Finding a simple answer for a subjective question like which are the ten best poker players of all times can be quite difficult. In majority of cases, all of the top ranking players are exceptional in a particular variant of poker and differentiating them on the basis of a particular game in which they excel can come out to be a bit prejudiced.
Let us say if one player is great in playing Pot-Limit Omaha, chances are that he or she may not be so efficient in playing No Limit Hold’em. Does it make any change in their reputation as one of the greatest poker players, I think it does not.
While consolidating such a list it is prudent that one must consider the players who have shown exceptional wins in the high stake poker tournaments along with other qualities such as outstanding show of character, decision making capabilities and bankroll management. Some of the players who can qualify through such stringent parameters include the following.
David Edward Reese also known as Chip Reese was an American poker player famous for being the greatest cash game poker player. Chip Reese was the youngest player to be inducted in the Poker Hall of Fame and has a memorial trophy dedicated to him.
Doyle Brunson also known as Texas Dolly was an American poker player who dedicated 50 years of his life to the game of poker. He was the first player to break one million dollar mark through the poker tournaments. Doyle Brunson was inducted in Poker Hall of fame in 1988.
Stuart Errol Ungar also known as Stuey and The Kid is considered the greatest Texas Hold’em and Gin player of all times. Stu Ungar got inducted in Poker Hall of Fame in 2001.
Philip Dennis Ivey Jr. commonly called Phil Ivey is considered the best all around poker player. He came into limelight after winning three WSOP bracelets in 2002.
He is considered as “the grand old man of the poker” and the finest player of 70s. He won World Series of Poker main events thrice with two in succession during 1970 and 1971. He got inducted in the Poker Hall of Fame in 1979.
Johnny Chan also known as “Orient Express” made his debut in 80s and consecutively won WSOP in 1987 and 1988. He became the first player to win ten WSOP bracelets in Texas Hold’em. Johnny was inducted in Poker Hall of fame in 2002.
Barry Greenstein has earned the nickname “The Robin Hood of Poker” because of his philanthropy along with his predatory skills on the fields of poker. He dominated in cash games and tournaments during his hay days and is still quite capable to give rough times to the new generation of professional poker players. Barry Greenstein won three WSOP and two WPT titles and got inducted in Poker Hall of Fame in 2011.
Born in 1986 as “Thomas Dwan Jr.”, Tom Dwan attended Boston University before his initiation in the world of poker. He started his career under the screen name of “durrrr” and participated in the online high stake poker tournaments. He got a penchant for No Limit Texas Holdem and Pot-Limit Omaha. Apart from winning exceptional amount of money during his career as a poker player, he also created a reputation of being a young aggressive player, well respected by all.
She is the only female poker player to get on this list as she has been dominating high stake poker tournaments for the last thirty years. Even though she owes her success to the tournament poker, but majority of her wealth is a result of participation in high stake cash games. She is the only female poker player in the world to win two WSOP bracelets in open events.
Apart from being a gorgeous professional model from Vantaa, Finland, Patrik Antonious is also a killer on the poker tables. He is the only player who is venerated at the level of Phil Ivey by poker enthusiasts from all over the world. Patrik Antonius made a name for himself when he twice reached the final tables of European Poker Tour and a World Poker Tour. He later on ranked 12th in EPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and 15th in WPT 101 Shooting Stars event.