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Best Poker Players

Poker, a game of skill and strategy, has produced a cadre of remarkable players both on a global scale and within specific regions like India. In this exploration of poker prowess, we delve into the achievements of outstanding players from India and some of the world's most celebrated poker players. From riveting tales of career transitions to massive cash prizes, these poker players have left an indelible mark on the poker landscape.

Let’s check them out.

Outstanding Poker Players from India

Poker PlayerPoker Pro SinceBest Live CashMajor Title WinsIndia All Time Money List Ranking
Raghav Bansal2006$335,910DPT 2016 Main Event7th
Aditya Agarwal2006$330,1342017 No Limit Hold'em Main Event Championship, IOPC Main Event 20236th
Abhinav Iyer2016$45,494NHLE the Closer Event, PHP80,000 WPT Philippines title5th
Nipun Java2009$270,5092014 WSOP Circuit No Limit Hold'em Main Event, WPT – LA Poker Classic No Limit Hol'dem Playboy $500,000 Guarantee event3rd
Santhosh Suvarna2017$700,000Platinum Pass Mystery Bounty event (EPT) 2022, Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Cyprus 20172nd
Vivek Rajkumar2006$3,652,345World Poker Tour World Poker Tour 2006, Borgata Poker Main Event, LA Poker Classic 20081st

Raghav Bansal (Net Worth: $1,094,911)

Rising to be a top poker player in both online and offline circuits, Raghav has been participating and cashing in big at the World Series of Poker since 2015. A veteran in the poker world, Bansal boasts victories in the Macau Poker Cup and the Texas-Hold'em play-slow Main Event in Goa. 

He has grabbed 40 WSOP cash finishes so far and his versatility extends to online poker games and excels in multi-table tournaments, providing a blueprint for beginners seeking success. Bansal's success in both live and online formats indicates his adaptability and skill across different aspects of the poker game. 

Aditya Agarwal (Net Worth: $1,136,998)

Ranked as the third-highest Indian poker cash winner, Aditya Agarwal is one of India’s most successful poker players who has performed well in both online and live poker tournaments. He is especially recognized for his deep runs in the world’s greatest poker series, World Series of Poker (WSOP). His biggest payout so far has been $18,714 in the No-Limit Hold’em tournament Main Event in 2017. 

Poker accidentally happened to Agarwal in 2003 when he glimpsed ESPN featuring WSOP and it got him hooked instantly! He was barely 21 when he began to follow his passion and started playing in WSOP. 

Soon enough, he became one of the first few Indians to bank cash winnings along with Vivek RajKumar. Agarwal’s largest cash payout so far has been ₹65,93,105 and he has amassed a prize money of ₹9.46 Crore through a collective win of 37 major titles.

Abhinav Iyer (Net Worth: $865,717)

Acknowledged as the 5th-best poker player in India, Abhinav Iyer contributes significantly to both offline and online poker. His participation in the India Poker Championship (IPC) Main Event in Goa, where he secured the 73rd position, and a substantial online game win amounting to $565,346 attest to his skill and success. 

Iyer went to Las Vegas to participate in the 2019 World Series of Poker where he cashed in 5 events after which he played the final event, $1500 No-Limit Hold’em Closer. He won the event and collected his career-best $565,346 prize money along with his first WSOP gold bracelet.

Nipun Java (Net Worth: $2,725,021)

Nipun Java was born in New Delhi and later moved to the United States, Nipun Java transitioned from a conventional job to a full-time poker player. Renowned for victories in significant poker tournaments, including the WSOP Circuit Bicycle and the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, Java has won multiple WSOP gold bracelets and is skilled in various poker formats

He started playing poker online in 2007 and enjoyed his first cash finish at a live poker tournament at the Golden Nugget L.A. in June 2009. Java made his debut appearance at the coveted WSOP final table in 2015 and finished 2nd in a Six Handed Pot Limit Omaha event winning approximately $270,000, his highest winnings so far. He won his latest bracelet in online Lucky 7’s at the WSOP 2023 and won around $200,000!

