Poker is a game of skill and patience, but it is also a game that many misunderstand. They think of it as a game of luck only, whereas those who play the game know that is far from the case. I have personal experience of this as I also believed that poker was little more than luck. When I began to play it I realized that that was not the case, and the more I played and the more I learned, the more I understood that it was much more skill than luck.

I fell in love with poker from an early age, but after sometime I decided I needed a break. Too many bad beats had disillusioned me and I decided that I needed to try other games. I began to search for other games commonly written-off as luck-based, seeing if they really were and if I could fall for them like I did with poker. The truth is there are many games out there that require much more skill than luck, games that you can consistently win at with a lot of knowledge, skill and patience. I have discussed these games below and if you are a poker fan and have yet to try them, then you really are missing out.


This is an obvious. As a popular casino game most poker players have probably played it at one time or another. I know I had. There’s so much more to it than what I first thought though, and for many of you that will probably be the same. Blackjack is not about luck and it’s not about simple knowledge. There is a mathematical formula known as Basic Blackjack Strategy which relies on the game being played in an exact way in order to reduce the house edge and increase your chances as a player. If you choose the right variants (fewer decks are better, try to avoid European Blackjack, Pontoon and Spanish 21) and use Basic Blackjack Strategy then you can make a very nice profit from this game. The only downside is that it doesn’t really work online.

Card counting should never be discounted either. As with the conception that blackjack is all about luck, there is also one that card counting is incredibly difficult and involves some Rain Man level of thought. This is far from the case and card counting is actually about adding and subtracting single digits. The math is very basic and it’s more about focus than anything else, as you will need to look normal and keep a running count in your head whilst in a busy environment. Card counting is not illegal, but it is frowned upon by the casinos, so don’t let them catch you doing it.


There is a story that Phil Ivey once won over $10 million playing Baccarat in a single night. He did it in a famous and very exclusive card room in London, and although he allegedly used a trick that allowed him to see which cards he was being dealt, this is a game that can make you a huge profit without such tricks. Baccarat is played against the dealer and there are three different variants of it available. Which one you play is important and this is something you need to watch out for because one of them is strictly a game of chance, and one where skill doesn’t factor in at all.

Baccarat is a little hard to explain in the limitations of this article, but it is one of those games that is very easy to pick up once you begin playing. If you fancy yourself at the Baccarat tables then my advice is that you jump straight in, because there’s no better way to learn the game then by playing it. Just make sure you don’t bet a huge amount to begin with.


As a dice game, this is often written-off as a game of luck, but there is a lot of skill involved. This game is popular in several countries such as Greece, where you will see it played in coffee shops and restaurants. The games are often played for money, and if you fancy yourself as a player then you could win yourself a pretty penny this way. There are also online versions of the game and there is even talk of Backgammon being introduced to certain casino softwares.

Backgammon is actually one of the oldest games known to man, with some suggestions that it could be as old as 5,000 years. As with chess, which we shall discuss next, Backgammon relies on strategy.


Chess is a very old game and one that requires more skill and strategy than anything on this list. Chess is far from a game of luck and no one in their right mind would think it is, but it has been included here because it is a great game to learn for many reasons. Learning chess can help you to learn all of these other games, as it will increase your patience and your focus, due to the fact that large parts of the game are spent waiting for your opponent to make their move. You’re not going to make a huge amount of money playing this game, but if you find another keen player and gambler then this is great game to make prop bets on. Just remember that this game can take decades to master, so even if you fancy your chances after a few weeks, there’s a good chance that you’ll be nowhere near as good as you think you are.

The World Series of Poker 2015 is not too far away now, with thousands of poker players all over the work gearing up for the Main Event. This is the biggest single event in poker and has been for some time. The buy-in is not the highest (although it is still an impressive $10,000) but the sheer volume of players that join this tournament means that the prize pool adds up to tens of millions with the winner several million for himself. It never used to be that way of course, and before the popularity of poker exploded the World Series of Poker was a fairly small event, often won by just a handful of people.

