With the return of of high stakes poker on Poker Central, our nostalgia got the better of us. This is why, we decided to compile a list of 7 poker players, who are straight up killers in modern poker history and deserve to be ranked among the best of the best. These king sharks, not only crush nosebleed games, they do it in spectacular fashion. As we are not fans of huge introductions, let us dive into it:
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. After rising up the stakes from NL10 and NL25, he was grinding rake races playing midstakes NLHE back in the days of Entraction and Ongame poker networks. He would rake as much as €50k per month playing NL200 and NL400 with over 100% RB when counting in the winnings from rake races and other poker bonuses.
Later on as the action started to dry up there after 2010, 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.
‘’I’ve thought several times that it was so crazy what I did for two years: Grinding two SNE’s in a row on PokerStars and studying full-time to be a pilot, and also allocating time for my girlfriend and trying to keep her happy despite my busy schedule. 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. I grinded well over a million hands per year to reach the SNE statuses, and during my poker career I’ve played around 10 million hands. I feel like making it at the higher stakes & nosebleeds requires a specific type of talent in figuring out the game on a deeper level. Obviously the game is still based on maths and so on, but grinding solvers for millions of hours doesn’t prepare you for spots where other factors are affecting the best play. I’ve seen different situations so many times over, that I can predict how the field I’m playing against is going to reach to each thing”
Timofey “Trueteller” Kuznetsov
Born in 1991, 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. In the beginning he didn’t do that well money-wise, but quite soon he was winning heavily and rose up to the high-stakes which was quite excited about at that time. 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. Although his number of live cashes is quite small, his largest live tournament cash so far is the $500k Super High Roller Bowl 4th place for $2.15M in 2015.
‘I find it really really fun and enjoyable to fight my own fears, like shoving with a bluff, and you’re trying to hide your emotions. I like both live and online poker: Live is more relaxing, more fun and you can chat with people. But online I get more hands, so it’s more fun in another way.
If you’re a Pot-Limit Omaha player and haven’t watched Galfond’s training videos, you’ve missed quite a lot! Born in 1985, Phil Galfond is a legendary PLO player and the founder & head coach of Runitonce.com. Earlier as a coach for Bluefire Poker he would record training videos explaining his thought process in high-stakes games against the likes of David Benyamine and Isildur1, playing under alias OMGClayAiken. Galfond has won 3 WSOP bracelets and played poker professionally for over 15 years. He started his career in poker playing SNGs for 1.5 years when he did pretty well building his bankroll steadily. He later moved to higher stakes NLHE cash games after a few years, starting from $5/10 NLHE. He kept grinding until he saw some good $50/100 games, where he took a shot and failed the first time, dropping back to rebuild at the lower stakes. He started to playin UB and Full Tilt, and played way underrolled in at stakes like $300/600 with just $400k bankroll. Since that time, Phil has made Pot-Limit Omaha his main game, where his success has been like no other.In 2020, Phil has taken on multiple opponents in the Galfond challenge consisting of high stakes PLO matches with huge sidebets. The third edition of Galfond challenge during late 2020 is a match against Chance Kornuth. Phil’s match against Chance includes 35k hands at stakes of €100/200. An online poker players and a coach, Chance is the fourth person to play against Galfond in the challenge. The Galfond Challenge was founded by Phil to bring back the glory days of railing high stakes games.
‘When you’ve had a certain amount of money for a while, it’s like a mental line that’s drawn, so I would be pretty upset to cross that so I am more careful now. I’ve learned so much from all my poker friends – I guess the two friends I’ve learned most from are Tom Dwan when he was already a high-stakes cash game player, and the other one is my friend Dan who is completely unknown. When you have somebody smart to talk poker hands with, you just can’t help but learn a lot. Any time you’re thinking about anything besides the right way to play the hand, you’re wasting energy. It kind of becomes more like a personal challenge than a game where you can win a lot of money’ –Phil Galfond.
Fraser “BigBlindBets” Russel
BigBlindBets is a familiar screen name to people who follow the modern high-stakes Holdem scene. Born in the early 1990s, Fraser started his poker career from the low-stakes and posted updates of his progress to a Challenge blog on 2+2. He started to play €NL4 with a bankroll of €70 on a site called NoIQ poker, which belonged to Entraction poker network back in 2011. Here’s a quote from his Challenge blog:
‘i have lost 5buyins already. ive gotta say im pretty hopeless at cash. is there any one resonabley experienced member that could take some time to have a look at my game before i lose my roll?’
