Poker requires skill, precision, time, and dedication to learn how to play, no less play well. These are essential traits for making it big at anything in the United States. Thinking about that, it’s not a surprise that some of the world’s best poker players came from the USA. The USA is constantly at the top of the winners’ table at the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Today we’re going to be looking at some of the best of the best of 2021.
Having been featured in a number of poker shows on television like High Stakes Poker and even having been the face of Full Tilt Poker before the two entities fell out, Phil Ivey sure has quite the resume. Nicknamed “The Tiger Woods of Poker” for being the youngest player ever to have won seven WSOP bracelets, he’s already surpassed that total and is going into 2022 with nine bracelets in total, the most recent high-stakes game of the nine bracelets coming from 2013’s WSOP APAC in Australia. He’s probably the most diverse of all of the top bracelet winners. His titles include H.O.R.S.E., 2-7 Draw, and No-Limit Hold’em. Phil Ivey could easily take the top spot in money earned from Antonio Esfandiari. Ivey’s currently sitting second place with $21.2 million won, and the all-time WSOP bracelet table, sitting fourth, four bracelets behind Phil Hellmuth, Jr.
Phil Hellmuth, Jr.
Also known as “The Poker Brat,” this Madison, Wisconsin native is famous for his knowledge and prowess at the No-Limit Hold’em tournament tables. He’s constantly entertaining and fascinating to watch. Phil Hellmuth, Jr. currently sits sixth in all-time money-earning, having almost $18 million in tournament winnings, and sits at the top of the WSOP bracelets list with 13.
Antonio Esfandiari, also known as “The Magician,” was born in Iran but moved to the United States as a child. He’s one of the “Second Generation” of poker players who benefited from the televised boom of the game back in the early 2000s. Esfandiari put himself on the map with his WPT titles, and WSOP bracelet wins. As the game gets younger and younger with the fearless internet poker pros, Esfandiari isn’t fazed, having won first place at the inaugural $111,111-buy-in Big One for One Drop Event at 2012’s World Series. His first prize win was $18.3 million, and he immediately followed it by hitting the final table of the Big One the next year. He now boasts over $26 million in all-time earnings, sitting comfortably at the top of his table.