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Top 10 all-time money list for poker professionals

30 Apr 2018

By Tadas Peckaitis
Phil Ivey at 2016 WSOP

Phil Ivey at 2016 WSOP

If you want to learn how to crush live poker and learn strategy by watching someone play, you should concentrate on the best in the business. Obviously, it is debatable who the best players are in the world, but you can’t go wrong by following this list of players, who rank as the top 10 in career poker earnings.

10. Scott Seiver
Seiver just recently outdid Phil Hellmuth to move into No. 10 on the all-time money list with $23.1 million in live winnings. While he has just one World Series of Poker bracelet to his name, the American pro’s biggest score came at the 2015 $500,000 Super High Roller Bowl when he cashed a check worth $5.1 million after finishing in second place behind Brian Rast.

9. Bryn Kenney
In ninth place with $23.2 million in winnings, we have another player from the U.S. This poker pro from New York has been dominating live games for years and have many impressive results. Last year, he took down €100.000 buy-in Super High Roller in Monte Carlo for incredible €1.8 million payday, and in 2016, he took out 2015 WSOP Main Event champ Joe McKeehen in a heads-up duel to win the $100,000 Super High Roller and cash in for over $1.6 million.

8. Phil Ivey
This player does not need much introduction and is one of the most famous poker players in the world. Even though he is not actively playing any more, many players are still chasing this Poker Hall of Famer’s records and his career winnings total of $23.8 million.

7. John Juanda
John Juanda

John Juanda


The first non-American to make the list, Juanda hails from Indonesia, but for years he has traveled the world thriving in high-stakes tournaments, winning over $23.9 million in his storied career. Another Poker Hall of Famer, the 46-year-old has five WSOP bracelets, including winning the WSOP Europe Main Event in 2008.

6. Justin Bonomo
While he’s not as recognizable as some of the other players on this list, Justin successfully plays the highest stakes in the world and has many impressive results, totaling more than $25.3 million in winnings. Bonomo's biggest live tournament cash came in 2012 when he won the €100,000 Monte Carlo European Poker Tour Super High Roller, which was good for €1.64 million.

5. Fedor Holz
The youngest player on our list at just 24 years old, Fedor is a hugely famous German poker pro known for his ultra-aggressive playing style.

After having a few unbelievable scores and taking down the 2016 $111,111 High Roller For One Drop event for a payday worth nearly $5 million, he announced shortly after that he was retiring from poker. However, soon after that he got back to the tables to continue his incredible journey and winning habits, compiling another $6 million or so since that time.

Fedor ranks No. 1 on the all-time German money list and is considered one of the best players in the world, with more than $26.7 million in winnings during his short career.

4. Antonio Esfandiari
One of the most recognizable players of all time, “The Magician” is also one of the most successful. He is well-known for his work as an analyst for WSOP TV coverage, but he’s had tremendous success on the felt, as well.

In 2012, the native of Iran captured the "Big One for One Drop,” a $1,000,000 buy-in tournament benefiting the One Drop Foundation that ended up earning Esfandiari the largest single payout in tournament poker history at $18,346,673, which is responsible for a good bulk of his $27.6 million in career earnings.

3. Daniel Colman
With $29 million in earnings, Colman became famous after winning “The One for One Drop” in 2014 and taking down home more than $15 million. However, his poker career started online, and he is one of the most successful hyper-turbo tournament players of all time.

Before scoring such considerable results in live games, he managed to win over $1 million online in 2013 alone. Thus, you should not doubt his ability to crush the games.

2. Erik Seidel
This longtime U.S. poker pro and Poker Hall of Famer has eight WSOP bracelets and World Poker Tour titles to his name, as well as $34.2 million in career earnings.
Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu


Another thing that separates him from the rest is that he is capable of playing literally any poker format. If you observe him carefully, you can get much more than just Texas Hold’em tips, and improve your strategy in other forms of poker as well.

1. Daniel Negreanu
This Canadian player does not need an introduction. He is probably the most famous and well-known player in the world, and after becoming a PokerStars ambassador, he appears in every significant tournament in the world.

The fact that he is the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time, with an astonishing $36.5 million, says quite a bit about his game, but he is probably even more famous because of his personality. On top of tournament results, he has played and won a lot in the most significant cash games in the world, so his total winnings probably skyrockets to the moon.

If I had to choose one player who I enjoy watching the most, it surely would be him. He always makes games fun for other players by communicating with them, chatting and telling jokes. On top of that, he is a great player who is continuously improving and one that can teach you many tricks.

Summing it up
You can learn a lot by watching these players in action, but you should not follow their strategies blindly. Many of the plays they make against other high-level pros are based on their playing history and additional information that is not relevant in lower stakes games.

However, there are many advanced poker training programs that can help you learn everything from the beginning to advanced concepts and speed up your improvement much faster compared to consuming random content. That being said, seeing the best players in action is always fun, and you will naturally learn one or two things simply by observing.
 
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