The Top Ten Famous Card Players (Female and Male) of All Time
When it comes to getting cards, some people are good at it—others aren’t. Some people are downright terrible at it.
As we’ve learned from watching Poker Night at the Inventory and studying the art of card play, the best players can use their emotions and psychological tactics to keep their opponents on edge, leading to superior strategic thinking, decision-making, and winning, precisely like the players of casinotoplists.
So who are the greatest card players of all time? We put together a list of the greatest card players of all time—and the key to their success.
1. Mr. Doyle Brunson
Do you consider Doyle Brunson the best poker player of all time? When poker first became popular with the masses in 2003, the man known as “Texas Dolly” was already a legendary figure.
Doyle Brunson has an unparalleled poker resume and reputation. He’s a 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner! Also, this includes his two wins in the WSOP $10,000 Main Event.
Brunson is widely regarded as one of the best authors on poker strategy, having produced works during the age just before the poker boom. His Super System and its sequel, Super System 2, are still considered two of the best poker strategy manuals ever written.
In 2018, “Texas Dolly” announced his retirement from professional poker after reaching the WSOP final table for the second time in his career.
2. Daniel Negreanu
When the poker boom hit in the middle of the 2000s, Daniel Negreanu was already well on his way to being one of the most prominent players in the game.
In those classic poker TV shows, “Kid Poker” was a regular fixture. Negreanu was PokerStars’ most visible representative from 2007 until 2019.
You may find a list of the “Most Popular Players” on Hendon Mob, the largest poker database in the world. Players are ranked according to how frequently their names appear in clickable lists across the site.
By a wide margin, Negreanu is the best player on the team. Negreanu is the modern-day embodiment of what Doyle Brunson represents for poker.
3. David Smith
After discovering poker at age 16, Dan Smith was so enamored with the game that he chose to forego college and instead become a professional poker player.
Smith quickly rose to prominence as a formidable opponent in the poker world.
4. Dan Bilzerian
How serious of a poker player is Dan Bilzerian, if any? He says yes.
There’s no denying Bilzerian’s notoriety. With over 31 million Instagram followers and another 1.6 million on Twitter, he is one of the most well-known personalities of the 21st century.
Bilzerian flaunts his lavish, multimillion-dollar lifestyle on his various social media accounts.
A significant portion of Bilzerian’s wealth, he claims, derives from his skill at the poker table, including $10.8 million in a single night and $50 million in total for 2014.
5. Eric Seidel
One of the top five most promising players in the world, he has earned over $34,000,000 and eight WSOP Gold Bracelets. Additionally, the player is recognized for his significant impact on the poker community and is honored with an induction into the Poker Hall of Fame.
This player’s first appearance as a future superstar was in the WSOP Main Event in 1988. Seidel came in second place at the night’s end, earning himself $280,000. With this game, he stepped onto the world stage and began a tremendous career.
6. Jennifer Harman
Jennifer Harman is another high-profile player to emerge during poker’s popular surge. One of the most famous poker players of the 2000s, Harman, is associated with the Full Tilt Poker team.
While Harman was a regular on classic poker TV series like Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker and WSOP episodes, she hasn’t seen much in recent years.
Harman is one of the most recognizable female players of all time, and she is universally recognized as a prominent performer from the 2000s.
7. Maria Ho
To this day, Maria Ho remains one of the game’s most visible women. Ho is a regular face on modern poker shows thanks to her work as a host for PokerGO’s coverage of the Super High Roller Bowl, PokerMasters, and other major tournament series.
Ho has an equally stellar record at the poker table. Her career earnings total more than 4 million, including multiple six-figure fistfuls of cash.
The $540,020 that she won by placing second in a $5,000 No Limit Hold ’em event at the 2011 WSOP is her best tournament result to date.
8. Phil Ivey
The most prestigious poker tournaments ever won by a single player are all held by Phil Ivey. He has taken his poker profession to new heights thanks to his natural ability and dogged determination.
The stories of poker’s greatest legends may teach us a lot about the game and life. They prove that success in any field is possible only for those willing to spend all their spare time on it.
9. Vanessa Rousso
At the height of the poker boom, Vanessa Rousso entered the public eye. The 2006 WPT Five-Star World Poker Classic was the spark that set off Rousso’s meteoric ascent to fame, where she finished in seventh place and won $263,625.
In 2006, Rousso not only won a significant amount of money in tournaments but also secured sponsorships from GoDaddy and PokerStars. Rousso’s 2006 WPT Borgata Poker Open victory was a significant step toward the more than $3.5 million she would eventually earn in tournament winnings throughout her career.
10. Vanessa Selbst
By a wide margin, Vanessa Selbst has more tournament poker titles than any other female player in history.
For Selbst, the big wins began in 2006, when she built a resume that would eventually include roughly $12 million in earnings by 2020.
After 15 more years of success, three of Selbst’s seven-figure paychecks came in the 2010s. Partouche Poker Tour Cannes Main Event in 2010 was the most significant payoff in Selbst’s career, paying out €1,300,000.
Poker pro-Vanessa Selbst said she was retiring in 2018, yet she keeps popping up in tournaments here and there anyhow. Whether or not she has officially retired, Selbst is undoubtedly one of the most well-known poker players of the modern era.
Many great poker players have existed throughout history, but these ten deserve special recognition for their place in poker lore.