The Best Poker Players of All Time (and Their Strategies)
When it comes to discussing the best poker players of all time, there are numerous names that deserve mention. However, only a select few have undeniably earned the title as one of the best in the game. Each of the players mentioned below has honed their skills and turned them into successful careers, whether it was through practice, playing with real money on casino whizz, or learning from real poker tables. Let’s take a closer look at these poker professionals and the strategies they are known for.
Doyle Brunson played professional poker for over 50 years, winning the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in 1976 and 1977. He was also inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Brunson was the first player to earn $1 million exclusively from poker tournaments and won a total of ten WSOP bracelets in his career. In 2006, Bluff Magazine named him “the most influential force in the world of poker.” While he has since retired, Brunson remains a legendary figure in poker history.
Stu Ungar, known as “The Kid,” was a talented player with a natural instinct for reading a poker game. He won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in 1980 and 1981, becoming the youngest player ever to do so. Ungar went on to win the WSOP and Super Bowl of Poker Main Events three times each, accumulating over $30 million in winnings.
Justin Bonomo is a dominant player in the professional poker scene and continues to be active today. With over $48 million in earnings from live poker tournaments, he is the second highest-earning player in live tournament history. Bonomo made his mark in 2005 when he became the youngest player featured at a televised live table. He has had a successful career at WSOP tournaments, with three bracelets, 55 cashes, and 19 final tables.
Bryn Kenney has surpassed Justin Bonomo in total earnings, with over $55 million in live tournament winnings. He shows no signs of stopping and continues to be a force in the professional poker world. Kenney secured his first WSOP victory in 2014 and has since claimed numerous poker titles and cashes.
Daniel Negreanu, a Canadian professional poker player residing in Las Vegas, has an impressive record with six WSOP bracelets and two World Poker Tour (WPT) championship titles. He was named the best player of the decade by the Global Poker Index (GPI) in 2014. Negreanu is currently the third biggest live tournament winner in history, amassing over $41.8 million in winnings. He was also inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014.
Strategies of the Best Poker Players in History
If you want to play poker like the best professionals, there are strategies you should consider incorporating into your game.
Doyle Brunson’s strategy was all about aggression. He would bet and raise frequently to steal blinds and provoke action from opponents when he had a strong hand.
Daniel Negreanu is a proponent of small ball poker. He believes in making minimal bets to keep opponents in the hand and avoid huge losses.
Justin Bonomo praises online poker for its ability to provide more resources and opportunities for players. He believes online poker has made players more aggressive, skilled, and educated.
All top poker players emphasize proper bankroll management. Playing within your bankroll is crucial to avoid going broke. It’s also important to choose the right games that suit your skill level.
Professional players understand the value of playing fewer hands. Quality over quantity is key, especially for beginners. Making fewer, impactful bets can lead to greater success in the long run.