Poker has turned into a game where the younger players have learned to dominate the veterans. While experience used to prevail, online poker has allowed players to learn a ton about the game in relatively short time periods. New poker players are emerging daily, and the older players are slowly weeded out of the game.
This doesn’t mean that all of the older players have lost their touch, though. Players like Doyle Brunson and Scotty Nguyen still leave a mark whenever they sit down at the tables. Keep in mind that Doyle is the exception in poker, and that most of the older players are not really “old” – just relatively.
#1 – Doyle Brunson
Doyle Brunson wins this award, and it is not even close. No one can match Brunson’s prowess in poker, be it in cash games or tournaments. He might be one of the oldest players in any poker room, but he is also one of the best. There are few players who would willingly challenge Doyle Brunson to any type of poker battle, whether it is Omaha, Stud, or Hold’em. He has played the game for many, many, years, and he has always managed to stick around at the highest levels. In a game that is constantly changing, it is quite impressive that Brunson has been able to stay at the top for this long.
#2 – Chris Ferguson
Chris Ferguson is much younger than Doyle Brunson, but he is like a grandfather to the new generation of poker players. Years ago, Ferguson would have been just another player in the crowd, but today he faces a much younger field of opponents. He has played with old poker legends and new superstars like Tom Dwan, as well as everything in between. Ferguson isn’t a one trick pony, either, as he can play many types of games in various formats. Finding a cash game player that crushes tournaments is tough enough, but Ferguson has been doing it for many years.
#3 – Scotty Nguyen
Scotty Nguyen is the face of poker for many of the game’s enthusiasts. Whether you are enthralled by his drunken antics or his actual poker skills, there is no denying that Nguyen is still one of the biggest names in poker.
He is not known for his appearances in cash games, but his tournament resume is very impressive. Year after year, Nguyen continues to prove that the younger crowd doesn’t necessarily translate into a tougher crowd. Love him or hate him, Scotty Nguyen can run with anyone, young or old.
#4 – Jennifer Harman
Jennifer Harman is one of the youngest players on this list, but she earned a spot representing both the old guard and female poker players.
Harman was one of the names that poker fans first grew to know and love. She is a renowned cash game player, regularly participating in some of the biggest games in the world, but she has had her fair share of tournament success as well. Harman has been around poker longer than many people have even been playing the game, and she has been able to win with remarkable consistency. 2010 found Harman atop many World Series leader boards, and her legacy will carry her for many years to come.
#5 – Dan Harrington
Dan Harrington has managed to remain famous while maintaining a low profile. You won’t hear about him at the center of any disputes, and you aren’t going to find him begging for money on the rail, instead you will find that he has silently been crushing the online games. Aside from his online success, Harrington remains a force in the live arena.
He is well-known for his poker books, a series named “Harrington on Hold’em.” To help bring his books into the 21st century, Harrington has been working hard on a new addition to the series, beating online 6-Max No Limit Texas Hold’em cash games. There was an open market for this type of publication, and it is a near certainty that this new book will become extremely popular. Harrington’s ability to win in any type of game only adds further credibility to his poker resume.
#6 – Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu
Huh? Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu? Why they’re not old at all!
This is probably what ran through your mind as you skimmed the top five, and you are partially correct. Amongst the general population, Ivey and Negreanu are far from old, but they are representative of how times have changed in poker. Negreanu, fondly known as Kid Poker, is now one of the seniors in poker. His results have sputtered off, but his skill set is undeniable. Phil Ivey is just the best poker player in the world. He can, and does, dominate any cash game in the world. Aside from this, he is consistent in his tournament play. These two players are far from old, but they have been able to offset the age difference that the poker world has seen develop over the past few years.
- Who Will Win the WSOP Tournament of Champions? - July 2, 2010
- Three Girls Who are Actually Good at Poker - June 21, 2010
- Competition for the 7th Brunson 10 Spot Heats Up - July 2, 2010
Written by Jonathan Wanchalk on July 31st, 2010