The first World Series of Poker was played in 1970, and for the first two years it was won by Johnny Moss. The grand prize was little more than the buy-in today (although we understand that $10k went a lot further back then) and it took twenty-one years of annual competitions for that prize to reach the $1 million mark. When it did, the tournament went to Brad Daugherty. It remained on one million for many years, with winners including Scotty Nguyen and Chris Ferguson. In 2003, however, it was up to $2,5 million. That year it was won by the legendary Chris Moneymaker, after which poker’s popularity exploded, and the WSOP wasn’t far behind.

These days other poker tournaments are doing their best to catch up to the World Series of Poker and many of them are getting very close. The World Poker Tour for instance has winnings that exceed $2 million, whilst many stops on the European Poker Tour are the same. There is also the Caribbean Poker Adventure, which is sponsored by the giants that are PokerStars, and many online tournaments, such as the Sunday Million, also run by PokerStars.

So just which tournaments have dished out the most money throughout the years, and who were the lucky winners?

Well, the biggest tournament in poker history was the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event, which had a record number of entrants and a prize pool of over $80 million. $12 million of this went to the winner, and that lucky man was Jamie Gold, who made his way onto the all-time earners list because of this solitary win. The biggest win after that was the 2010 Main Event, which was won by Jonathan Duhamel, a Canadian that scooped just shy of $9 million.

The 2011, 2008, 2014, 2012, 2009, 2007, 2013 and 2005 WSOP Main Events came next on the list, in that order, with a pot of $64 million for the 2011 competition, won by Pius Heinz, and $52 million for the 2005 competition, won by Australian Joe Hachem. The next highest pot was also a World Series of Poker event, known as the Big One and staged in 2012. The pot here was over $42 million and was won by poker genius Antonio Esfandiari.

The next non-WSOP tournament on the list is the 14th richest tournament in history. That was the Macau High Stakes Challenge which was held in 2012 and helped Stanley Choi to a pot of close to $6,5 million. The 2007 World Poker Tour Championship is not too far behind, winning nearly $4 million for Carlos Mortensen from Spain. Also in the top twenty is the Guang Dong Limited Asia Millions Main Event. This was held in 2013 and although it is not a name that many are familiar with, it is one that gave an impressive $4,4 million to its German winner, Niklas Heinecker.

The Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure in 2010 and in 2011 is also in the top twenty all-time richest tournaments, with a joint pot of $30 million, won by Galen Hall in 2011 and Harrison Gimbel in 2010, both Americans. The first entry for the European Poker Tour is not too far behind, and the biggest pot they have ever seen was in 2008, when the Grand Final gifted over $3 million to Canadian Glen Chorny.

The biggest online poker pot doesn’t quite make it into the top twenty, but it is not too far behind. This pot amounted to over $12 million and occurred in 2011 during the PokerStars 10th Anniversary Celebration — Sunday Million. The 2010 World Championship of Online Poker is not too far behind either, and this gave over $2,2 million to the winner. The same event in 2008 was also a very impressive tournament, netting a score of $1,2 million for Carter King, who took it down with the nickname ckingusc.

As you might have noticed, all of the big events have occurred in the last five years, and that suggests that poker is only getting bigger and bigger. Black Friday did dent the online game, but if anything it helped the live game, and the pots that have resulted have been huge. The Main Event is not as big as it was in 2006 and it probably won’t reach those heights again, but other tournaments are climbing all of the time and reaching those heights. This is a great time to play poker, and if you haven’t started yet, you’re missing out. Get yourself into a satellite straight away and who knows, you might be the next Chris Moneymaker, Jamie Gold, Phil Helmuth or even Niklas Heinecker…whoever he is.

Many amateur poker players turn to the game after seeing a poker professional in action and trying their best to emulate them and their success. At the turn of the century many began playing the game because of Chris Moneymaker, who came from nothing, winning a $39 satellite and then going on to win the World Series of Poker Main Event. But just who are the richest players to ever play the game, who are the ones that have inspired the most and the ones that all amateurs should look up to?