Santhosh Suvarna (Net Worth: $6,478,784)

A businessman by profession hailing from Bangalore, India, Santhosh Suvarna has an affinity for high stakes poker tournaments and has amassed an immense fortune that has made him quite the popular guy since 2022. 

Finishing in 8th Place in a $75,000 buy-in Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Cyprus in September 2022, earned him a net amount of $245,000. Only seven months later, he surpassed this career high amount by finishing 4th in another $75,000 buy-in Triton event in Vietnam that earned him a handsome $628,000.

This was, however, just the beginning of a stunning winning streak and many more six figure victories followed, the latest being the $25,000 GG Super Million$ live in which he bagged a scrumptious $700,000! If he maintains this streak, he will soon crash records to become the biggest live tournament winner from India and certainly one of the best poker players the world has laid eyes on. Not to mention, his 115th ranking on the Global Poker Index is a telltale sign that his best is yet to be seen!

Vivek Rajkumar (Net Worth: $8,080,012)

A celebrated name in the Indian poker industry, this former poker player took up full time poker after working in the computer industry for a year in 2006. Vivek Rajkumar has secured a position on the world's All-time money list. His skills have been underscored by his impressive victory at the 2008 World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open Main Event, where he pocketed a stunning $1,424,500 prize money. 

Rajkumar not only accumulated colossal winnings but he also set a WPT record by winning the final table of the Borgata event in only 48 hands!

In 2008, Rajkumar also won the $2,500 NLHE event at the L.A. Poker Classic alongwith a prize money of $113,425 and grabbed three WSOP cashes following five more from the previous year. To top it all, this skilled professional ranks 171th in the All Time Money List!

Best Indian Poker Players with WSOP Bracelets

Poker PlayerEventPrize Money
Abhinav IyerWSOP 2019$565,346
Anirban DasWSOP 2023$430,200
Nikita Luther2018 WSOP Tag Team Event$175,805 (shared)
Kartik VedWSOP 2020$234,433

Best Poker Players in the World

Poker PlayerPoker Pro SinceBest Live CashMajor Title WinsWSOP BraceletsAll Time Money List  Best Rank
Daniel Colman2008$15,306,668Big One for One Drop WSOP 2014, €100,000 Super High Roller EPT, Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open 201413rd
Bryn Kenney2007$20,563,324Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure $100K Super High Roller event, 2014 $1,500 10-Game Mix Six Handed event,11st
Daniel Negreanu1998$8,288,0012004 $15,000 Five Diamond World Poker Classic, 2013 A$ 10,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event, 2013 25,600 High Roller No Limit Hold'em61st
Dan Smith2008$8,765,6282014 Bellagio Super High Roller $100,000, 2012 Aussie Millions 100k Challenge event, WSOP 2022 25k Heads-UP Championship14th
Fedor Holz2012$6,000,0002016 $111,111 High Roller for One-Drop Hold'em, 2020 $25,000 Heads Up No Limit Hold'em24th

Daniel Colman (Net Worth: $29 Million)

Daniel Colman has been one of the most celebrated American high stakes poker players who achieved global fame with a $15.3 Million cash prize at the 2014 WSOP Big One for One Drop event. He beat the one and only Daniel Negreanu heads-up to grab first place as well as the 4th largest single payout in WSOP history. 

To add to the big wins bucket, Coleman also cashed in on a slew of prestigious world events that includes his wins at the European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour (WPT). Coleman is one of those few top poker players who likes to maintain a low profile and focus on his game. He discourages media attention and the glorification of Poker itself.

Bryn Kenney (Net Worth: $55.5 Million)

With his poker journey commencing in 2007, Bryn Kenney hails from New York and is one of the best poker players in the world well known for his success in multiple high-stakes poker tournaments.  He has won several high-profile events including the European Poker Tour and the World Poker Tour. 

His career high winnings, including a whopping $20,563,324 prize at Triton Million, highlight his prowess in both online and offline poker games. Bryn also finished 5th in the 1028 Super High Roller Bowl event and 2,000,000 HK dollars and $1,484,000. Kenney also defeated the WSOP Main Event 2015 champion, Joe McKeehen heads-up at the Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure $100K Super High Roller event in 2016. 

