Top 10 Poker Players as of 2018

Every poker player has their opinion on who they think is the best in the business, and the debate about best of all time has graced many a home-game over the years.

You probably have your own opinion about the most talented poker players on the circuit at the moment, and we do too. Our list represents the players we think should be on this important list. Of course, if you disagree then let us know who you think should be on it. Also be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Female Poker Players and let us know what you think!

1. Daniel Negreanu - $34,151,327

Daniel Negreanu
Source -
Twitter - @RealKidPoker

Our highest-placed player, Negreanu was named the Global Poker Index player of the decade on the strength of consistently good performances in the live arena. He has six separate cashes for $1m or more, none larger than the $8.28m he took for winning the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker. Negreanu is also the only player to win World Series bracelets in Las Vegas, Europe and Australia.

Top 3 Biggest Tournament Wins

Date | Location Tournament Name Winnings
July 1, 2014 – WSOP – Las Vegas $1 Million No-Limit Hold'em - Big One for One Drop $8,288,001
December 18, 2004 – WPT – Las Vegas No Limit Hold'em $1,770,218
February 9, 2014 - Aussie Millions - Melbourne $250,000 No Limit Hold'em $1,119,610

2. Erik Seidel - $33,333,457

Erik Seidel
Source -
Twitter - @Erik_Seidel

Seidel is another player to have begun his career before the internet poker boom, first making a name for himself with a second-place finish at the 1988 WSOP Main Event, his knockout hand being immortalized in the movie 'Rounders'. His career year came in 2011, with million-dollar prizes on two continents highlighting a phenomenal 12 months in which he took home more than $6.5m.

Top 3 Biggest Tournament Wins

Date | Location Tournament Name Winnings
January 27, 2011 – Aussie Millions – Melbourne $250,000 Super High Roller $2,489,747
May 29, 2016 – Las Vegas $300,000 No Limit Hold'Em $2,400,000
April 30, 2015 – Monte Carlo € 98,000 + 2,000 No Limit Hold'em $2,222,222
3. Antonio Esfandiari - $27,096,274
Antonio Esfandiari
Source -
Twitter - @magicantonio

One of the most popular poker players on the live tournament scene, Esfandiari has been a household name for more than a decade and it is 10 years since his first million dollar score at the LA Poker Classic. The Iranian-born pro, now living in the United States, has made six figures every single year since 2004 and has two World Poker Tour titles to go with his three World Series of Poker bracelets. However the biggest achievement of Esfandiari's career came in The Big One for One Drop in 2012, when he beat a star-studded field to win poker's biggest ever prize of more than $18.3m.

Top 3 Biggest Tournament Wins

Date | Location Tournament Name Winnings
July 01, 2012 - WSOP – Las Vegas $1,000,000 No-Limit Hold'em - The Big One for One Drop $18,346,673
June 26, 2013 - WSOP – Las Vegas $111,111 One Drop High Rollers No-Limit Hold'em $1,433,438
February 21, 2004 – WPT - Los Angeles No-Limit Hold'em Championship $1,399,135

4. Fedor Holz - $26,746,838

Fedor Holz
Source -
Twitter - @CrownUpGuy

German High Roller Fedor Holz has seen a meteoric rise to poker fame with 2016 being a huge year for the young player. Widely regarded as one of the best online and live tournament poker players of the modern era, Holz was ranked best online MTT player in both 2014 and 2015 but 2016 was definitely Holz' year. The 2016 season saw Holz picking up his first World Series of Poker bracelet with his win in the $111,111 No-Limit Hold'em for One Drop just weeks after he secured 2nd place at the Super High Roller bowl. Thanks to his success in 2017 Holz is currently ranked number 7 on the Global Player Index.

