Poker is the name of the game. It separates the proverbial boys from the men, and the girls from the ladies. It’s not quite the great leveller, since there is a unique poker hierarchy which distinguishes majesty from mediocrity.
The world’s most legendary poker players have an enduring legacy that transcends generations of fans. The top-ranked ‘all-time money list’ players feature a recognizable cast of characters. In the ongoing search for the top poker players to follow right now, one would be hard-pressed to neglect the top 10 poker players in the world.
The Hendon Mob is highly regarded among the poker elite, and for good reason. This comprehensive resource of all things poker features the largest live poker database in the world, comprising 637,437+ players at 423,518+ events globally. The top 10 poker players as of March 2020, include the following superstars of the game:
1. Bryn Kenney (USA) – career earnings of $56,403,507
2. Justin Bonomo (USA) – career earnings of $49,128,107
3. Daniel Negreanu (CAN) – career earnings of $42,053,307
4. Erik Seidel (USA) – career earnings of $37,748,126
5. Dan Smith (USA) – career earnings of $36,742,718
6. Stephen Chidwick (ENG) – career earnings of $34,387,647
7. David Peters (USA) – career earnings of $33,737,541
8. Fedor Holz (GER) – career earnings of $32,556,379
9. Jason Koon (USA) – career earnings of $31,101,729
10. Steve O’Dwyer (USA) – career earnings of $30,471,475
Important Criteria for Assessing the Top-Ranked Poker Players
While the all-time money list is certainly an important barometer of which poker players to follow right now, it risks redundancy by including winnings that have accumulated over many years. This necessitates an in-depth assessment of the most popular poker players of the year, based on the points they have scored with their poker-playing abilities of late.
The pedigree of a poker player is a product of many different factors. Since poker is a game of skill and strategy, with luck thrown in for good measure, the top players consistently perform at the highest level.
This is evidenced by the familiarity of the top 10 names in the WSOP rankings, major rankings, popularity rankings, EPT rankings, WPT rankings, and country rankings. There is more to poker star power than a ‘one-off’ performance in a world-class poker competition.
The mindset of a poker professional is central to that player’s abilities, earning potential, and consistency of performance. It has been said – time and again – that poker is a mental game. It’s more about playing your opponents than it is about playing your cards. But to get to that level of poker acuity, players need to be in touch with their inner poker child. That means understanding the impact of poker psychology on pressure cooker situations.
When players master the art of self-control by avoiding playing on tilt, or making bad decisions, the transformation truly begins. Poker psychology is an all-encompassing discipline that governs every conceivable aspect of a player’s conduct, performance, and demeanour. With the right mindset, there is nothing that a professional poker player cannot accomplish.
To coin an old phrase, ‘Mind over Matter’. The poker players who conduct themselves with distinction are far more likely to perform to the best of their capabilities. A measured approach to betting and playing poker is sacrosanct. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to consistently performing above expectations – it’s part raw talent, part learned, and 100% necessary to become a poker superstar.
Leading from the Front in 2020
The most popular players in 2020 include the following legends:
1. Bryn Kenney (USA)
2. Daniel Negreanu (CAN)
3. Phil Ivey (USA)
4. Stephen Chidwick (ENG)
5. Justin Bonomo (USA)
Since Texas Hold’em is the world’s most popular poker game, it’s worth evaluating the top-ranked Hold’em players based on their big match temperament in competitive tournaments like the WSOP (World Series of Poker) – the gold standard for poker play. The Main Event winners list is a great place to start.
In our quest to determine the best poker players to follow right now, it’s imperative to consider the biggest winners in the WSOP Main Event in recent years. The top 3 poker players for 2016, 2017, and 2018 include the following:
1. John Cynn (2018) – NLH Main Event Championship #65 – $8.8 million
2. Scott Blumstein (2017) – NLH Main Event Championship #73 – $8.15 million
3. Qui Nguyen (2016) – NLH Main Event Championship #68 – $8 million
These statistics make it much easier for poker players and poker fans on the rail to understand the bigger picture, particularly where the top earners and the most talented professionals fit in. In terms of popularity, 5 poker players continually top the charts. These include the likes of:
1. Daniel Negreanu of Canada
2. Phil Ivey of the USA
3. Fedor Holz of Germany
4. Phil Helmuth Jr of the USA
5. Eric Seidel of the USA
It is notable that several names keep resurfacing in the most popular poker players listing. Canadian poker ace, Daniel Negreanu is undoubtedly one of the favourites in the poker community. Much the same is true of Americans Phil Ivey, and Phil Helmuth Jr. While players like Antonio Esfandiari shattered records with their earnings ($21,917,218), it’s players like Daniel, Phil, Jonathan Duhamel, Joe Cada, and Justin Bonomo who remain fan favourites all over the world!