Ranking poker players is not an easy thing. The most obvious method would be to rank by winnings, but it would not be accurate since prize pots have increased a lot over time. World titles could be more accurate, but it would not be fair to early poker players that did not compete internationally while poker gained steam all over the world. So instead, poker players are ranked by the knowledge they developed while playing the game, which can be determined by reading their books or accounts, and needless to say, they all did win their fair share of tournaments, and some rank among the richest poker players.

Doyle Brunson

Doyle is one of the fathers of modern poker players and is a testament to a true passion for the game with more than 50 years as a professional poker player. He won 10 World Series of Poker events during his career and won the Main Event twice in 1976 and 1977. At age 84 he made it once more to the final table of the WSOP. He still holds the record for being the oldest person to win a Poker Tour event when he was 71.

His career earnings amount to $6.2 million, something a modern top player can achieve in just a few years but a huge achievement during his time. Brunson’s skills come from his incredible knowledge of the game, recorded in his series of books, mainly Super System 2.

Johnny Moss

Johnny Moss is a legend in the American poker scene. Little was recorded from this road player as most of the achievements were not recorded. He came into the spotlight as a professional poker player late in his life. He won 3 Main Event titles and 9 WSOP bracelets, with total winnings of $1.25 Million in tournaments, but he probably won a lot more as an amateur.

Moss died at age 88 in 1995 and is remembered as the Grandfather of Poker.

Phil Hellmuth

Phil is the poker Grandmaster at present. He is what Moss and Brunson were back in the day, a tough player with a unique understanding of poker and its evolution. 15 World Series bracelets won and $24 million in earnings and counting. He has won the WSOP main event in 1989 and 2012. You can read his autobiography entitled Poker Brat.

Justin Bonomo

One of the top earners at present with $44.6 Million winnings at just 34 years of age and beginning from 2016. His young age indicates he could end up breaking many records before his career ends. He has won 16 big tournaments including $1 Million during an WSOP.

Daniel Negreanu

A veteran from the 2000s, he is currently the biggest live tournament poker winner and two times WSOP player of the year. Holds 6 WSOP bracelets, 2 WPT titles, and $33 million in earnings.

Daniel Colman

Colman is bigger with online poker than live tournaments, but he does have one WSOP bracelet and is famous for eliminating Daniel Negreanu from the Big One for One Drop and winning $15.3 million.

Phil Ivey

A bit controversial for a cheating lawsuit against him in a dramatic event that involved Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun, AKA “The Baccarat Machine,” where both players used edge sorting to predict which cards would show up playing Baccarat. As a poker player, Ivey remained a legend when he was only23 years of age and won his first WSOP bracelet, then winning three more. His total winnings amount to $26 million and 10 WSOP bracelets, and a WPT title.

Bryn Kenney

He is the #1 of all-time moneymakers with $56 million in earnings. His most significant win was the 1 Million Triton event with $20.5 million in winnings.

Fedor Holz

The German poker celebrity transitioned from online to live games and accumulated $33 million in winnings.

Many of these celebrities have published a series of gambling books where readers can get to know more about their life and teachings.


(Photo Credit: Joe Giron/World Poker Tour)

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