Daniel Negreanu (Net Worth: $41.8 Million)

Recognized for his exceptional ability to read opponents, even amateurs in Poker shall know this name. It was 1998 when he had his first breakthrough in a $2000 WSOP PLO event and grabbed his first bracelet as well as seized his debut six figure win!

Ever since, the classy Canadian’s gameplay has earned him six WSOP bracelets, two WPT championships and a place in the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014. He has played at several final tables at the WPT and WSOP and won various coveted tournament titles. 

In 2006, Negreanu was named “Favorite Poker Player” at Card Player Magazine’s Player of the Year Awards Gala. In 2014, he won two WSOP bracelets and won the WSOP Player of the Year award once again, making him the only player to have won the award twice. 

Many attribute Negreanu’s success to his shrew ability to read his opponents. When interviewed, he explains that the most important skill he uses is observing what type of poker hands his opponents play and how well they play them. 

Dan Smith< (Net Worth: $36.7 Million)

Another one of the best poker players in the world, Dan Smith has continually climbed the ranks and made history by winning a massive cash prize of $8,765,628 at the 2018 WSOP Big One for One Drop. A true ace in the card game, Smith's expertise in cash games and tournament victories showcase his mastery of poker.

Hailing from New Jersey, Dan used to play chess who got into college on a chess scholarship. but he changed his mind later to halt his studies and pursue a full-time career in poker. He has won several highly coveted titles during his poker run that includes a World Series of Poker bracelet, a WPT title and a championship event at the Aussie Millions. 

Fedor Holz (Net Worth: $32.5 Million)

At just 25 years old, Fedor Holz climbed to the ranks of the best poker players in the world by amassing $21 Million in poker winnings. His strategic prowess is starkly evident in his achievements that brags a second-place finish in the 2018 WSOP 1 Million Big One for One Drop event. His highest winnings reached $1,000,000 at the No Limit Hold’em event. 

Holz was ranked as the best online MTT player in 2014 and 2015. He also won the World Championship of Online Poker for $1.3 million in September 2014. As of 2020, this German poker prodigy is the first amongst his countrymen to make it to the All Time Money List by earning a career high live tournament winnings that cross a whopping $32.5 million!

Summing Up

The game of Poker has birthed and awakened legends both in India and on the global stage. From Vivek Rajkumar's inspirational journey to Daniel Colman's celebrated victories, these players flaunt the diverse paths one can take in the world of poker. Whether you're a learner seeking tips or a seasoned player admiring the strategies of the pros, the poker landscape thrives with stories of triumph and mastery.

Poker Players - Common FAQs

Q. Who is the most famous poker player?

Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu and Daniel Colman are three of the best poker players in the world who are insanely popular and dominate the international felts of poker and have won the world’s most prestigious events such as the WPT, WSOP multiple times in their career.

Q. Who are the top 10 poker players in the world?

The top 10 best poker players in the world of all time include the likes of:
● Doyle Brunson aka Texas Dolly
● Johnny Moss aka The Grand Old Man of Poker
● Stu Ungar aka The Comeback Kid
● Phil Hellmuth aka The Poker Brat
● Daniel Negreanu- Kid Poker
● Phil Ivey- Tiger Woods of Poker
● Dan Smith- Cowboy Dan
● Bryn Kenney aka Mega Crusher
● Justin Bonomo aka ZeeJustin
● Daniel Coleman aka mrGR33N13

Q. What is the best online poker site for US players?

PokerStars and GGPoker are two of the best poker sites in terms of player experience and their assortment of tournaments for poker amateurs as well as the big guns.

Q. How much do pro poker players make?

Professional poker players easily earn in lakhs in a month when they choose to play tournaments . However, the earning bracket for Indian poker players varies from player to player depending on the frequency of the number of games they play in a certain season.

Q. What cards do professional poker players use?

The most common deck of cards used in global tournaments such as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour are the KEM playing cards. This brand is also used by most popular casinos around the world. Other popular brands used popularly in reputed casinos and events and preferred by professional poker players are Copag and Modiano playing cards.

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