Top 3 Biggest Tournament Wins

Date | Location Tournament Name Winnings
July, 10 2016 – 2016 WSOP $111,111 No-Limit Hold'em for One Drop $4,981,775
July, 1 2016 – 2016 Super High Roller Bowl $300,000 No-Limit Hold'em Seven Max $3,500,000
January, 4 2016 – 2016 WPT National – Philippines $200,000 No-Limit Hold'em $3,463,500

5. Phil Ivey - $23,466,348

Phil Ivey
Source -
Twitter - @philivey

Ever since his days playing underage at New Jersey casinos under the alias ‘Jerome', Phil Ivey has marked himself out as one of the best poker talents around. The 38-year-old, known as The Tiger Woods of Poker, won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2000 and has gone on to add eight more, while his five separate million-dollar scores include a seventh-place finish at the 2009 WSOP Main Event. Ivey spent several months away from the poker limelight after Black Friday, but returned in style in January 2012 with first place in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge for $2m, and he became the first two-time winner of the event in January of 2014, with the $3.5m prize representing the biggest win of his career.

Top 3 Biggest Tournament Wins

Date | Location Tournament Name Winnings
February 9, 2014 - Melbourne - Aussie Millions AUD$250K No-Limit Hold'em $3,573,600
January 27, 2012 - Melbourne - Aussie Millions No-Limit Hold'em $250,000 Challenge $2,058,948
February 01, 2015 - Melbourne - Aussie Millions AUD$250,000 No-Limit Hold'em $1,713,285

6. Phil Hellmuth Jr. - $21,461,350

Phil Hellmuth Jr.
Source -
Twitter - @phil_hellmuth

The highest-placed World Series of Poker Main Event Winner on this list, Hellmuth would point to his record 13 WSOP bracelets as a reason for him to be considered the world's best. In fact, Hellmuth has more World Series of Poker Cashes than any other player in history, with none bigger than the $2.65m he won for finishing fourth in The Big One for One Drop.

Top 3 Biggest Tournament Wins

Date | Location Tournament Name Winnings
July 01, 2012 – WSOP - Las Vegas $1,000,000 No-Limit Hold'em - The Big One for One Drop $2,645,333
May 29, 2016 – Las Vegas $300,000 No-Limit Hold'em $1,600,000
October 04, 2012 – WSOP Europe – Cannes Main Event - WSOP Europe $1,333,841

7. John Juanda - $23,418,600

John Juanda
Source -
Twitter - @LuckBoxJuanda

Juanda is one of those opponents who everyone dreads having at their table, and when you look at his results you can see why. The Indonesian-born player has an incredible 35 cashes of $100,000 or more over the last two decades, and can often be seen in Macau, where he recorded his biggest ever cash of $1.6m in 2012.

Top 3 Biggest Tournament Wins

Date | Location Tournament Name Winnings
October, 20 2017- 2017 Triton Super High Roller Series HKD 1,000,000 No Limit Hold'em $2,913,352
August 31, 2012 - Macau 2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller $1,645,753
October 2, 2008 – 2008 WSOP Europe WSOP Europe Main Event – Event 4 $1,544,575

8. Sam Trickett - $20,766,881

Sam Trickett
Source -
Twitter - @Samtrickett1

The only European poker player in the Top 10, more than half of Trickett's earnings came when he finished second in The Big One for One Drop behind Esfandiari, earning him $10.1m. However the British pro has countless other big scores, and continues in fine form with a World Poker Tour final table in Venice just from the beginning of 2015.

Top 3 Biggest Tournament Wins

Date | Location Tournament Name Winnings
July 01, 2012 – WSOP - Las Vegas $1,000,000 No-Limit Hold'em - The Big One for One Drop $10,112,001
February 01, 2013 – Aussie Millions – Melbourne No-Limit Hold'em $250,000 Challenge $2,111,397
January 22, 2011 – Aussie Millions – Melbourne $100,000 Challenge $1,525,000

9. Bryn Kenney - $20,445,343

Bryn Kenney
Source -
Twitter - @BrynKenney

Originally a competitive Magic the Gathering player, Bryn Kenney made the successful transition into poker in 2007 and by 2017 Kenney had won his first WSOP bracelet after securing the $153,220 first place prize at the $1500 10-Game Mix Handed event. Since then he has gone on to claim a number of major wins with the most notable being his defeat of the 2015 World Poker Main Event champion at the 2016 $100K Super High Roller event, which saw Kenney walking away with the $1,687,800 prize. The 2017 season has seen Kenney pick up even more wins, with his most recent performance at the 2017 Bellagio Super High Roller Event securing him second place in the Global Poker Index.

