Debates could go on forever as to who are the greatest poker players out there right now; never mind who are the greatest players ever. Players are not only judged upon the amount they have won in prize money; but also their ability to remain calm under pressure, read their opponents and manipulate their opponents, amongst other skills.
There are some players that will always come up again and again in the discussion of the all-time greats of the game though.
Stu (The Kid) Ungar
Along with Johnny Moss, Ungar was the only other player to have won the WSOP main event 3 times. The Kid is also the only player who won the Amarillo Slim Super Bowl of Poker an amazing three times. He was regarded as a legend in the Texas Hold Em world and won 10 of the 30 major no-limit Texas Hold’Em events he entered, making over $30m in gin, poker, blackjack and live cash games throughout his life. He was well known for his aggressive playing methods and fantastically timed bluffs. Unfortunately, Ungar spent nearly all his earnings on sports betting and drugs and sadly passed away in 1998 in Las Vegas.
Negreanu is a Canadian poker player who has 6 world series of poker bracelets to his name and two world poker tour championship titles. He has been named WSOP player of the year twice and sits second in the biggest live tournament poker winnings of all time. His earnings in 2018 stood at almost $40m.
Brunson is a now one of the most famous retired American poker players, winner of the world series of poker twice. He was the first player in history to earn $1m in prize money. He almost began a professional basketball player; but the NBA lost interest in him after he suffered a bad knee injury. He started off playing poker in illegal games in Texas, before eventually plying his trade in Las Vegas and was a regular player at the World Poker Series from its inception in 1970.
Ivey is the American Poker player who possesses 10 World Series of Poker bracelets; as well as a world poker title to his name. At one time he was viewed as the greatest all-time player in the world and was elected into the poker hall of fame last year and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Tiger Woods of Poker’. He recently lost around £7.7m in winnings after a court battle with a UK casino. As it was ruled that he had broken the casino rules; by using an edge sorting technique to spot cards that would benefit him.
Regarded by many, himself and by a google search as one of the greatest poker players of all time. He has a record 15 World Series of Poker bracelets and is known as the ‘poker brat’; due to his bad reactions sometimes when he loses a game. He sometimes finds himself unpopular due to his attitude and in-game behaviour sometimes; but he really does have the record to back up his claims that he is ‘the greatest ever’