Can you imagine that just a few years later, he plays some of the biggest limits available online, crushing poker for millions of dollars? His biggest online tournament trophy was in 2019 WCOOP, when he took down the first prize of a whopping $1.67M. He has stated that talking strategy to numerous people on the way up has had a positive influence on his game, but Paul ‘Internet’ Otto was the coach to introduce him to some really smart & hard-working guys who helped him succeed in poker. Again, the power of a great mastermind group cannot be underestimated in what kind of results one gets from poker!
Dan “Jungleman” Cates
After graduating from micro stakes online, this 30-year-old player originally from Maryland went on to a massive career online and in live events. By 2014, Cates is reported to have topped $11 million in online winnings. That is believed to include an extraordinary $5 million alone in 2010, and some of his online high-stakes adversaries have included Viktor Blom and Tom Dwan. He began playing poker as a teenager and later studied economics at the University of Maryland. However, like several players here, he left college to pursue poker full time. That decision paid off and his skills at the online tables transferred to live poker rooms as well. That included two WPT high roller titles in 2013 and 2014 with more high-stakes tournament scores followed those wins. In 2016 he won a Triton Super High Roller for $359,229 and notched a third-place finish in a Triton event a year later for $1 million. Cates added another Triton title for $500,682 and now has $7.4 million in live tournament winnings. Cates has become one of the most successful players in the game.
Red Baron is considered to be the best online NL Hold’em player in the world.The good thing about being this successful playing poker online is that you can choose to remain anonymous, which is exactly what he did.All we know about OtB_Redbaron is that he is from Belgium and now lives in the United Kingdom.And well, we also know he made some money playing poker! 🙂(It is rumored that Red Baron is Jonas Mols, but it is not confirmed yet)
He became known in 2012 when he announced a poker marathon of 100k hands in 20 days playing NL500 zoom (it is also known he started playing NL25 6max in 2010). His goal in the marathon was to achieve 6 EV bb/100.
He won $33k after playing 100k hands, but didn’t make it in 20 days (made it in 40) and “only” got 3.9 EV bb/100. I guess that is not important when you’re beating the toughest game of online poker! After his first marathon, he started a new one and this time he got the results he wanted, winning 7 EV bb/100 after 125k hands.
His results are not only tied to cash games, where he reportedly won 4-5 millions without even counting high stakes.He has also won two WCOOP titles playing the super high roller heads-up tournament, winning $229.600. The story of OtB_Redbaron is remarkable because he got to the top of the poker world by himself. Every day he was playing, reading and analyzing his game. After several years playing he got where he is right now.That comes to show that you can get anywhere you want if you work hard enough!Just like our students do every day in our coaching programs. Good poker education mixed with hard work always leads to success!
Linua “LlinusLlove” Loeliger
Linus ‘’LLinusLLove’ Loeliger is a Swiss poker player residing in Malta. He is generally considered the best NLHE 6max player in the world as of this moment, having a very deep understanding of GTO strategy of the game. ( We are on team OtB Redbaron though) He started a thread on 2+2 in 2013 with a challenge to build his bankroll from $240 playing NL10 to a regular player in the NL100. He would experience ups and downs like every other poker player, but would keep playing and working on his game daily no matter what came his way.Fast-forward 4 years to 2017, he is playing the NL40k stakes on PokerStars clashing with the best online players in the world, winning over $1.4M in 2018. According to Statname, he has won a total of $2.6M online with a winrate of 6.4 bb/100. If you’ve followed the latest poker news, it’s likely you’ve seen Linus make a headline by battling the best live poker players too. Lately he has started playing more and more live tournaments, leading the Swiss all-time money list on HendonMob with total live earnings of $1.86M. His biggest win so far is the Triton 6-handed Turbo event trophy for 690k GBP.Linus has stated that playing three-handed NLHE against top competition is the most fun thing in poker for him. He also enjoys the swings, in good and bad, which is something not many poker players share with him.
Since there are many formats of poker and it’s almost impossible to track all the winnings of different players, we can not decide who is the ultimate poker player. Who do you think is the very best player in poker? Comment below the name of your favourite player and the reason why you think they are the best ! And if you are high stakes enthusiast, just contact us and start in the best online poker sites, rooms and clubs to enjoy nosebleed action. Happy Grinding !