Whether you are an avid poker fan or not, you cannot deny that this remains a highly lucrative game that generates massive amounts of its revenue for those who participate at elite level.
To determine who the best players are, the 2017 rankings may well be your first port of call. This does not tell the story of the last decade, however, where some of the world’s top players have accumulated incredible riches through regular and sustained success.
So, here are seven of the world’s top players according to their achievements and earnings as of 2017:
- Daniel Negreanu
At number one is Daniel Negreanu, who was named the Global Index player of the decade after some incredibly consistent performances during this time. Negreanu has won a staggering $30,469,551 over the last 10 years, including an $8.28 million purse at the Buy-in Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker in 2014. As if this was not enough, he remains the only player to date to win World Series bracelets in Las Vegas, Europe and Australia.
- Antonio Esfandiari
Next up is Antonio Esfandiari, who has accumulated an impressive $26,206,704 during the course of the last 10 years. A true household name, he is arguably the one player that gamblers aspire to when they first ply their trade at the Royal Vegas mobile casino. An Iranian-born pro, Esfandiari is most famous for winning the The Big One for One Drop at the World Series in 2012, where he overcame a star-studded field to take home a record-breaking $18.3 million.
- Erik Seidel
While Seidel is third on our list, he has earned an impressive $25,391,761 while he also commenced his career prior to the recent Internet poker boom. In fact, he played his first professional tournament back in 1988, while his best year came in 2011 when he won million-dollar prizes on two continents and claimed total earnings of $6.5 million.
- Phil Ivey
Arguably the most famous name in poker, the 38-year old Phil Ivey has accumulated an impressive $22,809,848 throughout a distinguished and successful career. Commonly referred to as the Tiger Woods of poker, Ivey won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2000 and has since gone on to add eight more. He has also earned multi-million dollar wins on five separate occasions, the biggest being a $3,573,600 purse at the Aussie Millions tournament in 2014.
- Sam Trickett
Trickett has earned a respectable $20,533,080 during his career, while he also has the honourable distinction of being the only European in the top seven (or even the top 10, for that matter). Intriguingly, half of this players’ earnings were achieved when he finished second in the prestigious Big One for One Drop in 2012, as while he trailed behind Esfandiari he took home a momentous $10.1 million.
- Phil Hellmuth Jr.
Although Phil Hellmuth Jr. may be sixth on our list with earnings of $18,803,620, he does have the honour of being the highest-placed World Series of Poker Main Event winner. This success earned him a total of $1.3 million, while his biggest triumph cam at the Big One for One Drop event in Las Vegas in 2012 (Hellmuth took home $2.6 million here). He has also won a record total of 13 WSOP bracelets in his career, more than another player in history.
- Jonathan Duhamel
Last, but by no means least, we come to Jonathan Duhamel, who is the second player on the list to have won the WSOP Main Event. He achieved this in 2010, winning a grand total of $8.9 million and claiming more than half of his current career earnings of $16,755,475. Prior to this, his biggest win was a relatively modest $54,904, although he has since followed up his WSOP success with a $1.2 million triumph during the week-long PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in 2010.