Holdem Players

Opinions will undoubtedly vary on the subject of who the best Texas Holdem tournament poker players are. All poker enthusiasts have their favorite professional poker players to watch in action, whether for their entertaining banter, their unflinching game play, or their proven results.

There are many factors to take into account when considering who deserves mention among the best Texas Holdem tournament poker players, especially with a constant flux of new poker pros making their way onto the live tournament scene. Here we will look at some of the best Texas Holdem tournament poker players of all time.

Best Texas Holdem Tournament Poker Players – Phil Ivey
Among the most respected and formidable professional poker players in the world, Phil Ivey has made 22 final tables in the World Series of Poker, and another 8 in the World Poker Tour. 7 WSOP bracelets and 1 WPT title grace the list of accomplishments Phil Ivey has achieved in the course of his poker career.

His intensely hyper-aggressive playing style has earned Ivey $12,799,787 as of January 23, 2010 – putting him at the top of the live tournament overall earnings list. Phil Ivey has placed first in 21 live tournaments, and cashed 107 times.

Best Texas Holdem Tournament Poker Players – Doyle Brunson
Many consider Doyle Brunson to be the greatest poker player of all time, with more than fifty years of experience playing professionally. One of the handful of poker pros to win back-to-back WSOP Main Events (1976 and 1977), the Texas Dolly has earned 10 WSOP bracelets and 1 WPT title.

Getting his start in illegal poker games – usually run by criminal organizations – Brunson eventually settled in Vegas, and has been a regular at the World Series of poker since it’s inception in 1970; landing 34 money finishes amounting to nearly $3M in WSOP earnings. The first professional poker player to reach millionaire status, Doyle Brunson’s total live tournament winnings total $5,492,696 as of March 5, 2010.

Best Texas Holdem Tournament Poker Players – Phil Hellmuth
Love him or hate him, Phil Hellmuth’s 11 World Series of Poker bracelets – all earned in Texas Holdem events – are indicative of his Texas Holdem tournament poker prowess. While Hellmuth has received strong criticism for his infantile outbursts and poor sportsmanship when he suffers a bad beat, he is undeniably numbered among the best tournament poker players of all time.

Hellmuth has finished in the money 144 times for almost $9M in career tournament winnings, as of March 8, 2010. 75 of those cashes came from WSOP events, and 11 from WPT tables. While Hellmuth has made 3 final tables in the WPT, a title win has thus far eluded him.

Best Texas Holdem Tournament Poker Players – Johnny Chan
Tied with Doyle Brunson for the second most WSOP bracelets – 6 of the 10 earned in Texas Holdem events – Johnny Chan gained recognition as a formidable Texas Holdem tournament player with consecutive WSOP World Championship wins in 1987 and 1988.

In the 1988 WSOP Main Event, Chan famously held the nut straight on the flop against Erik Seidel, but played it cool, elucidating an all-in bluff from Seidel on the river that earned Chan his second title. The hand was immortalized in the movie, Rounders.

Of his 65 tournament cashes, 42 came from WSOP money finishes. A living legend in his own right, Johnny Chan has earned $5,902,053 since February 26, 2010.

Best Texas Holdem Tournament Poker Players – Daniel Negreanu
Irrefutably one of the strongest tournament poker players in the profession, Canadian-born Daniel Negreanu took the poker world by storm when he became the youngest WSOP bracelet winner in 1998, at the age of 23 – two years after turning pro. Negreanu has since added 3 more bracelets to his collection, with a WSOP career totaling 42 money finishes for $3.3M in winnings.

Negreanu’s success in the WPT has been even more impressive, ranked first in World Poker Tour earnings with $5,574,530 collected from 18 cashes. 2 of Daniel Negreanu’s 7 WPT final table appearances have resulted in title wins. As of February 26, 2010, Negreanu has earned a total of $12,502,375, and was recently surpassed by Phil Ivey for highest career tournament winnings.