Inspirational Poker Players You Need to Know

inspirational poker players

4 minutes

Posted by: Ivan


Poker is one of those games that’s in your blood. Every session you play you want to do better, learn, improve, and win.

Like all great games, there are great players. These personalities are masters of their art and they can provide inspiration for you to get better and become more ambitious.

So when you play live poker, get more out of your game by taking a look at some of the best in the business for inspiration. They have become poker celebrities as they were incredibly good at the best card game in the world.

Let’s take a deep dive into the best poker players ever to play.

Daniel Negreanu

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Daniel Negreanu is probably the most popular poker player on the planet right now. He came to prominence in 1997 when he won two events at the World Poker Finals in Vegas.

Since then he has appeared on several poker TV shows as well as one of the biggest poker sites in the world. His earnings are believed to be in the region of a cool $42 million. Clearly a master at the game, he should be one to study if you want to improve.

Phil Ivey

phil ivey inspirational poker players

Poker legend Phil Ivey is one of the most experienced players on the planet and is renowned for his cash game expertise. It is like someone built a mold for the perfect poker player on the planet and out of it came Ivey.

Nobody can know precisely how much Ivey has earned during his illustrious career. We do know that he has 10 WSOP bracelets to his name and he won $16 million over three days playing heads-up against Andy Beal, a billionaire from Texas.

We also know that he won a cool £3.5 million at an Australian based tournament not to mention at least another seven million from various tournaments. There are no poker blueprints to become a poker great, but a closer look at Ivey for pointers is well advised.

Phil Hellmuth

Phil Hellmuth is one of the most entertaining and successful poker players of all time. His 15 WSOP bracelet victories has never been equaled and one of the bracelets was won in 1989 when he claimed victory in the Main Event.

In terms of earnings, ‘The Poker Brat has notched up an impressive $24 million in live tournament winnings, and a cool $2.6 million when he came 4th at the 2012 One for the Drop.

Hellmuth’s ‘Poker Brat’ nickname comes from his bemoaning perceived bad hands after losing and he is known for having an abrasive personality. This has made him a big hit on various poker shows and has a strong fanbase as a result.

Vanessa Selbst

inspirational poker players selbst

Vanessa Selbst is the most successful woman poker player of all time. She has earned more than any other woman and is the only woman ever to be ranked number one in the Global Poker Index.

Earnings wise, she has made a cool $12 million in live tournament winnings and three WSOP bracelets. In the 2010 PPT Cannes event she won the Main Event.

Although she now works as a hedge fund manager for Bridgewater Associates there is no question that this woman knows how to bluff. 

Stu Ungar

He may have died penniless aged 45 in 1988 but he is regarded as one of the best poker players ever to have lived especially when playing Texas Hold’em. In the 70s, 80s, and 90s, he was the boss.

Ungar or ‘The Kid’ was one of only two players to win the World Series of Poker Main event three times, with two victories coming in 1980 and 1981. He would win it again in 1997 earning him the revised nickname of the ‘Comeback Kid’.

He is believed to have won $45 million throughout his career. Ungar’s story riches to rags story inspired a film about his life. In terms of raw ability, Ungar should feature highly in terms of inspiration. 

Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson has poker running in his blood. Despite retirement, he is one of the most influential players ever to play the game. He published a book called Super/System which if you’re serious about the game should be on your reading list.

Brunson known as the ‘Texas Dolly’, won the WSOP Main Event in 1976 and 1977 becoming one of only four players ever to win the tournament in back to back years. Brunson won 10 bracelets throughout his career.

Poker is a family business in the Brunson family. His son Todd has earned a WSOP bracelet and his daughter, Pamela, played in the 2007 and 2009 Main Events.

Poker is an amazing game and if you want to get good at it, you should study the greats. Get in plenty of practice, put their gameplay ideas to the test, and who knows, you could earn a WSOP bracelet of your own.

Ivan Potocki

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