Welcome to Jonathan's Poker Site: My Favorite Poker Players
Matt Damon's character in the movie "Rounders" said that Vegas' best poker players didn't make it to where they were with luck, but with skill. He was right; these players all have an abundance of skill, talent and style. With every game, they show the traits that set them apart from the competition. There are many good poker players in the world, but these are the standouts, and my favorites. Here they are:
Ungar was born in 1953 in New York, and he won his first card tournament (gin) at the age of ten. By the time he turned 21, he was one of the state's best players, but he ran up a sizable gambling debt and was forced into exile. Eventually, his skill at the table made it hard for him to find opponents who wanted to play a game with him. He went to Vegas and was so successful at tournament play that several casino managers discouraged him from entering future tournaments. Ungar played in the 1980 WSOP against legend Doyle Brunson, beating him to become the youngest champion ever. After that initial success, he lost his fortune to gambling and drugs, going from flat broke to multimillionaire four times. He was found dead in a hotel room in Vegas in 1998, and he is regarded by many as the greatest natural talent in the game.
Doyle Brunson was born in Texas in 1933. He dreamed of becoming a pro athlete, but a knee injury ended his career. Sidelined, he began to play poker, traveling through Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas in search of bigger games. He became the first player to make a million dollars in tournament play, and he won ten WSOP bracelets in his forty-year career. There's even a poker hand named after him- the "Brunson" is a full house of deuces and tens. Brunson is the author of numerous poker strategy books, such as "Poker Wisdom of a Champion" and Super/System. Doyle is also known to be a very good sports betting man and has extensive experience in almost any poker game.
Helmuth was born in Wisconsin in 1964, and he won his first WSOP event at the age of twenty-five. He attended college for three years before he dropped out to become a pro poker player, and he has earned the nickname "Poker Brat" because of his antics and his treatment of opponents. Despite his notoriety, he is respected in the poker community and regarded by many as the best Texas Hold 'Em player in the world. He has won ten WSOP bracelets and a Late Night Poker championship.
Chan was born in 1962 in China, moving to Arizona at the age of five with his family. He became a gambler at the age of sixteen and later dropped out of college in order to play poker professionally. He has enjoyed success as a professional; winning two WSOP championships in 1987 and '88. He would have earned the title in 1989 if not for rising star Phil Helmuth. Chan has authored two poker books, and he won his 10th WSOP title in 2005. Chan entered the Poker Hall of Fame in 2002.