The history of poker is widely debated in terms of when it was first created, with the general consensus being somewhere around the early 19th century. Though it has been around for at least a few hundred years, there are many players that avid players would agree are the best to ever take part in the game. Below are some of the most well known names in poker.
Inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1988, Doyle Brunson solidified his reputation as one of the most influential poker players to ever play. Now in the game for over 50 years, Brunson is also a two-time World Series of Poker champion, and the author of several poker books like According to Doyle, My 50 Best Hands, and Godfather of Poker. He consistently sweeps the table in high-cash games, and before strict online gambling rules were introduced, once hosted his own online poker site entitled Doyle’s Room.
Doyle Brunson has actually considered Chip Reese one of the best seven-card stud players to ever exist. In 1978, Reese won the $1,000 Seven Card Stud Split event at that year’s World Series of Poker, and the $5,000 event in 1982. Since then, he has won millions in cash games, tournaments, and has visited almost every popular poker city in the world. Respected by the entire poker community, Reese’s legend lives on through his accomplishments.
A slightly controversial name to include on this list seeing as he was considered the best poker player of all time before “legal” poker was introduced, Johnny Moss was the first ever winner of the World Series of Poker in 1970. He then went on to win the next year in 1971, and again in 1974. Though some may argue that his skills then may not apply now, there’s no denying that he was at one point a dominant force at the table.
A player that ran the tables throughout the 1970’s, Ungar is considered by many to be the best Texas Hold’em player of all time. He and Johnny Moss are the only two players to have ever won the World Series of Poker Main Event three times, and among four (including Brunson) to win consecutively. His skills undeniably changed the way poker was viewed, and he will be forever remembered as an icon.
As the youngest player on this list, Dwan is often seen as one of the most aggressive poker players of his time, while still playing intelligently. He began his career in online poker, eventually earning millions of dollars before entering live tournaments at the age of 19. Now at 30, with many comparisons to Ungar, he is given respect from numerous legends, including Brunson himself.