The World’s Best Poker Players

By Ryan White Updated: May 2023

Playing poker at a professional level is definitely a form of art recognised by gambling aficionados all around the world. The game’s origins are said to go back to the 10th century when a Chinese emperor started playing a domino game of cards. Ever since the game has gone through many transformations until it evolved to the current version we all know and love today. There are hundreds of books and guides, blogs, and dedicated websites that explain how to rely on skill in the long run and luck in the short run to win at poker. However, nothing seems to be more inspiring than watching a professional poker player with worldwide recognition in full action, behind the table. If you are eager to learn who are the best poker players around the globe, keep reading.

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Top Australian Poker Players

Australian Joe Hachem is a male poker player born March 11th, 1966 and he has Lebanese and Australian origins. He is best known for being the first Australian to win the World Series of Poker main event in 2005, which earned him $7.5 million, then a record for the all-time biggest tournament prize. Joe is also popular for the phrase ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!’ that was on everyone’s lips when he won this Main poker event. At the beginning of 2018, Joe’s tourney winnings were over $12.2 million, which turned him into the 35th best-ranked player in terms of live tourney earnings in his entire career. This comes to show that Australian poker players have every chance of getting a name in the top 10 poker players of the world.

Other prestigious Australian players, we can mention here are Kahle Burns (31 years old) and Jeff Rossiter (30 years old).

Kahle Burns won two WSOP bracelets in 2019 and his career took an amazing turn as he also attended and starred in the WSOP Europe, where he also won two bracelets during a single week. He also won Event #9 during the 2019 Poker Masters event and he managed to cash out more than $2.5 million in just three months of poker tourneys. Burns is one of the most promising poker players in the world with great potential for making it into the top 10 best players of all time.

Jeff Rossiter has apparently left his poker career behind, but he is another Australian male poker pro who made a great name for himself after having won more than $6.6 million in live tournaments. His greatest win was close to $3.2 million in 2013 at the Guangdong Asia Millions in Macau.

The Best Poker Players Around the World

“Isildur1”, The Player Who Took the Poker World By Storm

Viktor Blom or Isildur1 as you might know him online is a truly brilliant online poker player who hadn’t even turned 16 when he turned into a high roller. More than two decades ago, he attended the Full Tilt Poker and won a whopping $6 million while proving his superior skills against poker legends like Durrr Dwan or Patrik Antonius. Shortly after, however, he lost all his bankroll, but this didn’t stop him from continuing to play with large stakes; winning more money and then losing millions, again and again, faster than any other virtual poker player.

When he finally decided to come out into the world and reveal his name, he also decided to attend live poker tournaments. He won the HORSE tournament part of the Spring Championship Of Online Poker two consecutive years in a row (in 2017 and 2018), along with the Party Poker Main Event held in Germany, where he took home a mind-blowing prize of one million Euros.

Viktor Blom was born on the 26th of September in 1990 in Sweden and his brother was the one that first introduced him to poker when he was just 14 years old when they started playing no-limit Texas hold’em heads-up. Their friends soon followed and they all started playing micro stakes, which is the time when Viktor began to win small bits from his poker buddies. After that, he began playing during school breaks with buy-ins between $3 and $7, and one particular memory that Viktor has from his teen years is when 25 school companions showed up to play during one of his regular lunch tourneys, with Viktor eventually winning.

Patrik Antonius, Texas Hold’em Expert

If you are particularly interested in the Texas Hold’em variant, you may want to pay attention to the history of coach Patrik Antonius, your go-to expert in Texas Hold’em and also another high roller who loves to play with the highest stakes in online casinos for real money, as well as Bellagio’s Bobby’s Room. He played against Blom and Durrr, to mention just a few of the powerful opponents he played against. Lots of pros call him the best poker player on the planet and his fearless gameplay helped him play tons of pots larger than $800,000. Probably one of his most courageous acts was when he played a Pot Limit Omaha hand worth $1.3 million and he won it against Isildur1 a few years ago. His excellent skills in managing his bankroll helped him achieve his success.

Patrik Antonius was born in Finland, in Helsinki on the 13th of December 1980 and, besides being a professional poker player, he is also a tennis coach and passionate tennis player. He even has a successful career as a male model and he lives in Monte Carlo. His mentor was world-famous Marcel Lüske, a Dutch poker player who went pro and was ranked in the 10th position during the WSOP Main Event in 2014. Viktor Blom was accepted in his “Circle of Outlaws” and he also received the precious advice of Jennifer Harman, an American female poker player born on November 29th, 1964 who has won two different World Series of Poker bracelets during open poker events. Only three other women have managed to accomplish this.

Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu Scooped $41 Million

Who hasn’t heard of Daniel Negreanu, the Canadian poker player with Romanian origins, and his incredible success at the Poker Championships in the US in 2003? He has never left the professional poker scene since then and he kept winning one WSOP bracelet after the other, totalling 6 up to this date, along with a couple of World Poker Tour bracelets. He has won more than $41 million in tourneys and his entrepreneurship skills helped him launch a very successful site called Full Contact Poker. He later decided to sell his website, but he continues to have a constant and very lucrative presence online, through his blogs and as a YouTuber.

He is an excellent source of inspiration thanks to his presence on numerous poker coaching platforms online and he is probably best known for the so-called “small-ball” strategy he used all the time. Kid Poker is also a big fan of all forms of betting on sports and he also loves prop bets.

Daniel Negreanu was born on July 26, 1974, and he is currently 46 and still going strong in his professional poker career. Most of his success is related to his capacity to read his opponents. Daniel claims his biggest advantage is that he can closely observe the hands played by his poker opponents and he can guess how good they are at playing them.

Vanessa Selbst, the Best Female Poker Player in the World

Vanessa Selbst is an American female professional poker who is 36 years old and has received the title for the best woman poker player on the globe. She has won over $12 million in tournaments and events and she was also ranked number 41 on the all-time list of poker players. Having boasted 3 WSOP bracelets, 2 WTP final tables, 8 final tables, and twenty money finishes, she has a career that comes to show women poker players are just as dedicated and successful as male players.

Durrr Dwan

Tom “Durrrr” Dwan started his professional gambler career online with a small $50 deposit at an online casino for real cash and joining Sit ‘N’ Go tourneys. As he started winning one game after the next, his bankroll rapidly reached millions, especially while playing against Phil Ivey or Antonius. Rumour has it he won $14 million playing his favourite ash cash games on the web. He also continues to enrol in poker tourneys online where he is said to have won more than $4 million.

He is known for having won the so-called Durrrr challenge, which was an adrenaline-pumping 50,000-hand challenge played against Antonius which Durrr won without a sweat. His success is mainly a consequence of his skill and shifty character. His passion for high-staked games that can keep a player busy, which is also one of his defining traits.

Thomas Dwan JR. was born July 30th, 1986. He attended Boston University, but he decided to drop out in order to pursue his full-time poker career.

“No Home Jerome” Phil Ivey Wagered One Million Per Hand

Phil Ivey started playing poker when he was just 15 and he shortly received the “No Home Jerome” nickname online after logging in hundreds of hours of gameplay. Many would characterise his presence at the poker table as a terrifying one, but he did manage to win more than $26 million in live poker tourneys. He is the proud owner of ten WSOP bracelets and his partnership with Full Tilt Poker brought him at least million a month. He is also known for having wagered $1 million on a single hand of craps, so, like most professional poker players, he is not exclusively dedicated to playing this game alone. He has oftentimes been called the “Tiger Woods of Poker” as a means of expressing his surprising skills and table supremacy.

Phillip Dennis Ivey Jr. was born on the 1st of February in 1977 and he first discovered his talent for playing poker when he played against his co-workers at a telemarketing company in New Jersey in the nineties.

Other Worthy Poker Players Around The World

Ilari Ziggy Sahamies and Di Dang are also heavy names worth mentioning here, as they are also some of the best poker players in the world, as well as the biggest winners in online and offline poker history. 

Ilari Sahamies “Ziggy” or “Ziigmund Full Tilt Poker” was born in Finland, in Helsinki in 1983 and he is a male poker player who has turned high-stakes pot-limit Omaha into a genuine form of art. He has managed to win more than $1,590,000 during his participation at live tournaments throughout the years and he was ranked 4th on the country’s all-time biggest winners’ list. He has totalled over $3.7 million on Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker in terms of online cash games, once again proving that playing online casino games for real money can definitely be lucrative if you have the right skills and determination. An interesting fact about Ziggy is that in 2014 he decided to pay 50 000 EUR to be accepted as a member of a hip hop band in Finland called Teflon Brothers, as the band had started an online bidding and was looking for someone new to join them. He was even a guest on the band’s song “Pämppää” in 2015.

Di Dang is a retired male professional poker player of Vietnamese and American origins with a passion for online high-stakes poker games, especially pot-limit Omaha hold ’em cash games. He is currently 36 years old and he has taken home more than $8,000,000 on his two poker online accounts on Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars. His poker career started while attending the University of Virginia where he chose to study engineering. He figured out he could make a lot more money playing poker than following his engineering career so he decided to become a full-time poker player. He did manage to complete his degree in five years and another interesting fact about him is that he started playing together with his brother, Hac Dang, mixing their bankrolls. Their first online experience was actually an unfortunate one, as they lost $200, but they immediately made a new deposit for $200 and they have never looked back ever since. Their determination truly paid off, as they made millions in the years to come.