Top 5 most famous online poker players
Who are the top 5 most famous online poker players? Poker has been a very popular game for over a hundred years now, and online poker has proven to be no less popular than it´s real life counterpart. There are many different tournaments held all over the world where players test their skills and attempt to win grand prizes. Some people have been shown to possess more skills than others, however. We´ll take a look at the top 5 current online poker players, what they´re like, and their record up to this point.
What makes a good poker player?
Poker players need to possess many different skills and qualities to achieve success. Some of these key qualities are:
- Strategic thinking: A good professional poker player must be able to think ahead, analyse the game, and make informed decisions based on the cards they have and the cards they think their opponents have.
- Mathematical skills: Professional poker players must have a good understanding of odds and probability, and be able to use this knowledge to make the best decisions.
- Emotional control: Professional poker players must be able to control their emotions and remain calm and focused, even in high-pressure situations. They must also avoid letting their emotions influence their decisions. In other words, they need to have a good “poker face”.
- Adaptability: Professional poker players must be able to adapt to different playing styles and adjust their strategies accordingly. They must be able to switch up their game depending on who they are playing against and what kind of game they are in.
- Discipline: Professional poker players must be disciplined in their approach to the game, avoiding impulsive moves and sticking to a well thought-out strategy. They must also have good bankroll management, avoiding the temptation to play too many hands or to bet too much on any one hand.
- Knowledge of the game: Professional poker players must have a deep understanding of the rules and strategies of the game, and be constantly learning and refining their skills. They must also keep up with new developments in the world of poker and be able to incorporate new strategies into their play.
- Experience: Professional poker players must have played a lot of hands and have a lot of experience reading opponents and making decisions under pressure. This experience helps them make more informed and confident decisions in the game.
- Work Ethic: Professional poker players must be dedicated to constantly improving their skills and putting in the work to become the best player they can be. This often involves studying the game, watching and analysing past hands, and seeking out coaching and feedback from other experienced players.
It’s important to note that these qualities are not mutually exclusive, and the best professional poker players often possess several of them. Additionally, these skills can be developed and improved over time with practice and dedication. Players without any initial talent will probably never become pros, but it is very possible to train most of these skills with enough time and dedication. Learning how to play poker is a continuous process, and isn´t just done once you´ve read the rules.
The most famous poker players
As mentioned before, there are a few poker players who are leagues above the rest. To show you the best of the best, we have formulated a top 5 of the most famous and most skilled online poker players in the world.
1. Fedor Holz
Fedor Holz, born on the 25th of July 1993, is a professional poker player from Saarbrücken, Germany. He mainly plays in high stakes tournaments and was previously ranked as the best online poker player in 2014 and 2015 by Pocketfives.com. In July 2016, Holz won his first WSOP bracelet, in the $111,111 High Roller For One Drop, winning $4,981,775.
Holz first found success in 2012 at the €500 No Limit Hold’em GPT II Deepstack Series Main Event, where he finished second for €15,320. He usually plays online by the name of CrownUpGuy. In September of 2014, he won the World Championship of Online Poker, which granted him the of 1.3 million dollars. In 2015, Holz finished 25th in the World Series of Poker Main Event, cashing for $262,574.
In 2016, Fedor won the Triton Super High Roller for $3,463,500 in January and finished runner up in the Super High Roller Bowl for $3,500,000 later that year. Holz won his first WSOP bracelet in the $111,111 High Roller for One-Drop event and earned $4,981,775 for the victory. Holz’s biggest cash was in 2018 at the $1,000,000 No Limit Hold’em – The Big One for One Drop for $6,000,000.
Holz is currently first on the German all-time money list, as he has won more than $32,500,000 from live poker tournaments.
2. Dan Smith
Dan Smith, born on the 23rd of February 1989, is a professional poker player from Manalapan Township, New Jersey.
Dan Smith started playing online poker at the age of 16, before actually reaching the legal gambling age in the US. He is a former chess player who got into college on a chess scholarship, but he decided to stop his studies in 2007 (at 18 years old) to pursue a full-time poker career.
His first cash and victory was in 2008 when he won the Heartland Poker Tour Main Event at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in New York for $101,960. Smith’s biggest tournament cash to date came in June 2014 when he won the Bellagio Super High Roller $100,000 buy-in event with a grand prize of $2,044,766. He has over 74 cashes in live poker tournaments and has won over $36,000,000.
2012 was the turning point of Smith’s career. He started the year by winning Aussie Millions 100k Challenge event for $1,012,000 AUD. He went on a tear in April at the EPT Monte Carlo Series. In a span of 5 days, he won 3 separate €5000 events for a combined €520,980.
In August of that year he captured the €962,925 first-place prize of the Season 9 EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller.