Top 3 Biggest Tournament Wins

Date | Location Tournament Name Winnings
April, 29 2017 – 2017 PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo €100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Eight Max $1,944,302
January, 8 2016 – EPT Season XII / PCA $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Eight Max $1,687,800
November, 6 2016 – 2016 Triton Super High Roller Series HKD$500,000 No Limit Hold'em $1,413,191

10. Steve O'Dwyer - $20,286,465

Steve O'Dwyer
Source -
Twitter - @steveodwyer

American professional Steve O'Dwyer is most known for his accomplishments on the European Poker Tour and other high roller poker tournaments. This two-time European Poker Tour winner has seen global success with wins in Europe, America and Asia, with one of his most notable achievements been winning the 2014 Asia Champion of Poker Super High Roller tournament, which secured him his second-best win of his career. While 2017 hasn't been kind to O'Dwyer, he remains a top earner in the field, earning his place at number 20 on the Global Poker Index.

Top 3 Biggest Tournament Wins

Date | Location Tournament Name Winnings
January, 8 2015 – EPT Season XI - PCA $100,000 No-Limit Hold'em Eight Max $1,872,580
November, 2 2017 – 2014 APPT 8 - ACOP HKD$500,000 No-Limit Hold-em $1,811,828
May, 12 2013 – 2013 EPT Grand Final - Monaco EPT Main Event $1,588,997

The Big One for One Drop

Big One for One Drop logoThe Big One for One Drop was a poker tournament held at the 2012 World Series of Poker, with an entry fee of $1m. It was established by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, with $111,111 from each entry going to the One Drop Foundation, a charity which works to ensure safe and clean water is available to everyone in the world.

The tournament affects the all-time money rankings, with three players on this list earning their biggest career score in the Big One for One Drop. Another $1m buy-in tournament has been confirmed for this year's World Series of Poker, and Esfandiari will defend his title against poker players including Ivey, Seidel and Trickett.

EPT Main Event

European Poker Tour logoThe EPT Main Event is the primary event of the regular European Poker Tour held throughout August. The EPT began in 2004, and has since come under the ownership of Pokerstars.

The last instance of this event was in 2016, where it was held in Spain's Casino Barcelona with a €5,300 buy-in fee and a prize pool of €8,657,250. The Netherlands' Sebastian Malec, winner of 2016's Main Event, walked away with €1,122,800.

World Series of Poker

World Series of PokerThe World Series of Poker is an annual set of tournaments held in Las Vegas. One of the oldest ongoing poker tournaments (given its founding in the 1970s by Benny Binion), the WSOP also remains one of the most renowned tournaments in the world.

WSOP is also how poker players earn the World Series of Poker bracelet – an accolade seriously respected and coveted throughout the poker world. Only 74 of these bracelets have been awarded in 2017, with nearly a thousand having been handed out since WSOP began. The buy-in for the World Series tends to vary, the amount for the main event is $10,000.

WSOP Europe

World Series of Poker Europe logoThe World Series of Poker's European counterpart is the first expansion of a few in the WSOP family. The first of these was held in London in 2007 – the first time a World Series of Poker event was held outside of Las Vegas. The buy-in for this was £10,000 and won by Norwegian Annette Obrestrad.

Winners of WSOPE can, like in its Vegas progenitor, win the coveted WSOP bracelet – there are eleven of these set to be awarded in WSOPE's 2017 event in the Czech Republic.