Just like any other professional game, poker too has its greats, but one question that remains unanswered is “who is the best poker player in the world”. Actually, this is a difficult question to answer, since there are several great players who have dominated the scene of international poker but then it is still difficult to name the best one in the world.
Some poker fans choose the best player based on the exposure received by the players and therefore the player with the most exposure is adjudged the best. Considering this one can name players like Gus Hansen, Antonio Esfandiari or Michael Mizrachi as the best poker players. However, there are other aspects other than exposure to consider when choosing the best poker player in the world.
Poker magazine, CardPlayer Magazine has the award for the best poker player for a given year and therefore, nominates the best players for the purpose. However, nominating the players simply on the basis of tournament point is not justified as there could be other great poker players who opt out of the tournaments yet are consistent winners in other high-stake games. Players like Dan Harrington, Grey Raymer and David Williams specialize in playing tournament poker and therefore, they play the right cards at the most appropriate times, but then are they as good in cash games as they are in the tournaments. This is a question one has to analyze when naming any of these as the greatest player.
A lot of money exchanges hands in the cash poker games and therefore, choosing the best player without recognizing the cash games is not justified. Tournament winnings are a paltry sum when compared to that of the winnings at stake in the cash poker games. Therefore, the players playing the cash poker games surely are a pressurized lot as there is quite a lot at stake. The toughest player stays and wins. With this aspect in mind, one cannot choose the best poker player in the world leaving aside the cash poker players. So, as per the opinion of few analysts, we can choose the best poker player in the world based on his play in both types of the game, that is, the cash games as well as the tournaments. Considering this, there are a few names that can be given and these include Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, Chip Reese, Daniel Negreanu and Barry Greenstein. These players have dominated the tournament circuit and have also made to the top with the cash games.
Then again the question still remains unanswered as to who is the greatest poker player in the world. There is no fixed criteria to decide the best player as the options vary and can include the number of head-up matches, fame, money, tournament wins, WSOP bracelets etc (qualify for the WSOP on 888 Poker). One has to agree that it is actually difficult to name just one player as the best as there are others who have done quite well at other times and in other forms of the game. The beauty and maybe the dilemma of the game of poker is that on a given day anyone can win.