In this article we’ll look at the top ten in descending order, taking total career earnings into account through both cash and tournament play, and through both online and offline poker as well. There are many events that haven’t been logged, and ones that we can’t get access to. For instance, Phil Ivey has been known to play many high-stakes games behind closed doors, but as these are cash games between people who are certainly not short on cash or ability, he doesn’t always finish in a profit.

10. Joe Hachem

Aussie Joe first made a name for himself when he won the World Series of Poker Main Event in 2005. The vast majority of his career earnings came from this, but he has also featured in many prestigious tournaments since then, increasing his overall earnings. He even had his own TV show titled The Poker Star, which played out like America’s Top Model for poker players.

9. Jamie Gold

Jamie Gold took down the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event, and has been somewhat of a television personality since. With a calm and collected demeanor, the American is no stranger to big wins, and this one was the biggest in history, which remains to this day.

8. John Juanda.

An all round nice guy, John is from Indonesia and is a regular on the World Series of Poker tour. In fact, he has several titles to his name and continues to add more to his belt. He also has a few World Series of Poker bracelets, which is no mean feat. As with the others on this list, John is also a regular feature on televised poker events.

7. Michael Mizrachi

Michael is a phenomena when it comes to poker. Known by the nickname The Grinder, he is renowned for his consistent play and the fact that he has cashed in more major tournaments than most players. Michael is as solid as they come and he also likes to bet on his performances, which is why he released the Blast Longer app ( recently.

6. Phil Ivey

Ivey has been a regular on the poker scene for a number of years and many have called him the greatest player ever, with others insisting he is definitely up there. Phil is a huge gambler as well, and has been known to drop millions on prop bets everywhere from the golf course to the casino. Phil also once won over $10 million from a famous London card room, before they discovered he had been using a slight “cheat” and they promptly refused to pay him his winnings.

5. Phil Helmuth

Referred to as The Poker Brat, due to his regular outbursts (which often amuses, as opposed to angers, the other players) Helmuth was a regular on the WSOP scene back in the 80s, when the Main Event was still very small and exclusive. Helmuth still plays in the Main Event these days and he has more bracelets than anyone else.

Although more commonly known for his televised outbursts, Helmuth is one of the most decorated players in the game and although he may not be the best ever, as he so often claims to be, he is certainly up there.

4. Daniel Negreanu

The Canadian has been around almost as long as Phil Helmuth has, but he tends to be more liked amongst players, fans and TV commentators. Daniel is as charming as they come, and he is also a fantastic player, with stacks of titles under his belt. Daniel’s regular appearances on televised events has also made him one of the most familiar faces in the game of poker, and he even had his own show.

His earnings have been estimated to be just shy of $20,000, but the truth is that this is very hard to put your finger on as online earnings and cash earnings can be hard to estimate.

3. Sam Trickett

The Englishman is not quite as well known as Daniel, or indeed anyone else on this list, but his recorded over the last few years has been second to none. He has recorded wins in a huge number of tournaments, and for someone who is not even in his thirties, he still has a lot of big wins ahead of him.

Trickett is often referred to as the best player in England, and Europe for that matter, and his play is also starting to be recognized by many big names on the other side of the pond.

2. Erik Seidel

Seidel has won seven World Series of Poker bracelets and has also appeared in many other tournaments. He didn’t start out with poker and actually began in the stock market and playing backgammon, making money in both before turning to poker where he began to earn so much more. Seidel is one of the most recognized faces in the game and has been around for some time, steadily making money and climbing up this list.

1. Antonio Esfandiari

Antonio holds the title of the youngest player to ever win a World Poker Tour title, and he is also a regular feature on many televised poker events, including Late Night Poker and The Big Game. Known as The Magician, Antonio’s winnings are thought to be above $25 million, but this is only what we know and doesn’t include countless cash games and some online games. Simply put, not every game that these players play is logged, and sometimes there are millions of dollars begin exchanged behind closed doors, when the cameras are turned of.

