In the professional poker industry, some of the world’s finest players have to demonstrate a variety of key attributes to cement themselves as the game’s best. It’s not just about winning vast sums of money; players need to ensure they can remain calm under pressure and can read their opponent at all times.
Over the last two decades, the explosion in online poker has seen its popularity soar once again, and more and more people are making a comfortable living from playing. Some of the world’s best poker stars have emerged in recent times, and demonstrate all the skills necessary to leave their mark on the game.
Even in the early 1970s, when tournaments became common practice in casinos across the United States, players have created legacies throughout the world of poker that will remain to this day and act as an inspiration for aspiring hopefuls. Here, we take a look at some of the best to ever play.
The ‘Tiger Woods of Poker’ has been a huge name in the circuit for nearly two decades now, and has enjoyed much success throughout his career. Phil Ivey made it big from a young age and is still one of the most respected professional players going; he has won ten World Series of Poker bracelets as well as one World Poker Tour title and has made nine World Poker Tour final table appearances.
Similar to Ivey, Daniel Negreanu is a fan favourite on the poker scene and has amassed over $35 million during his stellar career. He has six separate cashes for $1 million or more, which includes the $8 million win in the World Series of Poker in 2014. Negreanu had to work his way up the ladder after an unspectacular start, but his perseverance and natural ability ensured he would go down as one of the greats.
Stu ‘The Kid’ Unger was one of the original poker legends and he enjoyed a whole host of success during his career. Unger was a genius when it came to pressure situations and has three WSOP Main Event titles to his name. He also won three Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker titles, but Ungar wasn’t just the king of Texas hold’em, he was arguably one of the best gin rummy and blackjack players but was banned from the latter due to his brilliance at card counting. Try you luck now at for your chance to earn a tidy profit.
Chip Reese was something of a poker prodigy and decided against university so he could pursue a career in professional poker, and it clearly paid off. Many regard Reese as the greatest ever player and few would argue against that, accumulating three WSOP bracelets and 23 money finishes at the same event. But it was Reese’s style and stamina at the table that many will remember, and he collected $1.7 million after beating Andy Bloch at the 2006 WSOP after 7 hours and 286 hands.
Perhaps the most iconic name in professional poker, Johnny Moss was a huge hit in his heyday and actually learnt to cheat before playing the game. The Texan was the first ever winner of WSOP Main Event in 1970 after he helped establish it. Accolade wise, Moss has nine WSOP titles, eight WSOP bracelets and 25 money finishes. Moss is a real legend in the poker industry and to call him one of the best is only befitting looking back at his hugely successful career.