Who are the best poker players in the world right now?

PescatarianPescatarian Red Chipper Posts: 83
edited December 2014 in Off Topic Chat
Was having this discussion with some friends last night. Some guys are convinced that the top players are still Ivey, Negreanu, Antonius and even Dwan. Others, myself included, were thinking the best players are largely guys you haven't even heard of who play high stakes online and have nearly solved the game. I'm thinking Scemion, Galfond, Colman, alexonmoon and Ivey would be amongst the very best.

So who do you rate as the current top players in the following categories:

Cash Game NLHE
PLO/Stud/Draw variants etc


  • Christian SotoChristian Soto RCP Coach Posts: 2,195 ✭✭✭✭
    Cash- Sauce (Online), Durrr (Deep NL), Doug Polk (Online), Matt Berkey (Deep NL)

    PLO- Galfond

    MTT- Colman, Vanessa, The entire German contingency (too many to remember).
    *I would still have Negreanu and Hellmuth in there. They still find a way to win.
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,876 -
    The problem with ranking cash game players is how do you define best?

    It is more like who has adapted to his niche the best? There is a guy that comes into Mohegan Sun's $2-$5 game and have been slowly crushing it for years, our Hometown Hero. Just like a predator species that can only live in a certain ecosystem, he is the apex predator in that environment. Is he a great cash player, who knows, but he has been supporting himself in semi-retirement for 20+ years. Sounds like a great player to me.

    A saltwater crocodile is the apex predator wherever it lives, but it does very poorly in the desert or the arctic plains. Other apex predators in those environments would do equally poorly if transposed with the croc. Which is better, the crocodile or the polar bear?

    Are some players able to crush in many different environments, or could they after a calibration period? Sure, but the problem is they never will come there and try.

    Our Hometown Hero supporting himself will never play in the games Durr plays. I suspect the Hometown Hero would get crushed, but I don't know because he will never get invited to that game, and it is not his niche.

    They don't give out trophies in cash. If there are only 9 players in the world worse than me at poker, but I manage to get them all into a game with me consistently I am a great player because I can table select and am the World's greatest bum-hunter. This is a poker skill like any other.

    The truth is, only about 5% of players are winners over the long term. If you are among them, you are one of the Worlds greatest players. There are all kinds of poker niches out there, find yours and dominate it because you will never play with Durr, or Berkey anyways.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,396 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As a tangent to Doug's reflections, we often hear about the 5% winner segment. Where does this number come from? It may well be true, but I've never seen much of an argument or proof for it.

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