If you’ve ever penetrated the smoky (well, not so much anymore) adrenaline-filled poker rooms of the big casinos, then you’ll know what a rush the game can be. Something about the concept of winner-takes-all, and the fine line between coming out of there with bags of cash and financial ruin means that viewers are often unable to peel their eyes away from the spectacle. And in a physical sense alone, it may not be as thrilling as MMA, or as high-profile as the NFL or NBA, but pro poker has always had an inexplicable allure to it.
So, what is it that takes some players to the very top of the game, while others whittle away in the middle leagues or fail and fail again? What does it take to become the ultimate poker player, and find yourself in lists of the greats of the 21st century? And how might victory change your world and the way you think? How can it make you a better investor? Well, perhaps there is something we can learn from these players; those who went in with a bunch of cards and chips, and came out time and time again with the winnings.
A recent article looking at the all-time poker greats noted that Negreanu is the most popular player ever. Of course, this is a subjective matter, but there is some empirical data behind his popularity. The Canadian won six World Series of Poker bracelets, and has amassed more than $42 million in tournaments. His success has come over a span of two decades, making him one of the most consistent and enduring poker players of all time. In that time, he has lived through and adapted to various styles, even inventing his own: the ‘small ball’ concept, involving aggressive smaller bets. Risk a little; win a lot.
Looking at recent times, Sam Greenwood has been racking up the dollars over the past few years. He’s a player on the up, with eyes across the poker world on him. Among his tournament victories feature the EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller and the MILLIONS Grand Final Barcelona Super high roller. He’s big on online poker too, and will possibly only get better in the coming years.
Boree is the only woman to win major events on the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. With a WSOP bracelet in her collection, she’s one of the most celebrated female competitors in the 21st century. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Boree has far more on her CV than being one of the world’s best poker players. She has a degree in astrophysics, and has become an impressive TV host for poker events. She even started a charity that advises poker celebrities on the best way to donate money.
Ivey is the name on everyone’s lips when discussing the greatest poker players of all time. He hit the big time in the Poker Boom of the 2000s, in a time when nobody wanted to find themselves on a table with the man. Ruthless in his pursuit of success, Ivey took home a whopping 10 WSOP bracelets. He has dominated the online game too.
Last but certainly not least, Phil Hellmuth is a controversial character in the game due to his spiky demeanor. But one thing that can’t be called into dispute is his record. He has 15 WSOP bracelets, and holds the world record for most cashes in bracelet events, at 162. Admittedly, some of his success came in the 20th century. But he took the 2005 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship title home, as well as tens of millions of dollars in the 2000s. Still, the most popular videos of him online feature his angry meltdowns at the table.