The world of professional poker is studded with big names, multi-million dollar wins, and some exceptional talent. It takes a certain kind of person to play poker professionally, and those who can do so quickly make a name for themselves. After all, there is something very intriguing about a person who can play a game of cards, and walk away with sums of money that most will never see in their entire lives. It’s a remarkable celebrity status only just made possible with the latest surge in professional poker popularity.
Poker is also a game that has been growing in popularity in recent decades, with more and more players entering onto the scene on a professional level. This has highlighted how difficult the game is to play on a professional level, since few ever achieve the success of the top players. It has become apparent that poker is a game that requires talent and skill in equal amounts, so making the best of the best even greater celebrities.
Here are some of the to professional poker players in the world today.
Daniel Negreanu is one of the most well known professional poker players in the world, and regarded by many as the best. Interestingly, he does not have the title of the biggest professional poker win in history, that achievement lies with the second name on this list.
The reason he is considered the best, however, is that he never fails to do well when he enters a tournament. Other professional players have peaks and valleys in performance, but Daniel Negreanu performs well on a consistent level. It marks him as an exceptional player, even among other exceptional players. Other players are afraid to go up against him, and its no secret as to why.
Antonio Esfandiari has won the single biggest win in professional poker history, as already mentioned, a staggering $18 million, which he snagged in 2012. It is this achievement that has made Antonio a professional poker sensation, and he is often referred to as being the most watched poker player in the world.
Many seem to forget, however, that Antonio has been playing professional poker for over two decade, and was a card playing legend long before his most recent big score. Antonio, in fact, made his first million dollar score a decade ago, and has consistently raking in millions ever since. As far as high stakes poker goes, there are few poker players as successful, and has well known.
Another legendary name in world of professional poker, Erik Seidel has been a big name on the professional poker scene since the 1980s, making him one of the longest running professional poker players on the current scene. He has even been referenced in the classic poker film Rounders, which he is said to have greatly enjoyed.
It was not until 2011 that Seidel really took off, and was considered a big league player, however, after he grabbed two enormous wins on two separate continents. Today many consider him one of the legends of poker, having seen success before the recent surge in online poker popularity.
Phil Ivey is sometimes referred to as the Tiger Woods of poker, and it’s little wonder why. He grabbed his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2000, and has been seeing unprecedented success ever since. His biggest career win of $3.5 million make him one of the greatest poker players in the world today.
Interestingly, Ivey claims that he first played poker under an alias, Jerome, because he was not of age, and forbidden from entering casinos. These early years saw him learn the game at a very young age, which he says helped him find his current success. Ivey is currently 38, so no need to any longer have to produce an ID before being allowed to play.
Sam Trickett is the only European on the professional poker top 10 list, but that doesn’t stop him from being a major professional poker heavyweight. His most renowned win was second to already mentioned Antonio Esfandiari, where the two went head to head in the The Big One for One Drop tournament. Antonio won $18 million for his first place, while Trickett walked away with $10 million. Both must have been smiling from ear to ear.
Some of Trickett’s other achievements include a $2 million win, and a $1 million, in the Aussie Millions, in Melbourne, in 2013 and 2011 respectively. As the only top 10 performing European, Trickett is certainly not a name to be taken lightly, and many are saying he is a name to keep an eye on in up and coming poker tournaments. As to whether he breaks the top 3 and starts achieving the tens of millions in winnings league remains to be seen.