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According to those in the know, Antonius had a bright career in tennis ahead of him. However, a back injury put during his teens a stop on these dreams.
After that, he turned to work as a model for a while, allowing him to earn enough money to kick-start his poker bankroll. The Finn was no stranger to the game as he was introduced to poker when he was However, his professional journey started when he turned 18 as he got involved with the poker scene in Helsinki.
This is where he honed his skills, getting ready for what was coming ahead. His first big breakthrough came in Although Patrik has had some impressive live results over the years, it was the online scene where he truly left his mark.
In , Antonius became a member of the Team Full Tilt, which also increased his exposure to the media. He appeared on numerous TV shows, and his name became much better known around the world.
Although the Finn was never the one to talk too much at the tables, his presence would never go unnoticed. Despite his great success at online tables, Antonius eventually decided to give up internet poker.
In some of the interviews, he explained the reasons behind this decision. With the new generations of players relying heavily on various poker software solutions, he felt it was a completely different game — and not the one he enjoyed playing.
Instead, he turned to greener pastures. Like many high rollers, Antonius started spending a lot of his time in Macau, rubbing elbows with rich Asian businessmen.
Antonius may not have been present in the media as much lately, which is a shame given the vast number of his fans who enjoy watching him play.
However, even away from shiny lights and TV cameras, he continues to do what he does best — playing great poker and raking in enormous pots along the way.
While the likes of Ivey, Negreanu, and honed their skills in live casinos, Dwan made his first steps into the world of poker playing online. His incredible journey started with him sitting in front of a computer screen, playing with virtual chips and cards.
Dwan was born in in New Jersey. Growing up, he was very active in various school activities. Outside of school, he enjoyed playing card games with his friends, including Magic: The Gathering and, of course, poker.
Dwan was reluctant at first but gave in and decided to give it a go. He started playing sit and go tournaments with moderate success.
After a while, he turned to cash games, and this is where he found his real niche. He made enough playing poker to pay his college.
Dwan enrolled at Boston University and had a good first year there. However, he decided not to pursue an academic career and devote his time to playing poker full time instead.
During his first few years of poker career, Tom Dwan was limited in terms of live tournaments as he could only play in Europe. He had to wait until he was 21 to try his luck in the States.
Live tournaments have never been his first choice. Dwan soon became one of the most feared players at online nosebleed tables, especially at Full Tilt, the site that was the home of the best poker players and high roller punters alike.
In , Full Tilt approached Dwan and signed him up as one of their pro members. This was an important recognition for Tom as he was invited into a very exclusive club.
At the time, Full Tilt gathered some of the biggest names in the industry, and to be a part of that team meant a lot. After Black Friday, Dwan disappeared from the public eye for a while.
Eventually, it came to light he found a new home in Macau, which was hardly a surprise. Hosting some of the biggest cash games around, Macau is the kind of place where Dwan would want to be.
Born in , Fedor Holz must be one of the youngest players to make it to the list of the best poker players and became a well-known figure worldwide.
If you want to learn more, you can read my interview with Fedor Holz , where he shares his story and strategy tips. His rise to stardom was one of the fastest and most impressive the poker community has ever seen.
Although he now lives in Austria, Fedor was born in Germany. Raised by just his mother, Holz and his two sisters grew up in a loving family, but they had to face many challenges along the way.
The biggest one was poverty and all the problems that come with it. He first came in contact with poker when he was Simultaneously, he spent a lot of time playing poker with his friends, who were all better than him at the time.
Despite this, he was intrigued and motivated by the fact that some of them were able to make decent money playing the game every month.
Instead of giving up, Holz continued to study and hone his skills. As soon as he turned 18 in , Fedor Holz turned to online poker.
But as time passed and he kept working on his game, Holz was becoming better and better at poker. Without the vast offer of poker training sites at that time, he had to put a lot of work himself.
He always said that he had the full support of his family during these times, which helped him tremendously. It was in this year that he decided to devote himself to poker fully.
He started to tour the live circuit and found a new home in Vienna, Austria. During the first couple of years, Holz had some smaller cashes along the way, but none of them were in the six-figure range.
Someone else would maybe give up in face adversity but not Fedor. He had the conviction the success would come if he continued working on his game and kept grinding away.
In , Holz started playing high rollers. It is true that many players on this list did not actually "win" as much as stated, their backers did.
The thing with using a tournament winning list is some of those players won a large field Call list top 50 tournament money leaders.
Yup good points. I do wish somebody would compile a list one day with tournament buyins subtracted. That is a very important point.
It is perhaps unlikely, but in theory some of those people on the list could actually have lost money playing tournaments.
He is used to playing the highest stakes possible. Ioannis is a greek player who plays mostly online and makes appearances in some live tournaments from time to time.
At the end of May , Galfond ended up beating ActionFreak in the challenge after 15k hands. He took a long break for about six months, but watched trainings videos from Runitonce.
In fact, he can still be found on the highest stakes possible almost every single day. EEE27 is one the hardest working Omaha players on the planet whom very few dare to challenge.
With two time Supernova Elite statuses and over 10 million hands on his belt, EEE27 has always put in a massive volume of hands.
Later on as the action started to dry up there after , he transitioned to PLO as he predicted there would be more money to be made in Omaha. He got the inspiration to make the transition by watching the Finns play nosebleeds on Full Tilt Poker.
He was hooked from the very first Omaha session, and this decision has turned out very well to him — he rose to the nosebleeds playing up to PLO40k for several years now.
