Is the most successful poker player also the best in your opinion?
First of all do you believe that there is such a thing as "best" poker player? I personally don't think so because you can only get so much better in poker. When I see the top poker players in the world I don't see a single player that has a clear advantage over others, they are all great players so I think "one of the best" would be a more realistic thing to say about a poker player.
Anyways if you do believe someone can be the "best there is" then what is your criteria? Success? Don't you think the big tournaments which define a player's career have way too much luck involved? Doyle Brunson wrote in the Super System(not exact quote) "make no mistake you need plenty of luck to win these tournaments with huge fields and its almost impossible for anyone to always get their chips in with the better hand".
Lets take the example of the WSOP
main event. Anyone who wins it becomes a star over night even though we all know how much variance the main event has its not even funny.
With cash games I can completely agree that whoever makes the most money is naturally the better player in the long run. But I don't think anyone tracks the winnings and losses of the big players in cash games so we don't know.
I also don't understand why tournament "winnings" are tracked of players but not the actual profit. I mean to say that you have made XYZ million playing WSOP events is not significant unless we know how much did you invest in all the events including those that were a loss.