Poker is becoming a more popular and highly competitive space with every passing year. That is being driven by the rise in media exposure, via both traditional channels like television and modern ones such as online streaming sites.
This newfound audience base for the game has led to more people becoming poker players. Online casinohas made playing the game seem accessible, with online poker ukoffering people the ideal way to sharpen their skills without betting lots of moneyupfront.
It was probably inevitable that increased awareness of poker would lead to more players, because it is such an exciting and rewarding game. Good poker play requires both tactical mastery and psychological acuity.
Read on if you want to learn about the professional players who excel at both of those things.
Any list of the finest players has to have the US player Bryn Kenney at the top. For one thing, his total careerearnings to date of $56.4 million put him ahead of any other current professional players.
He enjoyed a particularly spectacular year back in 2019, which culminated in astonishing earnings of more than $20 million in the Triton Million tournament! He has also racked up some prestige tournament wins during his career, including the PCA Super High Roller in 2016 and the 2014 World Series of Poker bracelet.
While Kenney became a fan of poker when he was still at school, he did not become a professional until 2007. Before that, he played Magic: The Gathering and he could be described as the ‘geek’ of the pro poker circuit.
Negreanu has the nickname ‘Kid Poker’ thanks to the fact that he achieved his first major tournament success at the tender age of 23, in 1997. The player from Canada had begun to play seriously eight years earlier though, so has been dedicated to the game since his mid-teens.
The Global Poker Index named him top player for the ten years between 2004 and 2013 and with Player of the Year wins at the World Series of Poker on two occasions it is easy to see why. He has won numerous braceletsat those events, as well as multiple World Poker Tour titles during his career.
His earnings stand at $42.2 million and he is known to have a passion for the online collectable card game called Hearthstone. He streams his playing of that as well as his poker play and is also a fan of chess and a vegetarian.
Third on the list is another US poker player, Justin Bonomo, who was born in Virginia. He is aged 37 and has claimed winnings of $53.2 million during his career to date.
2018 marked the finest year of his professional career so far, as he racked up an astonishing 10 victories at high roller poker tournaments. They included $4.8 million at the NHLE event, $3 million in the Macau Super High Roller Bowl and $300,000 in the May Aria Super High Roller Bowl.
Bonomo has also picked up three bracelets at the World Series of Poker and made it to the final table of the World Poker Tour three times. He started playing poker when he was 16 and made $10,000 from a deposit of $500.
Nicknamed ZeeJustin, he is widely considered one of the best male players. The fact that he lives just a block away from the Strip in Las Vegassuggests poker is not the only type of gambling he enjoys either.
This English player is perhaps less well known than some of the others on the list, but with career earnings of $32 million, he deserves a higher profile. Known by the name stevie444, he hails from Deal in Kent, which is not exactly a hotbed of poker action.
Something must have lit the spark within though and he got his start by competing in online poker tournaments back in 2008. He claimed his first ever bracelet at the World Series of Poker four years ago, while also winning $1.6 million at the Pot Limit Omaha High Roller event.
One interesting thing about Chidwick is that he had already made millions of dollars from multi-table tournaments (MTTs) before transferring to live ones. Now many other pros consider him the finest tournament poker player in the business.
He sits comfortably in front of the pack of UK poker players when it comes to career winnings and seems likely to stay that way for a long time to come.
Anyone who hopes to become a professional player could do worse than to study the careersand play of these four stars of the circuit. They have not only made a living out of poker but have become wealthy.