I know people think he is a cheater but I like Phil Ivey. He has as much experience and talent as anybody out there and he is proficient in many games. That isn't easy and is often the downfall of other gamblers, not a plus. As for pure hold'em players I like Negreanu, Esfandiari, Mercier and Seidel. I respect great reading ability and experience and these guys have all that and are some of the best in my opinion.