This summer all eyes will be on the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, and rightly so. This is the biggest poker event in the world, with more people heading for the City of Sin to play the WSOP than any other poker event. Not only will the winner of the Main Event net themselves a profit of several million dollars, but there are countless other bracelets to be won, with everything from Omaha to Turbo Hold’em and even Senior events throwing up big cash prizes.

That feels like it’s someway away right now, but there are plenty of other big tournaments on the way. As well as the World Series of Poker circuit stops, which we mentioned in a recent article there are also stops on the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour to keep you sharp in time for the big one.

World Poker Tour

For many the World Poker Tour is the second biggest tour after the World Series of Poker, certainly as far as American players are concerned, with Europeans tending to lean more towards the European Poker Tour discussed below. This tour runs throughout the year with stops at some of the most glamorous casinos all over the world.

At the time of writing the World Poker Tour has just finished its Los Angeles leg and is preparing for a visit to San Jose and the Bay 101 Casino. The tour will stop here until the 13th, and as the next stop begins on the 12th, several thousands miles over the Atlantic, it’s going to be a stretch for players seeking to make every stop. The proximity to the previous event in LA makes this event an obvious choice for WPT fans, but the fact that the 12th March event is in Vienna, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, makes that a tempting offer. You can’t possible say no to the birthplace of Mozart, can you?

The final day of the Main Event in San Jose is on the 13th, so if you do make it that far then you can always arrive in Vienna a day later. You’ll miss the Main Event there if you do, as it begins on the evening of the 12th, but you can still catch the High Roller event, a Turbo tournament and/or a Knockout event.

Still, most American players will probably choose to remain in California, and that will make it easier for them to hit the WPT Rolling Thunder stop on the 14th of March. This is located in Lincoln, California, and then the next stop is southeast, in Hollywood, Florida. Michael Mizrachi and Jason Mercier actually call this city home and will no doubt be heading to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino for this televised WPT event.

That event finishes on the 22nd of April and then, two days later, the WPT moves north to Atlantic City and the Borgata casino, which will be the final stop on the 2015 World Poker Tour.

European Poker Tour

As you may have already worked out, it’s not really viable for a US poker player to hit all stops on the WPT, because as soon as they head for Europe and Vienna on the second stop mentioned, then they’re throwing their schedule out of whack. Still, Vienna has so much more to offer than many of the US stops and if you tire of California and do make it to Vienna, then you can also remain in Europe and hit-up the European Poker Tour instead.

The EPT is in its eleventh season and the next stop is in Malta on the 17th of March. Malta is a tiny island but it has a lot of history and it attracts a lot of tourists. This is not one of the biggest stops on the tour but it’s well worth a visit if you fancy your chances at EPT glory.

Next up is the Grand Daddy of casinos, the Monte-Carlo Casino in the principality of Monaco. This casino has featured in countless films and has hosted James Bond many times. The stop reaches here towards the end of April, and as you’re in a billionaire’s playground you can expect to be facing just as many rich amateurs as poker professionals. In the last season of the EPT this stop netted the winner over 1.2 million euros, which amounts to just under $2 million. The Main Event has a buy-in that works out to around $15,000 and is therefore more than the WSOP Main Event, but the experience of the Monte-Carlo Casino, one of the most luxurious casinos in the world, is not to be missed.

Monaco is also the final stop of the EPT, often called the EPT Grand Final, but the next season should kick-off again towards the end of the year.

As our name would suggest, we focus a lot on Chinese Open-Face Poker on this website. It is a game that is steadily taking over the poker world, but it is one that is currently only available on TonyBet. There are many poker sites out there and most of them have significantly more members than TonyBet, but few to none of them have this game available. If you want to play it you are limited to live play (it has found its way onto several major and minor poker tours) and to the many apps that cater for it. Many professional poker players also set up home games with other pros, with many of them playing Pineapple OFC.

