Best Poker Players: Top 10 Poker Players and Their Earnings

7 Sep 2020

Best Poker Players: Top 10 Poker Players and Their Earnings

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Ever wondered what a professional poker players salary looks like? 

No matter what sport it is, people always want to know who the best player is and how much they make. 

We wanna know who the GOAT is.

Who the true untouchable is. 

Poker has achieved semi-mythical status over the last few years thanks to the large sums of $$$ involved. Because of the monumental payouts, it seems that everyone wants to give it a go. 

If you’re good at poker, you’ve got a chance of winning millions and turning yourself into an overnight professional poker player star. 

But before any of that happens for you, let’s find out who the top 10 poker players are – and what a professional poker player salary looks like. 

Warning: These figures might make your jaw drop. 

The Best Poker Players

Daniel Negreanu – Best High Stakes Poker Player

Estimated earnings: Approx $33,000,000

Nicknamed Kid Poker by his legion of fans, Negreanu has achieved legendary status over the years thanks to winning more money on a live poker tournament than any other player. 

He’s also the two-time WSOP player of the year (the only person to have won this award twice), and he’s collected a pair of WPT titles and 6 WSOP bracelets in his time. This all makes him one of the best poker players of all time.

Jason Koon – Best Poker Player 2019

Estimated earnings: $30,000,000

Jason Koon is the Triton Poker ambassador, and he’s totally killed it in 2019. So far this year, he’s won over $6,000,000 and continues to be an omni-presence on the Triton high roller tournament scene. 

Many of the other top players in this list – including Negreanu, Phil Ivey and Antonio Esfandiari – have nothing but love for him, with many feeling that this dude has what it takes to be the GOAT in years to come. 

Daniel Coleman – Best Young Poker Player

Estimated earnings: $29,000,000

Still under thirty-years-old, rising star Daniel Coleman has a big future ahead of him if he continues to play high stakes poker. He’s already defeated Kid Poker, kicking him out of The Big One For One Drop and taking home the $15,300,000 himself.

He’s also got a WSOP bracelet in his locker and is chasing his first WPT title. 

Big things are expected of the man once known as mrGR33N13.

Thank God he ditched that nickname, eh? 

Antonio Esfandiari – Best Poker Player of 2018

Estimated earnings: Approx $28,000,000

WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star Season 2016-2017

The Magician is a man of the people. He plays poker for big cash on television, but he likes to play with the man on the street, too. 

Perhaps you’ve played with him yourself!

And if you haven’t – it’s best if you stay clear. He’s known as The Magician for a reason, bruh. 

2018 was his year but his stash is continuing to roll as he picks up more winnings. He once held the world record for scooping $18,300,000 in one single payout, which was the biggest at its time.  He’s one of the best poker players of all time and has a very handy professional poker player salary.

Dan Bilzerian – Best Celebrity Poker Player

Estimated earnings: Approx $50,000,000 + 

If you got into poker in the last few years, the chances are that it was Dan Bilzerian who got you into it. Although he doesn’t play anymore, he’s that brash, gun-touting, womanizing Instagram star who lives the Scarface lifestyle more than anyone else. With 28 million Instagram followers, he’s one of the most famous poker players on the planet. 

Back in 2013, he won $10,800,000 from one night of poker and has since amassed over $50,000,000 from the game. 

He still plays with his buddies but no longer plays against professionals. I guess there’s no point if you’re already one of the richest poker players and you’ve got all the women you ever dreamt of. As such, while his poker income might be low these days, but he’s turned himself into a full-on entrepreneur who has his finger in many pies. 

Jamie Gold – Best Mid-Stakes Poker Player

Estimated earnings: $12,000,000

Professional poker player Jamie Gold wins and loses heavily on the poker circuit, so much so that his antics have earned him the nickname Comeback Kid. 

He’ll lose – but he’ll make sure he gets it all back. 

He’s been doing the rounds on the tables for several years, winning his first (and only) WSOP bracelet in 2006. 

His winnings for that particular event were an astonishing $12,000,000. That figure is even more astonishing when you consider the buy-in was just $10K. 

Fun fact: Jamie Gold was a talent agent before he was a poker player, and “discovered” Jimmy Fallon. You’ll either love him or hate him for that one. 

Phil Ivey – The Best All-Round Poker Player

Estimated earnings: $100,000,000

Love Phil Ivey or hate Phil Ivey (and most people hate him), he’s the top dog when it comes to poker. One of the best poker players of all time, the man can do anything he tries his hand at, and it’s small wonder his fans call him the Tiger Woods of Poker. 

Unlike Jame Gold, who won a single WSOP bracelet, Ivey has won ten

He’s also bagged himself a WPT title and is a member of the Poker Hall of Fame. 

Greg Merson – Best European Poker Player

Estimated earnings: $11,000,000

WPT Mayland Live Season 16

You won’t see guys like Dan Bilzerian tackling the European Poker Tours, but for professional poker player Greg Merson, this is his bread and butter. 

For a guy once known as Gregy20723, poker has become a way of life. He’s still young, he’s still cool and the money keeps on piling up. 

Stephen Chidwick – Best High Roller Tournament Poker Player

Estimated earnings: $31,100,000

Everyone who faces off against Stephen Chidwick gets a little scared. Everyone. This Englishman is one of the most feared faces on the high roller tournament scene, and he’s spent more time than most at the summit of the Global Poker Index player rankings.

He won his maiden WSOP this year, he’s one of the richest poker players on the scene, and big, big things are expected of him in the years to come. 

Bryn Kenney – GOAT Poker Player

Estimated earnings: $55,500,000

WPT Rockstar Cash Game Season 2017-2018

It’s very hard to pick the GOAT in poker, and no doubt folk will disagree with our choice here. 

But Bryn Kenney is having a sensational 2019, recently topped off by a mammoth $20,500,000 payout for a tournament in August. 

And he came third in that one. 

He’s been playing live poker since 2007, steadily stacking up the cash and winning WSOP bracelets along the way. 

And he’s probably got one of the best bluffs we’ve ever seen. He’s one of the most famous poker players around and he’s great to watch. 

Final Word on the Best Poker Players  

Professional poker is the dream career for many men (and women) who love to strategize, gamble, and make big bucks.

The best poker players in this list have all earned a sizeable poker income thanks to being at the top of their game at one time or another.

Keep an eye out for next year, too – things rarely stay the same in this game.