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In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the top Poker Hall of Fame players who has rightfully earned their names to be engraved in poker history. Out of casino games, poker is perhaps the one that requires the most focus and knowledge and where luck matters the least. Many people would disagree for sure. Fortunately, though, the majority believes and understands that, without proper knowledge, it is just a waste of time and money. If you are new to the game, you can find one or two helpful articles on our site. Now let’s get down to business and see who the best of the best poker players are.
Benny Binion – Father of the Poker Hall of Fame
The gentleman was already the wealthiest casino owner in the 1950s, though he had most of his wealth from illegal activities, like unlicensed gambling facilities or moonshining. One day, the owner of Horseshoe Casino set up a meeting with one of the greatest players of the age, Johnny Moss and Nick Dandalos. They played legendary games, which was, basically, the predecessor of the WSOP. As the two players kept attracting bigger and bigger crowds, Binion’s next project was already a much larger tournament. The 1970 event was considered the first WSOP, and nine years later, the Hall of Fame was born.
Top Hall of Fame players
Obviously, there are certain conditions for someone to enter the Hall of Fame. Among other things, they have to play against the bests, be at least 40 years old, which is a relatively new rule, play high stakes, and have a good performance in general. Much of the requirements are pretty clear but let’s talk about the age limit. Many candidates had an outstanding performance in one of the tournaments, but these, usually non-professional players fell short of another criterion: continuous and stable results. Once in a while, anyone can get lucky, even at the age of twenty, but it would still be quite strange for them to get the same acknowledgment as people who have been outstanding throughout their careers.
The Hall of Fame includes extraordinary players. That should be obvious. Whoever makes it there has to bring something incredible to the table, so it is hard to choose the best of the great. Some factors have to be subjective, and it’s impossible to please everyone. Let’s see who made it to our list of top poker Hall of Fame players. A total of 60 make up this elite group, 32 of whom are still alive. Sadly, though, big names like Stu Ungar, Mike Sexton, or David Ulliott, aka Devilfish, are no longer among us. You can check out the whole list at online poker sites in the US!
Most successful poker players
Daniel Negreanu achieved huge successes at the poker table; he made more than $ 17 million. Between 2004 and 2013, he was the player of the Decade. He won six WSOP bracelets and two WPT titles. He wrote several best-selling books about poker, in addition to being one of the most successful players of the past couple of decades. Since Daniel Negreanu is one of the most sought-after and popular figures in the poker world, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that he is one of the top Poker Hall of Fame players. He is down-to-earth and a true showman, and he also pays close attention to new talents. He has run talent tournaments and launched an educational site to help poker players become better.
Doyle Brunson’s name might sound familiar since he is called the Godfather of Poker. He has been an active poker player since the 50s and is a ten-time WSOP champion who won the Main Event twice. Brunson also wrote several inspiring books about poker, like Super System and Super System 2. He wanted to be a professional basketball player, but an accident made it impossible. That is when he started taking poker more seriously. When he won more money in one game than he made in a month, it became crystal clear, which path he should take. He is 88 years old but still participates in the biggest tournaments. You might catch sight of him at the poker tables of Las Vegas since he settled down there.
Top Poker Hall of Fame players
Anyone who has ever seen Stu Ungar play, almost without exception, claims he was the best No-Limit Hold’em poker player of all time. He was a genius living a self-destructive life who died young because of it. Stu’s constantly ill mother couldn’t support the family. So Ungar, gifted with a photographic memory and incredible math skills left school and became a professional gin rummy player first at the age of fifteen.
He became friends with a well-known underworld figure from the mob who became a second father to him. He often asked Stu’s help in calculating the odds for sports bets, in exchange, he helped to smooth out his misdeeds. Stu was famous for criticizing and pissing off his opponents at the poker table. One time, he insulted someone who wanted to hit him with a barstool. Interestingly, the police found the corpse of the angry player in an alley three days later. Convenient, right?
Years later, when Stu piled up more and more debts, he needed money quickly. So he participated in the 1980 WSOP championship. Even though he rarely played poker before, he won the main event that year and defended his title in the next. All in all, his private life did not matter at the poker table, and his talent was the ticket to the Poker Hall of Fame. His name joined in 2001. Check out more about him in our article about the list of best poker players of all time!
The best of the best
Few people in the history of poker have achieved more than Johnny Moss. He was the proud owner of eight WSOP bracelets and won three of the first five WSOP events. People still talk about his poker marathons against Dandalos, but it wasn’t his only memorable moment at the poker table. Johnny Moss had been successful not only at poker, but he was also a dreaded opponent on the golf courses and bowling alleys. Even if he did not have poker, he would have made millions by gambling. Every time Moss sat down at the poker table, his opponents knew they were in for a treat. He entered the Poker Hall of Fame first in 1979.
Linda Johnston, the First Lady of Poker. She did not only make it among the top poker Hall of Fame players with her incredible victories but with being a central figure in the poker world. She founded the World Poker Tour and CardPlayer, among other things. Check out the women players who made it to the Poker Hall of Fame at online poker news sites in the US! What kind of top poker Hall of Fame players list would it be without Phil Hellmuth on it? You can call him many things, but modest is definitely not among them. He claimed to be the best poker player in the world. This is a bold statement for sure, but, we will have to give it to him, he was not too far from the truth. At the age of 24, he lost an epic battle to Johnny Chan in the WSOP Finals but won 16 bracelets after that. That is the most anyone could win. Hellmuth also managed to win over $ 16 million with poker.
Top Poker Hall of Fame players
We can’t leave out Phil Hellmuth’s nemesis, Johnny Chan, either. People consider him one of the most talented and skilled players ever. Although almost nothing has become of his professional poker career. His parents wanted him to get into the family business and manage their restaurant. Chan, on the other hand, has decided to quit college and live for his passion. It was the best decision of his life. Of course, it did not hurt that his passion also paid well. He is the proud owner of ten WSOP bracelets and was introduced to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002.
Chris Moneymaker is also a good enough poker player to make it to our list. He was an average accountant when he started to build his professional poker career and did not stop until becoming one of the top Poker Hall of Fame players. His story proves that anybody can be a celebrated poker superstar. Many think that the popularity of online poker had a lot to do with him since he qualified for the Main Event with a $ 39 satellite. After winning the WSOP in 2003, he quit his job, got divorced, and started to turn his dream of being a professional and traveling the world into reality.
Eric Seidel is one of the least known top Poker Hall of Fame players. Even those who are not familiar with poker, likely have heard of the others on the list, even if Seidel more than deserves his place among the best. He is an eight-time WSOP champion earning more than $ 35 million in his career so far. Probably, nobody questions his achievements after hearing these! Check out our article about how poker billionaires live! Our next pick is Phil Ivey, who is called the Tiger Woods of Poker. Ivey is an aggressive and dreaded opponent who knows no fear at the poker table. He is a ten-time WSOP bracelet winner and poker millionaire. He excels at Baccarat too, though, according to Bet365 Poker, there were problems considering that.