtesy of Paul Phua Poker

Wiktor Malinowski is a Polish professional poker player that plays under the moniker Limitless. He got into poker after he sustained an injury in 2014 that prevented him from playing handball.

Limitless built up his poker bankroll through freerolls without ever depositing money. He found success at the tables almost instantly and decided to pursue a poker career after he started beating 1k NL.

Although Malinowski was considered one of the best poker players for a long time, the final proof came in the summer of 2020 when he battled some of the best players in the world on GG poker.

Namely, In September of 2020, he shared a screenshot of his results for August of that year which showed that he won over $4 million on GG Poker.

Around 2016, the ex-handball player started playing live cash games and transitioned to live tournaments after a few years. His biggest score in high rollers came in 2021 when he won the $250,000 Super High Roller Bowl Europe Main Event in Cyprus for $3.6 million.

“BERRI SWEET”

“BERRI SWEET” is the only player on this list that has managed to remain anonymous. He is also the only player in this article who primarily specializes in Pot Limit Omaha.

The Swede is the biggest winner in cash games in the history of PokerStars, with his winnings exceeding $4.5 million. He made most of the money playing 20k PLO.

He is also no stranger to No Limit Hold’em and has been seen battling the top NL Hold’em players’ heads up in their preferred game.

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