He has had multiple strong showings during the WSOP, in 2015 he finished 3rd in the $10,000 PLO for $369,564 and in 2014 he finished 20th in the $10,000 Main Event for $286,900. In 2012 he got 7th place in the Partouche Poker tour for €178,496.
In December 2013, Dan took down the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $1,161,135.
In July 2016, he finished 2nd in WSOP $111,111 No Limit Hold’em High Roller for One Drop for $3,078,974.
In September 2014 he was ranked 1st in the world by the Global poker index. In September 2018 he placed 3rd in the WSOP $1 million Big One for One Drop event for $4,000,000.
In June, at the 2022 World Series of Poker, Smith captured his first bracelet. He defeated Christoph Vogelsang in the 25k Heads-Up Championship. Smith was considered to be the best player without a bracelet prior to the win.
As of August 2022, Smith’s live tournament winnings exceed $38,992,280.
3. Bryn Kenney
Bryn Kenney, born on the 1st of November, 1986, is a professional poker player from Long Beach, New York.
Kenney played Magic: The Gathering competitively before transitioning to poker. His first live cash was in 2007 at the East Coast Poker Championships.
Kenney won his first WSOP bracelet in 2014 after winning the $1,500 10-Game Mix Six Handed event, which earned him $153,220.
In 2016, Kenney defeated 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event champion, Joe McKeehen heads-up at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100K Super High Roller event winning $1,687,800.
After placing 2nd to Aaron Zang in the £1,050,000 No-Limit Hold’em – Triton Million for Charity Event, Kenney received the largest single payout in live poker tournament history of £16,890,509 ($20,563,324). The tournament had the largest scheduled single payout in poker tournament history with first place receiving £19,000,000 ($23,100,000). However, due to a prize splitting deal agreed with Zang, Kenney ended up receiving £16,890,509 ($20,563,324) for 2nd while Zang received the smaller prize of £13,779,491 ($16,775,820) for winning the tournament. The deal was made when the tournament entered heads up with Kenney holding an over 5:1 chip lead against Zang. Zang made a comeback and eventually won the tournament.
Kenney is ranked 4th on the Global Poker Index and 1st on the Hendon Mob All-Time Money List as of August 3, 2019. As of August 2020, his live tournament winnings exceed $55,000,000.
4. Dan Colman
Dan Colman, born on the 11th of July, 1990, is a professional poker player from Holden, Massachusetts.
Colman primarily plays online, and usually plays under the name of either “mrGR33N13″ or”riyyc225”. In 2013 he became the first player in history to win $1,000,000 in hyper-turbo tournaments in a calendar year, accomplishing the feat in only 9 months. In April 2014 he won the €100,000 Super High Roller at the European Poker Tour Grand Final in Monte Carlo, earning €1,539,300.
At the 2014 WSOP, he finished in 3rd place in the $10,000 Heads-Up event, before winning The Big One for One Drop for $15,306,668.
Colman added two more seven-figure cashes that summer. First, he finished 2nd in the €50,000 Super High Roller at EPT 2014 for €843,066 ($1,120,186), then in September he won the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, prevailing over a field of 1,499 and winning $1,446,710. In October 2014 he won the WPT Alpha 8 super high roller for $990,000, bringing his live tournament cashes to 21 million in 2014.
In 2014, he won the BLUFF Player of the year award.
As of May 2021, his total live winnings exceed $28,900,000.
5. Phil Ivey
Phillip Dennis Ivey Jr, born on the 1st of February, 1977, is a professional poker from Riverside, California.
Ivey first began to develop his poker skills by playing against co-workers at a New Brunswick, New Jersey, telemarketing firm in the late 1990s. One of his nicknames, “No Home Jerome”, stems from the fake ID card he secured to play poker in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in his teenage years. He was given the nickname “The Phenom” after winning three World Series of Poker bracelets in 2002. His other nickname is “the Tiger Woods of Poker”.
Ivey’s tournament accomplishments include winning three bracelets at the 2002 World Series of Poker, tying Phil Hellmuth Jr, Ted Forrest, and Puggy Pearson for most World Series tournament wins in a single year (Jeff Lisandro and George Danzer have since tied the record). He also has bracelets in Pot Limit Omaha from 2000 and 2005. In 2000, Ivey was the first ever person to defeat Amarillo Slim at a WSOP final table. This victory won him his first career bracelet. Ivey has had immense success in the WSOP Main Event as well. He placed in the top 25 four times between the 2002 World Series of Poker and the 2009 World Series of Poker.
