Top 10 Poker Players of 2018

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Some poker players might be managing to carve out a minimum wage playing at Real Money Gambling sites, but at the other end of the scale there are others who have made so much money from poker that it’s frankly quite staggering.

Everyone has had the dream of being rich at some point. Celebrities such as sports stars, musicians and actors live a kind of life that most of us will never experience. There are other people who have become rich from doing something they love – professional poker players.

If you want to follow in the footsteps of the top 10 most successful poker players of 2018, there’s no better place to start than at the best online poker siteswhere you’ll find all the most comprehensive poker guides to get you up and running.

10. Steve O’Dwyer

This American pro player is best known for his achievements outside of the States. He’s made quite a name for himself in Europe at large tournaments there and has won the European Poker Tour twice. That’s not to say he hasn’t won on home soil – he has. O’Dwyer has also racked up a series of wins in Asia, including the 2014 Asia Champion of Poker Super High Roller tournament, which gave him his second greatest pay day. Last year was a quiet one for O’Dwyer, but he’s still earned more money in his career than all but a handful of other players.

9. Joe Cada

Joe Cada is known as The Kid, due to his success at an early age. He started playing online poker at the age of 16, illegally sharing an account with his older brother. He soon came to grips with poker and won the 2009 World Series of Poker at the age of just 21, the youngest winner ever of the tournament. Cada still enjoys online poker where he has won an estimated half million since he started. Offline poker has been even kinder to him and he has estimated career total earnings so far of just over $10 million.

8. Phil Hellmuth

The Poker Brat, as Hellmuth is known, has been plying his trade at poker tables for over 30 years. His first major win was in the 1989 World Series of Poker and he has an impressive 14 WSOP bracelets to his name. He won the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe and was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame by WSOP in 2007. Phil Hellmuth often takes his seat at poker tournaments long after they have begun in an attempt to irritate and unnerve other players. He is the eighth highest earner in poker history with estimated career earnings of almost $22 million.

7. Sam Trickett

Sam Trickett is a British poker player who got started in the game by accident. He was a professional soccer player, but a knee injury ended his career. He turned to poker as a form of entertainment to help pass the time during his recuperation and realised he was actually pretty good at it. He began playing in local tournaments before winning the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour in 2008. A second place in the World Series of Poker Big One for One Drop netted Trickett $10 million and instantly made him the most successful poker player ever from the UK.

6. John Juanda

Juanda was born in Indonesia and moved to the US in 1990 where he attended Oklahoma State University and Seattle University, earning an MBA from the latter. His poker playing started in the 90s and he was named Tournament Player of the Year by Card Player Magazine in 2001 and 2002. This is impressive for a man who has found himself at six World Poker Tour final tables, but never managed to win a single one. That hasn’t stopped his rise though and he has earned an estimated $16 million from live tournaments. John Juanda was inducted into the WSOP Poker Hall of Fame in 2015.

5. Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey was a worker at a telemarketing firm in New Jersey in the late 90s when he started playing poker. He played against co-workers who he would regularly beat and took the step up to pro level soon after. The list of his achievements is fairly impressive. He has won ten World Series of Poker bracelets, three of them on the 2002 tour and he is a winner in tournaments of plenty of different kinds of poker, including Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Seven Card Stud. Ivey is known as the Tiger Woods of Poker, is also a Hall of Famer, and has been a regular winner of big money tournaments for well over a decade.

4. Erik Seidel

Seidel had an interest in gambling long before his poker playing days as he was a trader on the New York Stock Exchange. He played in a few poker tournaments at New York’s famous Mayfair Club and entered his first major in 1988 at the World Series of Poker, where he finished second. He has eight WSOP bracelets and is in the WSOP Hall of Fame. Erik Seidel has wins on the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour as well as in Australia’s Aussie Millions event. In live tournament winnings alone, Seidel has racked up an impressive $31 million.

3. Antonio Esfandiari

Iran-born Esfandiari’s real first name is Amir and he is nicknamed The Magician because of his elaborate tricks with poker chips. He has won three World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour championships. The most successful win was at the WSOP Big One for One Drop in 2012. Buy-ins for this tournament were a cool $1 million and Esfandiari scooped over $18 million in winnings from that event alone. His total tournament poker earnings exceed $27.6 million. He was the face of Ultimate Poker, a site which is now defunct, and has written books on poker strategy.

2. Fedor Holz

German Holz is a relative newcomer to the world of tournament poker which makes his position on the list even more impressive. His first experience was in a no limit event in 2012 where he finished in second place and won €15,000. More tournament play followed and in 2014 he won the World Championship of Online Poker where he took home a massive $1.3 million. That same year he finished 25th in the World Series of Poker Main Event and added $262,000 to his haul. His first World Series of Poker victory came quite recently, in 2016. Despite only being on the poker scene for five or six years, Fedor Holz has banked almost $27 million in tournament winnings.

1.Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu has the nickname Kid Poker. A tournament regular for over 20 years, this Canadian player has been involved in an impressive 36 final tables on the World Series of Poker and he has six WSOP bracelets. Negreanu has cashed out over $1 million six times. His biggest win was just shy of $8.3 million in a Big One for One Drop million dollar buy-in event. He is the only player to win WSOP bracelets in Las Vegas, Australia and Europe. He has accrued a career long total of $33 million in prize money. As well as playing poker, Daniel Negreanu has penned three books on the subject as well as being involved in charitable projects such as Ante Up For Africa which helped raise money for crisis torn Darfur.


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