A relatively important question that comes up a lot in sports is, “Who’s the best poker player of all time”? For a long time, people have carried different perspectives on the topic. You see, you can’t measure a poker player by their speed, strength, or stamina. You have to measure them through their wit and how they make their decisions. So, with that in mind, we have created a list of the top 10 best professional poker players of all time. We’ve taken skill into consideration, as well as a few other factors including reputation, bankroll management, and money won. Let’s get started.
10. Patrik Antonius
Patrik Antonius is one of the closest players that you will see compared to Phil Ivey. He is a professional in every sense of the word and he has been dominating live poker games for a while now. As far as online poker games go, he is much respected and has accumulated millions of dollars there. He is one of the more consistent players of this era and he continues to play with the best in the world. As long as Patrik Antonius continues to play professional poker, you can be certain that he will continue to put pressure on other players as well as continue to make a lot of money.
9. Jennifer Harman
Although she is the only female to make it onto this list, she has definitely accomplished a lot in her poker career. She’s been dominating the tables ever since her early 20s and has continued this for over 10 years. She’s not afraid to play with the big boys and she plays relatively high stakes poker on a regular basis. You could argue that she is the best female professional poker player of all time.
8. Stu Ungar
When you think about legendary and you think about poker, it can be difficult not to think about Stu Ungar. He was often referred to as the “idiot savant” of poker. In the 70s, he would dominate table games and there were few players who would be able to keep up with him. Although he had a reputation for losing a lot of money (some say due to being board), his skills were still way above par during that time. He changed the game of poker forever and he will always be remembered as a poker icon.
7. Tom Dwan
Tom Dwan is the epitome of an aggressive poker player, and smart. Some people like to call him the modern day Stu Ungar. He started his career playing poker online when he first discovered Internet poker. From there, he took his time and built a relatively large bankroll. Now, even legendary poker players like Doyle Brunson and Barry Greenstein are giving him the utmost respect when he sits down at a poker table. He is a young, aggressive poker player who will continue to make millions of dollars throughout the course of his career.
6. Barry Greenstein
Barry Greenstein is definitely at the top of the poker food chain. If you were to sit down at a table with him then you would definitely be in for a long ride, and probably lose your money. A lot of people don’t realize just how strong of a player he really is though. He dominated both cash-games and tournaments for many years and even at an old age he is still able to keep up with the faster, younger generation. Respected by many, he will continue to dominate the table and win poker tournaments.
5. Johnny Chan
If you kept up with poker throughout the 80’s and 90’s then you know that Johnny was the poker player of that era. Known as the “Orient Express”, his talent has been immortalized in the poker community forever. He has been playing poker for over 20 years now and many can say that he brings a lot of aggressiveness to the table.
4. Johnny Moss
For a long time, Johnny Moss was considered the best poker player of his time. Unfortunately, his skills were relevant when “legal” poker hadn’t even made its way into society yet. However, the people who did manage to play with Moss did understand his table presence and skill. The general consensus stands that he was one of the greatest.
3. Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey is the man at the poker table. When he sits down, prepare to play against one of the most accomplished poker players in history. For the past 10 years or so, he has been number one in both tournaments and live table games. He always admits, “There is no amount of money that makes me sweat”, and it’s true. There is nobody that he won’t play and there is no amount of money that he won’t be willing to put up if he thinks he’s better than you.
2. Doyle Brunson
Doyle Brunson has been playing poker consistently for over 50 years so it would be wrong to place him on a spot any less than number two. He is a true professional and an icon for the game. He dominates in tournaments and he wins consistently in high-stakes cash games. At one point, before Internet poker was shut down, he had his own online poker room that was called “Doyles Room”.
1. Chip Reese
By all standards, Chip Reese is the greatest professional poker player of all time. He has won millions in cash games, millions in tournaments, and has played in almost every part of the world. Aside from his poker skill, Reese was loved and respected by the poker community until the day of his passing. He is an icon for poker and his legacy will live on forever, as with most of the players on this list.