In 2009, Ivey won his sixth career bracelet in the $2,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Event of the 2009 WSOP. He defeated a field of 147 players to catch his bracelet. He won a very long heads-up battle against John Monnette. He then proceeded to win another bracelet in the $2,500 1/2 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo 1/2 Omaha Hi/Lo event besting a field of 376 people. He defeated Ming Lee heads-up. In addition to winning the $2,500 1/2 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo – 1/2 Omaha Hi/Lo event, he managed to place 22nd in the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Eight-or-better despite only playing during the breaks in the Stud/Omaha event.
In the 2010 World Series of Poker, Ivey received the most votes for the Tournament of Champions.
At the 2010 WSOP, Ivey won his eighth bracelet in the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. event in a final table made up of other notable players, which included Bill Chen (2nd), John Juanda (3rd), Jeff Lisandro (5th), and Chad Brown (8th).
Between 2002 and 2009, Ivey finished among the top 25 players in the Main Event four times, in fields ranging in size from 600 entrants to just under 7,000. Ivey finished the 2003 WSOP Main Event in tenth place and placed 7th in 2009 edition of the same event.
With 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, Ivey is currently tied with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan for the second most all-time. At 38 years of age, Ivey holds the record of being the youngest player to ever win ten bracelets. He broke the previous record of 42. In addition, no other player has accumulated ten bracelets more quickly; it took Ivey only 14 years from the time of his first bracelet to his tenth (Phil Hellmuth took 17 years). He is also the all-time record holder for most bracelets won in non-Hold’em events, with all 10 of his victories coming in non-Hold’em events. He is also the WSOP record holder for most mixed-game bracelets having won five in his career. He won one in S.H.O.E. in 2002, Omaha Hi/Lo / 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo in 2009, H.O.R.S.E. in 2010, WSOP APAC Mixed Event in 2013, and Eight Game Mix in 2014.
Ivey has also reached nine final tables on the World Poker Tour. He has lost several of these WPT events by being eliminated while holding the same starting hand each time, an ace and a queen. During the sixth season of the WPT in February 2008, Ivey made the final table at the LA Poker Classic at Commerce Casino that included 15-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth and Nam Le, eventually capturing the $1,596,100 first prize and putting an end to his streak of seven WPT final tables without a victory. Ivey has earned nearly 3 million dollars in WPT cashes. Ivey made his debut on the European Poker Tour in Barcelona, September 2006. He came to the final table of nine as the chip leader, but he eventually finished runner-up to Bjørn-Erik Glenne from Norway.
In 2006, Ivey played in The London All Star Challenge of the inaugural European Poker Masters. Ivey made it to the final table to finish seventh and collected £6,700 ($12,534). In November 2005, Ivey won the $1,000,000 first prize at the Monte Carlo Millions tournament. The following day, Ivey took home another $600,000 for finishing first at “The FullTiltPoker.Net Invitational Live from Monte Carlo”. His six opponents were (in reverse finishing order) Mike Matusow, Phil Hellmuth, Gus Hansen, Chris Ferguson, Dave Ulliott, and John Juanda.
On the January 22, 2007, airing of NBC’s Poker After Dark, Ivey won the $120,000 winner-take-all “Earphones Please” tournament by eliminating Matusow, Tony G, Andy Bloch, Hellmuth, and Sam Farha. On the April 15, 2007, airing of NBC’s “National Heads-Up Poker Championship”, Ivey was defeated by actor Don Cheadle in the first round. That was the third consecutive year where Ivey was eliminated in the first round of this tournament. His streak ended in 2008, when he advanced to the semi-finals, losing to eventual champion Ferguson. Ivey took part in seasons three and six of GSN’s High Stakes Poker.
On February 10, 2014, Ivey won the 2014 Aussie Millions LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge for AU$4,000,000 — the largest single cash of his career. In February 2015 he won the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge again, this time for AU$2,205,000, making him the only player in the history of the tournament with two consecutive championships for a total of three championships in four years.
As of 2018, Ivey’s total live tournament winnings exceed $26,250,000. He has won millions playing both online as well as cash games. Over $6,600,000 of his total winnings have come from cashes at the WSOP. He is currently ranked 7th on the all-time money list.
Ivey is a regular participant in the $4,000-$8,000 mixed cash game at the Bellagio in Las Vegas (often referred to as the Big Game). In February 2006, he played heads-up Limit Texas Hold’em versus Texas billionaire Andy Beal. Ivey managed to win over $16 million over the course of three days, during a match that was played at The Wynn Resort. Ivey was playing for “The Corporation”, a group of poker professionals who pooled their money and took turns playing against Beal. Earlier in the month, Beal had beaten the Corporation out of over $13 million.
Although the previous five players are some of the most successful and famous players in the world, they will inevitably be replaced eventually. Either their skills won´t hold up, or their luck will turn around. Most professional gamblers will turn to other avenues of income once that time comes, such as investing or designing games. The top 5 of poker players is thusly ever changing.