Top Professional Poker Players of All Time

The Poker Hall Of Fame is home to the greatest names in poker. The players that have been honoured with a membership to this exclusive club are legendary in poker circles. In order to become a member of the Poker Hall Of Fame, a player must meet the following criteria:

  • A player must have played against another top-tier player
  • A player must have participated in a high stakes game
  • A player must have shown consistency and staying power over a number of games

Currently, there are over 50 players listed as members, all of whom could be considered as one of the top professional poker players of all time. So how do we narrow it down to 5 players? It’s practically impossible, and we’re sure that not all of you will agree with our choices, but here goes!

Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson has won 10 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, with his first win in 1976 and his latest in 2005. His WSOP winnings surpass the 2 million dollar mark, he wrote one of the most respected books on poker ever written and Bluff Magazine voted him 2006’s most influential person in poker.

Phil Hellmuth

Hellmuth is not the most popular guy on the poker circuit, but there is no denying his legendary status. Everyone has heard of Phil Hellmuth! Hellmuth has won 15 WSOP bracelets and he was the youngest player ever to win the Main Event (he was 24years old at the time). If you sit down at a table with Hellmuth, be prepared for a taste of the arrogance and temper that he’s just as well known for. You’re unlikely to beat him (his WSOP winnings are in excess of 14 million dollars), but you’ll definitely be entertained!

Jennifer Harman

Generally, men tend to dominate the high stakes poker scene, but the few women that do manage to break through do so with aplomb. Jennifer Harman is one of those women. Harman has made it to the final tables at 12 WSOP events and she was the first of her sex to win 2 open event WSOP bracelets. Harman took her place in the hall of fame in 2016 and her WSOP winnings are currently in excess of 2 million dollars.

James Butler Hickok

No list of this kind would be complete without the fabled James Butler Hickok. He was inducted into the hall of fame posthumously, of course, because he died while playing a game of poker in 1876. Hickok was an extremely well-known player in his day, but it was the manner of his death that immortalised him. The story goes that he was shot in the back while holding a pair of eights and a pair of aces in his hand – and so ‘dead man’s hand’ came to life.

Stu Ungar

Last but not least, Stu Ungar makes our list because he was one of the greatest poker players ever to sit at a poker table. In Ungar’s heyday, he won WSOP Main Event bracelets three times in a row. Ungar and Johnny Moss are the only two players ever to have managed such a feat. His final WSOP win was in 1997 after a break of 16 years, and this win earned him the nickname ‘Comeback Kid’. Sadly, Stu Ungar died just a year later.

So there you have it, our top 5 poker players of all time. We hope you’re nodding your head in agreement. And if not, let’s agree to disagree. If you’re dreaming of taking your place in the hallowed halls of poker fame alongside these heroic players, we suggest you get a little practice in!

Check out for some tips on how to play poker online, and use the online casinos to sharpen your game. Good luck on your path to greatness!

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500
published 5 years, 3 months ago • by permalink

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