World’s Top Poker Players
There a few ways to classify or rank the world’s best poker players: The number of coveted bracelets that are awarded at the World Series of Poker a player has, the Global Poker Index rankings, or of course the total amount of money a player has won in poker tournaments.
Some professional poker players believe that there are two types of poker players: those who have won a bracelet and those who have not, with those who have belonging to an exclusive club. It’s all about the recognition that’s associated with the bracelet as former Celebrity Poker Showdown host and poker star Phil Gordon once said, “I want that bracelet more than anything.” Bracelet holder, Freddy Deeb, once said that the bracelet he won in 2007, “means everything to me.” Actress Jennifer Tilly, who is also one of the best women poker players alive, says that winning her 2005 Women’s Championship bracelet was “better than an Oscar.” According to people like Gordon, Deeb, and Tilly, the undisputed best poker player in the world would be Phil Hellmuth, who holds a record 13 World Series of Poker Bracelets. These bracelets are considered the most coveted non-monetary prize a poker player can win. As the World Series of Poker Commissioner, Jeffrey Pollack, said during the 2006 bracelet unveiling, “It is the equivalent of winning the Stanley Cup in hockey or the Lombardi Trophy in football.”
According to the website, pokernews.com, “the Global Poker Index releases a list of the top 300 tournament poker players in the world by using a formula that takes a player’s results over six half-year periods. GPI scores are calculated by multiplying the Finishing Percentage Factor by the Buy-in Factor, and the Aging Factor for individual events that fit the GPI criteria. The individual scores are then added to complete the composite score for each player.” If one were to take the GPI rankings as the final word in the world’s best poker player debate, then they would say Ole Schemion is the best of the best. Although this German has never won a World Series of Poker bracelet, he has consistently finished very high in almost all of his tournaments, making him the current number one GPI ranked player in the world as well as the 2014 Player of the Year according to the same rankings.
Number two on the GPI rankings is Daniel Negreanu, who might just be the real undisputed world’s best poker player. In addition to his current number two GPI ranking, he is also the holder of six World Series of Poker bracelets, and the all time earnings leader in World Series of Poker events. After his strong showing at this past summer’s World Series in Las Vegas, Negreanu jumped into the number one spot with just over $30 million is winnings.
Other top players to note are Antonio Esfandiari, who holds three bracelets and is second in all time earnings at just over $25 million; Phil Ivey, eight bracelets, sixth in all-time money at $19 million; Erik Seidel, eight bracelets, third all time in money with $21 million; Sam Trickett, three bracelets and fifth in money with $19 million; and last but not least, the player who burst onto the poker scene at the 2014 World Series of Poker event, Daniel Colman who won $15,306,668 in one single event, propelling him all the way to number four on the all-time money list.