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Tadas Peckaitis

Tadas Peckaitis has been a professional poker player, coach and author for almost a decade. He is a manager and head coach at where he shares his experience, and poker strategy tips. Tadas plays poker, mostly online, but also manages to play live events while travelling through Europe and the U.S. He is a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas regularly shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students, and deeply enjoys it. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, or visit

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Top 10 favorite poker players to watch

3 Sep 2018

By Tadas Peckaitis
The poker world is filled with players of all shapes and sizes. Thanks to the poker boom in the years after Moneymaker's epic 2003 WSOP victory, the game experienced a rise in popularity that no one could have predicted.

Because of this, many players have become stars of sorts, appearing on TV in poker shows and tournament coverage. Some of them have built significant fan bases, with thousands of people following their exploits and rooting for them. Of course, we all have our own favorites for various reasons. This is my personal list of top 10 favorite poker players to watch.

10. Daniel Negreanu
Negreanu has been the ambassador for PokerStars and one of the best all-around poker players for years now. No stranger to controversy on Twitter, there is no denying "Kid Poker" is a lot of fun to watch on TV. Apart from often trying to strike up the conversation at the table, he's also become somewhat famous for his live reads, which make for really great TV when he's right.

9. Phil Hellmuth
The all-time leader in World Series of Poker bracelets, Hellmuth has been entertaining poker fans for decades. Hellmuth is a tremendous player, but that's not the only reason we love seeing him on TV. In fact, the man they call "the Poker Brat" is equally famous for his poker success and his table antics.

Hellmuth has taken the meaning of the word "tilt" to a whole new level with his emotional outbursts after suffering a bad beat or being eliminated from a tournament. Despite all the whining, the Poker Brat seems to employ a very effective MTT poker tournament strategy, and his 15 WSOP bracelets are proof of this.

8. Tom 'durrrr' Dwan
Although we haven't been seeing a lot of Dwan lately, he is still one of my favorite poker players to watch. Very few people have the capability to pull bluffs as sick as "durrrr," and even watching the old footage featuring Dwan in action is always fun — even though most of us know the outcomes of these hands by heart. Recently, Dwan has been back playing live in some high roller tournaments and televised cash games, so let's hope that trend continues.

7. Phil Ivey
According to many the best poker player to have ever lived, Phil Ivey is always fun to watch, even though he rarely puts on a show. Instead of entertaining us with his words, Ivey does it with his incredible plays, which are sometimes just inexplicable. His stoic posture and lack of emotion at the table make him a real prototype of a poker player: cool, calm, collected and always ready to put other players to the test.

6. Phil "Unabomber" Laak
Named "Unabomber" for his peculiar dress style, featuring a hoodie and large sunglasses, Phil Laak is one of those guys you’d love to have in your home game. Always coming up with great stories and crazy ideas, Laak is a natural showman who keeps everyone entertained. When paired with his good friend Antonio Esfandiari, the constant needling and friendly banter between the two often overshadow the poker action, despite the huge stakes they usually play.

5. Viktor "Isildur1" Blom
Viktor may not be your stereotypical poker player who picked up his knowledge from poker books, but his style of play is hugely entertaining. Of course, I’m talking about his online matches, because Blom has never been much of a TV persona.

Playing under the nickname "Isildur1," the Swede, whose identity was a mystery for a long time, took on some of the best online players at the highest available stakes and would play them for as long as they could take it. Crazy bluffs, big calls and huge pots are what make poker entertaining, and you can find all of this and much more when watching Blom play. Although his playing style has changed somewhat since a few years ago, the Swede is still a lot of fun to watch in crazy high stakes online games.

4. Gus Hansen
Another player we haven’t been seeing as much of lately, Hansen achieved his fame during the early and mid-2000s when he took the poker world by storm, virtually changing the rules of Texas Hold’em. He was one of the first players to start utilizing the ultra-aggressive approach to the game, putting maximum pressure on his opponents. Back in the day, it didn’t just work – it sometimes looked like magic, because Gus was able to run over the other players at the table and get away with murder.

3. Vanessa Selbst
The recently retired Selbst, who now works for a hedge fund company in the Northeast, may not be the most entertaining poker player out there — but she was one of the top poker players in the mix, without a doubt, and was the only woman to ever reach No. 1 in the Global Poker Index rankings. She’s also been known to pull an occasional crazy bluff that leaves the viewers stunned and perplexed. Although the general public often criticizes her moves, Vanessa’s results speak for themselves — and we all love seeing a bold three-barrel bluff, regardless of the results.

2. Fedor Holz
A representative of the young generation of poker players, Holz has achieved results that are simply out of this world, with nearly $32 million in live earnings in just the last three years. Although there is no denying he’s had Lady Luck by his side during his best runs, Fedor is, beyond any doubt, one of the best tournament players around, and watching him test his mettle against the best in the world is real joy. He may be calm and silent for the most part, but once he enters a pot, watching Holz break down the hand is just fascinating.

1. Felix Schneiders
The name Felix Schneiders may not be as familiar as the rest of the names on this list, but he’s one of the most popular poker Twitch streamers these days. Playing under the alias "xflixx," Schneiders regularly streams on his Twitch channel and puts forth a lot of effort to teach his viewers how to play good poker. As long as you’re familiar with the basic rules of the game and poker hand rankings, you’ll be able to pick up a lot of useful tips and strategies watching "xflixx" playing and explaining his actions.
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