Many times I grinded Sunday Majors until 7am in the morning, and school would start at 8am. I basically slept only during 6 days a week.
Over the years, he has battled against many of the other endboss-level players at the highest stakes. Far too many regulars have chosen the latter path lately.
Born in , Timofey Kuznetsov is one of the toughest Russian poker players you can face at the nosebleed tables. Trueteller was living in Moscow when he got introduced to poker, and one of his friends was winning some money playing the game.
He decided he could sit down at a poker table too, and soon he found himself playing a ton of hours. The best way to improving as a player for Timofey has always been to play ultra-focused and always thinking about even the smallest things that might help him make better decisions at the tables.
I like both live and online poker: Live is more relaxing, more fun and you can chat with people. He quickly quit the course at the University he was studying at and started playing online poker full-time to take advantage of this newfound opportunity.
He started losing to other regs at a very fast rate, and by the time I came back to my computer he was gone. He lost about k that session, so that was quite an expensive yoghurt for me.
Based on his forum posts, his first name is Grazvydas. Grazvis1 is generally regarded as the top player in the world currently for Heads-up PLO, and we are looking forward to see him appear on the high-roller tournament scene in case he wants to reveal his identity in the future.
BigBlindBets is a familiar screen name to people who follow the modern high-stakes Holdem scene. Can you imagine that just a few years later, he plays some of the biggest limits available online, crushing poker for millions of dollars?
Again, the power of a great mastermind group cannot be underestimated in what kind of results one gets from poker!
He has played both high-stakes HU tournaments and HU cash on PokerStars, where many players challenging him have failed to beat him.
His nickname stems from a Finnish trash metal band that plays with death metal influences and traditional Finnish melancholic melodies.
Isildur1 is a poker legend in the online poker community, having won and lost millions of dollars overnight in a single session. Back in the Full Tilt days, this alias was still a secret before Viktor came forward and announced the account belongs to him.
Viktor was introduced to poker by his brother, who taught him Texas Holdem during his years in Junior High School. Playing hour sessions, he won over 6 million dollars in under two weeks, before starting to play PLO where he would end up losing millions to Patrik Antonius and Brian Hastings.
Ilari needs no introductions, as he is the PLO player everyone loved to watch playing during the crazy Full Tilt years. He battled with the likes of Isildur1 and Gus Hansen at the highest limits possible, and played in all the big live tournament series in Europe and sometimes in Vegas during the poker boom years.
Back in the day Ilari also owned a poker site called PowerPoker , which hosted the Ziigmund Heads-Up Challenge and wild parties on boats.
His fearless monster bluffs in episodes of High-Stakes Poker made him the favorite player of the show for many of the viewers and poker fans all over the world, and he has battled in ultra-nosebleeds of televised poker for many years.
Born in in Edison, New Jersey, Tom Dwan became interested in games at a young age and was playing games like Magic: The Gathering and poker with his friends as a teenager.
Born in in Manhattan, Stu was a son of a loan shark and started gambling at a very young age. He had tremendous natural talent for gin rummy , and his talent was not left unnoticed by any player who would play against him.
Gin rummy action died out after Stu had won massively, and no one dared to challenge him anymore. There was simply no match for him in poker at that time, and other players would deem him as a genius playing among mere mortals.
But, there was something he lacked discipline in — every other area of his life. He was addicted to pit games, high-stakes sports betting, and also cocaine.
Stu was found dead in from a cheap motel, and the list of people he owes money to is several pages long if that was written down. Only if he could manage his private life better, we might have seen even more astonishing tournament wins from this gambling prodigy of his time….
Phil Ivey , also known as the Tiger Woods of poker , is one the most feared opponents you can face at the nosebleed live cash games.
Ivey started his poker career early in life. Born in Riverside California in , he moved to New Jersey as a 3-year old.
He played 5-card stud for pennies with his grandfather being just 8 years old, and his grandfather saw his special talent for the game immediately.
Working in McDonalds at the age of 16, Ivey played in neighbourhood games but wanted to live a different lifestyle. He used a fake ID to start playing at the Atlantic City casinos, and put in 15 hour days.
Duhamel was a victim of burglary. In two men broke into his house, beat and tied him up, and stole his WSOP bracelet and other valuables.
Chidwick was born in a town called Deal in the county of Kent, having a population of only over 30, according to a census. And surely his game will be as difficult to read as his name.
Badziakouski ranks 11th on the current GPI ranking. In January , Mercier wrote a blog saying goodbye to PokerStars Pro to focus on his role of becoming a full-time father and husband.
Haxton is noted for his victories in high-roller poker tournaments and high-stakes online cash games. Trickett was a professional football player before he went into poker.
In he had a knee injury that ended his football career. Brian Rast does. Rast met his wife, Juliana whilst on a trip to Brazil.
He learned Portuguese, tried to get her a US visa multiple times, and flew to Brazil numerous times to keep the relationship until they were finally married.
Talk about determination! Since then, Kenney has had many top-five finishes across the globe. Learn more about Bryn and his rise to the top here.
Signup today for free poker strategy, exclusive discounts, and be the first to get notified on new updates. This is Dynamik Widget Area.Despite all this, Polk has recently announced he was done with poker. That Williamhill year he helped launch a mindset coaching, meditation, and training app called Primed Mind. Antonius has a long history of poker success online as well as at the live tables. Along with a popular training site, he parlayed that into a real-money online poker site as well, where he is also a regular player. Discover what makes them so good and why they are at the pinnacle of the game.