Professional poker is a highly competitive arena, but year on year a small number of highly skilled and talented players appear near or at the top of the money lists. Facts and figures rarely lie, and from this data we can determine the top 5 current professional Main Poker players. But who are they?
Number 1: Phil Hellmuth
Born 16 July 1964 in Madison, Wisconsin, Phil “the brat” Hellmuth has become a legend in this own lifetime having won a total of 11 World Series of Poker bracelets. At the tender age of only 24 he won the most prestigious tournament in poker, the Main Event at the WSOP, and is the second youngest player ever to win this event.
Prior to becoming a professional poker player, Hellmuth attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is married with two sons and lives in Palo Alto, California.
Number 2: Johnny Chan
Born in Guangzhou, China in 1957, Johnny Chan holds a total of 10 WSOP event wins and is the only player in history to have won back t back Main Events, a feat he achieved in 1987 and 1988. In 2002, in recognition for his success over three decades he was inducted into the Poker Hall of fame.
Prior to turning professional, Chan attended the University of Houston. He has authored two successful poker books titled ‘Play Poker Like Johnny Chan’ and ‘Million Dollar Hold’em’ and was involved in the unsuccessful online poker venture called ChanPokerOnline.com, which opened in 2007 but closed in late 2008.
Number 3: Phil Ivey
Born February 1, 1976 in Riverside, California, Phil Ivey has won a total of 7 World Series of Poker bracelets, and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Tiger Woods of Poker’. He is regarded by many as one of the best cash game players that have ever played the game.
Outside of poker, Phil Ivey resides in Las Vegas and is a Los Angeles Lakers fan. He is also involved with online poker and is an ambassador for Full Tilt, one of the largest online poker operators in the market and a main competitor to sites such as PKR Poker and Poker Stars.
Number 4: Chris Moneymaker
Born 21 November 1975 in Atlanta, Georgia, Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 WSOP Main Event after qualifying via a $40 satellite tournament via the online poker site Poker Stars. He is widely regarded as one of the main catalysts for the huge increase in the popularity of poker, particularly the online form of the game.
Moneymaker is a qualified accountant and attended the University of Tennessee. His autobiography outlining how he won the $2.5 million first prize at the 2003 WSOP was released in 2005.
Number 5: Daniel Negreanu
Born 26 July 1974 in Toronto Canada, Daniel Negreanu is the son of Romanian immigrants who immigrated to Canada in 1967. Negreanu holds four WSOP bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles and has accumulated over $12 million of tournament winnings.
Today there are literally hundreds of professional poker players that ply their trade across the world, some more successfully than others. However, players can only really be considered great players once they have won a WSOP bracelet.