Top 5 Poker Players of All Time

01/29/2013
By Tommie ClarkGoogle
As a poker player, a topic of discussion that usually comes up amongst friends is who is the greatest of all time. This is usually met with varying points of view as most questions of this nature do. There is one common scenario however. Most of the same players are brought up during this discussion which could lead to one saying that these players can be considered maybe not the very best, but at least one of the best.

Many of us like to think that we are the best poker player ever and don’t want to hear any different. But the truth is none of us come close to these 5 players unless you happen to be one of these top 5. Here is our list of the top poker players of all time. This list is not official and is always up for debate, but in our minds these players have done more for the game and with the game than anyone else in the field.

1: Phil Hellmuth Jr.



Let’s just get his name out of the way right off the bat. Many will strongly disagree with this choice, but you can’t deny what he has done in poker. Not only has he won more tournaments and cash than anyone else, he has been one of the main reasons for poker mainstream success. His resume includes the most WSOP bracelets of all time. And if you discount Antonia Esfandiari's latest win in the One Drop, Phil is leading money winner of the WSOP.

To further cement his place in poker history he has evolved with the times and been able to keep up with the young internet pros. In a time where these kids have been pushing the old names around, Hellmuth has shown he can still play and proved it with his latest performance at the WSOP by making 3 final tables and adding another bracelet to his jewelry collection.

Not only has he accomplished more playing the game, he has been the undisputable face for it as well. Even if you don’t play poker, you know who he is. Without his antics and personality which have made him famous, it’s tough to say that poker would be highlighted as often as it was. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying what he has done for poker.

2: Doyle Brunson



This next player is considered the “Godfather” of poker. He helped establish the WSOP back in the 70s and some say he is the reason why people Texas Hold Em. Back in a time where most were playing games like 5 Card Draw, Brunson brought the game to the West Coast were it would become the most played form of poker.

His main success came in the early years of poker, but he shown produced results of late and stands atop the leaderboard in many aspects of poker. He has been the face of a game and is respected amongst his peers which is hard to do in a selfish sport such as poker.

3: Jonny Moss



Moss wasn’t the best poker player to ever live, but he’s one of more recognizable characters of the game. Along with Brunson, he would help create the birth of the WSOP and win it the first 2 years. What he did for the game was to make it mainstream in a day when poker players were considered outcasts. He was one of the best self-promoters of all time and would be the first poker player to have a spot on “The Tonight Show with Jonny Carson” He cashed in on his profile and would write numerous books and television spots before any poker player had even thought of it.

4: Tom Dwan



This young kid still has plenty left to prove, but in my opinion has already shown he has what it takes to be one of the best. His first dance in the spotlight came on the NBC Heads UP Challenge after beating Phil Hellmuth. Granted he sucked out on the final hand, but it was what transpired next that would make him an instant star. Hellmuth would challenge Dwan and said that he wouldn’t be around in a year. Well Mr. Hellmuth, Dwan is still around and still scooping up big pots.

5: Phil Ivey



As of late Ivey is more known for his dealings with Full Tilt, but he is widely considered the best player of all time. Chip Reese, who was just left off this list, once said “He’s the best I’ve ever seen.” He plays all the games at a top level, not just Hold Em and has bracelets in multiple games and career tournament earnings that top $14 million.

To solidify his case for being one of the best, he admits that he doesn’t even like poker that much. This is easy to realize if you have ever seen him on T.V. He looks bored out of his mind and would rather be playing Craps. He’s actually known to have quite the Craps habit and uses his poker winnings to fund this.


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