Poker slowly made its way through the Old West from dusty Texas trails to the hallowed halls of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas. Many bored celebrities who play poker these days might have more net worth than anyone listed here. But the top poker players have earned their poker
millions the old-fashioned way – by playing poker.
#10 – Phil Hellmuth
Nickname: The Poker Brat
Net Worth: $12 Million
Accolades: 15 WSOP Bracelets, Poker Hall of Fame
In 1989, Phil Hellmuth earned the nickname ‘the Poker Brat’ when he was the youngest player to win the WSOP Main Event – at age 24. The record wasn’t broken for 20 years, during which time Hellmuth scored another world record which has not been beaten: winning 15 WSOP Bracelets.
#9 – Jennifer Harman
Net Worth: $15 Million
Accolades: 2 WSOP Bracelets, Poker Hall of Fame
Jennifer Harman is the only lady on the richest poker player list, and she has made a lucrative career out of taking money from the boys. She prefers private games because she can win more money in a single sitting, rather than waiting through long tournaments. She once said that poker is a tough way to make an easy living.
#8 – Joe Hachem
Nickname: Diamond Joe
Net Worth: $16 Million
Accolades: 1 WSOP Bracelet
Joe Hachem was a chiropractor in Australia for 13 years before bad luck struck: a disease affecting his hands forced him to give it up. But lucky for Joe, he could still hold a hand of cards, and he went on to become the first Aussie to win the WSOP Main Event.
#7 – Antonio Esfandiari
Nickname: The Magician
Net Worth: $27 Million
Accolades: 3 WSOP Bracelets
Antonio Esfandiari was an amateur magician specializing in the usual array of tricks with chips and cards. But his best trick of all was winning the largest single payout in poker history in 2012: $18,346,673. The tournament was called the “Big One for One Drop” for a charity called the One Drop Foundation. Daniel Negreanu beat Esfandiari’s record at the same tournament in 2014.
#6 – Erik Seidel
Net Worth: $41.9 Million
Accolades: 8 WSOP Bracelets, Poker Hall of Fame
Eric Seidel was swimming in the shark-infested waters of Manhattan as a Wall Street trader until he became a full-time card shark. Only 5 players hold more WSOP Bracelets than Seidel, and he is known for his consistency in regularly winning several million dollars in a single event.
#5 – Daniel Negreanu
Nickname: Kid Poker
Net Worth: $50 Million
Accolades: 6 WSOP Bracelets, Poker Hall of Fame, WSOP POY 2x
Canadian professional poker player Daniel Negreanu is a mainstay at the poker tournaments. Starting at the young age of 22, he was part of the new wave of young blood hitting the poker tournaments. He is famous for his ability to read the other players, and he bases his moves on this. He is the only poker player to win the WSOP Player of the Year award more than once (2004, 2013).
#4 – Doyle Brunson
Nickname: Texas Dolly
Net Worth: $75 Million
Accolades: 10 WSOP Bracelets, Poker Hall of Fame, Super/System Poker Book
Poker legend Doyle Brunson’s spent his early days as a Texas Road Gambler along with Amarillo Slim and Sailor Roberts. The trio took Las Vegas by storm when they made Texas Hold’em the most popular game in Las Vegas. Brunson has played in every WSOP tournament since they began in 1970, making him one of the most influential poker players of all time. He also wrote the Super/System book on poker, which trained a whole new generation of poker players. After 50 years as a professional card shark, Brunson retired to a standing ovation at the WSOP in 2018.
#3 – Chris Ferguson
Net Worth: $80 Million
Accolades: 6 WSOP Bracelets, Card Ninja
Chris Ferguson is nicknamed ‘Jesus’ because of his long hair and beard. The co-founder of the Full Tilt Poker website survived the scandal that led to the famous Black Friday of Poker, where his company and several others were banned in the U.S. When he isn’t sitting motionless at tournaments (so others can’t read him), he is known for throwing cards so fast they cut through watermelons.
#2 – Sam Farha
Nickname: Mister Cool
Net Worth: $100 Million
Accolades: 3 WSOP Bracelets
Sam Farha was born in Beirut, Lebanon, but he is right at home in Las Vegas at the tournaments. He has played against the top poker players in the world, including Chris Moneymaker. Coming in second to Moneymaker in the 2003 WSOP, he still took home $1,300,000. Not bad for a day at the tables.
#1 – Phil Ivey
Nickname: Tiger Woods of Poker
Net Worth: $100 Million
Accolades: 10 WSOP Bracelets, Poker Hall of Fame
Like many of his generation, a young Phil Ivey got involved in the pro poker scene via several smaller poker tournaments, which allowed him to burst onto the scene after several large wins. He also attributes his fortune to his association with Tiltware, the parent company of Full Tilt Poker. He is also
one of the few winners who share the second highest number of WSOP Bracelets (10).
Thousands of poker players hit the tournaments each year, but these 10 poker players have made their mark on history because of their wins, style, character, and more. But when the chips are down, becoming one of the top poker players in the world has little to do with simple luck. It’s a matter of patience, perseverance, and longevity. A good poker face helps as well.