Outstanding Texas Holdem Poker Players

Texas Holdem is clearly not a game of chance and Lady Luck is not the prime pretender to the Texas Holdem poker throne, it takes enormous skill, strategising and analysing, as well as a whole lot of courage, to be successful. As with all popular games there are a couple of players who are always way ahead of the pack, and Texas Holdem is no exception.

We take a look at two of the professional poker players who have proved their mettle and ability on the Texas Holdem stage and these men have won the main event at the World Series of Poker, said to be the paramount international poker tournament, on more than one occasion. Since the maiden WSOP in 1970 Texas Holdem has been the game of choice for the very elite main event.

Johnny ‘Orient Express’ Chan (1987 & 1988)

It seems slightly ironic that a former native of Canton, China, is the unequivocal champion of Texas Holdem Poker, but Johnny Chan is poker. He is the last player to have won the WSOP main event in successive years, and he so very nearly made it three in a row, when he met the fabulous Phil Helmuth in the heads-up in 1989.

Chan has reached iconic status in the States, and quite rightly so. Not only has he appeared in the popular poker movie ‘Rounders’, but he is languishing just one spot behind Phil Helmuth on the WSOP bracelet leader board, with ten WSOP bracelets, compared to Helmuth’s 11. Chan now joins yet another hero of Holdem, Doyle Brunson, in second place and, to date, he has pocketed over $6.4 million for his poker playing prowess.

Stu Ungar (1980, 1981 & 1997)

Stu Ungar is, without a doubt, the best poker player in living history. He was a man, not only with enormous talent, but he had the IQ of a genius and could add Total Recall, or Photographic Memory, to his many blessings as well!

Ungar remains the only professional poker player ever to have won the WSOP main event three times, and had cocaine abuse and mismanagement of funds not led to his premature death, then he most certainly would have won many more top international poker tournaments over time.

In his maiden WSOP in 1980 he beat poker legend, Doyle Brunson, for the title, becoming the youngest ever WSOP champion in history. (Phil Helmuth has since broken this record by his inaugural win in 1989). A year later he defeated Perry Green in the heads-up to retain his title and in a gutsy comeback, fighting severe cocaine abuse and dwindling funds, he claimed the title yet again in 1997, only months away from his impending death.