The World’s Best Poker Players – 5 Players at the Top of the Game in 2021

If you’ve ever tried your hand at poker, you’ll know that it takes a certain kind of character to make it in this competitive game. Sure, luck is a big part of it, but under the surface, it’s not so simple. Professional poker players must possess an eagle eye, a level head and the boldness to seize an opportunity. A poker face gives nothing away, and it’s a must for professional poker players. So is knowing when to lose. That might sound obvious, but when the stakes are high it’s make or break. Top poker players compete internationally for cash prizes and prestigious awards. Poker players might come and go, but the most talented certainly won’t give up their crown without a fight. Here are the world’s 5 best poker players. Find out what made them in to the famous and notorious winners they are today.
Poker chips on a table and the WSOP logo.
Published on: 7 August 2019

1. Justin Bonomo

At the top of the list, at least for now, is Justin Bonomo. You might know him as ZeeJustin though – it’s what he goes by online. At just 33 years old, Bonomo is top of the Hendon Mob Poker Database ‘All-Time Money List’, with live earnings totaling a massive $44,626,823. What’s his story? Magic: The Gathering is actually what got him into card games. He started playing when he was 9 and went on to compete in tournaments all over the world.

At the tender age of 19, Bonomo came fourth at the very first year of the European Poker Tournament in France, in 2005. It didn’t end there though. This marks the beginning of a lucrative and successful professional poker career for Bonomo. He has since won himself three WSOP bracelets and has been a regular winner on the scene for the last ten years. You might know him best for his most recent amazing win at the WSOP. Bonomo won $10,000,000 in The Big One For One Drop, which is why he’s at the very top of our list.

Bonomo’s success has enabled him to pursue his passion for philanthropy and polyamory. Bonomo’s passion for poker really is his life. He lives in Panorama Towers in Las Vegas, which is home to over 70 professional poker players. Amongst them some which regularly play at the top online poker sites.

2. Daniel Negreanu

In a close second, we have Daniel Negreanu. Also known as Kid Poker, Negreanu has been playing poker professionally since 1997. He has won the WSOP an impressive 6 times and was declared the Global Poker Index’s Best Poker Player of the Decade in 2014. If you want to learn from a master of the game, then Negreanu’s your man. He runs a poker blog and YouTube channel, in which you can learn valuable tips sure to take you to the top – or just to make sure you can put your poker buddies in their place. If you’re looking for something a bit meatier, he has also got 3 published books on poker strategy to his name. His total live earnings currently stand at $39,830,194, which is starting to give Justin Bonomo a run for his money.

You might even recognize Daniel Negreanu from his cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. You guessed it – he played a poker player. In fact, he’s portrayed poker players many times on the big screen – from his appearance in The Grand to Katy Perry’s music video for Waking Up in Vegas. When not appearing in Hollywood smash hits, Negreanu turns his hand to another card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft which he streams on Twitch (alongside his poker matches) and even played a game at BlizzCon in 2015.

3. Erik Seidel

Erik Seidel, has had a longer and more varied career then our two previous entries. He is also known as Sly or Seiborg, as a result of his game face. His love of games goes all the way back to when he was a kid. He was even on ‘To Tell the Truth’, a TV game show. Seidel started out as a professional backgammon player after dropping out of college. He moved on to become a trader on Wallstreet until the stock market crashed in 1987. Seidel eventually settled on poker, which seems to have worked out pretty well. Seidel used to play at the Mayfair Club in New York, which has produced some of the top stars of professional poker. Encouraged and assisted by his friends at the Mayfair Club, Seidel played in the 1988 WSOP in Las Vegas. It was there that he started to make waves, finishing as runner-up to Johnny Chan, defending champion.

To date, Seidel has won an incredible eight WSOP bracelets and a WPT title. Nowadays you’ll find Seidel coming in third place on the All-Time Money List, with live earnings totaling $34,799,930. Seidel was in inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2010. Seidel lives in Las Vegas, is happily married and has two daughters. While he might be a private character, even hiding his cards from the camera, his winnings are very much public!

4. David Peters

David Peters, 32 years old, is a professional poker player from Ohio. Online he goes by DPeters17. He ranks in 4th place on the All-Time Money List at the moment. His total live earnings are $32,711,031. Also known as the ‘Silent Assassin’, Peters’ career started almost by accident. After watching Chris Moneymaker win the WSOP Main Event in 2003, he felt inspired to play. After looking for a couple of online freerolls to play, he won one for $600. We’re sure glad he did because since then, he’s become a regular talent in the poker circuit. Peters won a coveted WSOP bracelet in 2016. More recently, Peters won $1.15 million in the 2018 Poker Masters NLHE Main Event and another $1.32 million at the 2019 US Poker Open, despite fierce competition.

Like many of the best poker players, he currently lives in Las Vegas with his long-term girlfriend. He works hard to achieve success in his career, putting in over 90-hour weeks and studying strategy and new approaches to make sure he is performing to the best of his ability. Despite his constant stream of winnings, Peters remains humble, preferring to wear casual clothing to take home the trophies.

5. Fedor Holz

At only 25 years old, Holz is a rising star to watch out for in professional poker. He might be young, but he’s certainly making waves in the poker community. Originally from Saarbrücken in Germany, Holz now lives in Vienna, Austria. He had an IQ of 155 as a child, which is close to genius! Holz dropped out of College to play poker and struggled for a while, but soon shot to stardom. Now, Fedor Holz has already made it into 5th position in the All-Time Money List, with total live earnings sitting very comfortably at $32,556,377. You might know him as ‘The Crown-Up Guy’, as he calls himself online. In fact, Pocketfives ranked Holz as best online MTT player in 2014 and 2015.

Holz earned himself his very first WSOP bracelet in 2016 for his $4,981,775 win in the $111,111 High Roller for One-Drop Hold’em. Originally from Saarbrücken in Germany, Holz now lives in Vienna, Austria. Holz is a busy man, with many interesting business ventures under his belt. He’s a partner of partypoker and CEO of Primed Mind. Primed Mind is a mindset coaching app, bringing together aspects of meditation, life coaching and hypnotherapy. A trained mind is essential for professional poker players, so this something Holz knows a thing or two about! In his spare time, he has a passion for travel and charity. Who knows what the future holds for a talent like Holz? Our money’s firmly on him going right to the top.

Each one of these successful players has dedicated years to playing poker, so obviously it is not possible for most people to start playing and replicate these kinds of results. But of course, such numbers are inspiring and attractive; if you want to give yourself the best possible start in the game, then check out our guide to the various possible strategies in poker.

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