Despite the lack of availability for Open-Face Chinese Poker in the online sphere, there are plenty of other online variants available. In this article we will take a look at the best sites to play these variants.


SkyPoker is very limited, but it is one of the fastest growing gambling websites in the world right now. With the BSKYB brand behind it, this is no surprise. Currently, SkyBet is only available to customers living in the United Kingdom, but when you consider that it is already one of the biggest online bookmakers in the UK (despite having no brick-and-mortar locations) and the fact that BSKYB are a billion dollar company, then you begin to understand the potential that it has for development. There is also the fact that Sky Poker have their own team of poker pros and they also sponsor their own poker tour. Basically this is a big company, with a small site and huge ambitions.

Right now, there are only Hold’em and Omaha events, but this is a great place to play Omaha, one of the most popular variants. We also look forward to what is sure to be an exciting future at SkyBet, and one that might reward those who were there at the beginning. There aren’t a great number of Multi-Table Tournaments, but a few big guaranteed ones pop up, and the Omaha Sit and Goes on Sky Poker are some of the best around at this moment in time.


PKR Poker always thought they could revolutionize the poker world, attracting those who weren’t playing poker regularly — thanks to its sense of community and its 3D graphics — and those who did, but it failed. In reality, it only attracted those who saw poker as a gimmick and a quick and fun way to gamble, but whilst there is not a huge number of professionals on here, there should be. The competition is so weak that making money is a breeze.

The competition is especially weak when it comes to Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo. In fact, when it comes to the latter you get the impression that half of the entrants have either accidentally clicked in from Hold’em games, or think they are playing straight-up Omaha.


The iPoker network is ranked as the third biggest poker network at the time of writing, which means that there is no shortage of players when it comes to both MTT and SNG tournaments. There is not a huge selection here, but it is a great place to play Fixed-Limit games. These games attract a lot of loose players, players who try to rush the game and have no patience. Poker is all about patience, and that applies to Fixed-Limit more than No-Limit and Pot-Limit. If you have patience in abundance, then this is where you need to be. The Hold’em Fixed-Limit games attract the loosest players, but you will also find plenty in the Omaha Fixed-Limit games.

Party Poker

Party Poker is somewhat of an acquired taste. It used to hold the title of the biggest poker network, but it lost its way. In 2006 it was forced to stop US players from using its software and it dropped, overtaken by Pokerstars and others. These days it is still one of the biggest poker sites around, but the days when it was abused by affiliates, and therefore synonymous as an annoying pop-up across the web, have damaged its good name.

This is still a great poker room though, by all accounts. It is also one of the best places to play 7 Card Stud, with no shortage of players making up the numbers. The competition is far from weak, but good players can still grind their way to a healthy profit here. There is also a 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo variant, although the instances of MTTs and SNG that fill are somewhat lower than the standard 7 Card Stud ones. Party Poker also has Pot-limit Hold’em, whose numbers are only eclipsed by No-Limit Hold’em, and there are also games of Omaha available.

Full Tilt

This poker room is not as good or as big as it used to be. It lost its was following Black Friday and it was inactive for sometime. It’s up again now though and it is owned by Pokerstars, who certainly know what they are doing when it comes to poker.

Full Tilt has a wide selection of poker variants available, and although they don’t have the members they once had, they are growing all of the time as players switch between them and the sister site Pokerstars. The variants include Razz, Stud Hi, 5 Card Stud and more. There are also plenty of Mixed Games. The competition is not loose here and when it comes to Draw and Stud games, there are plenty of players as well. What we love about Full-Tilt is the unique games that it offers, including Matrix Poker, which adds a new spin to SNG games, and Multi-Entry Tournaments, which allows you to decrease variance across the board.


This is the grand daddy of poker sites, and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to variants either. The beauty of Pokerstars is not just that it offers all of the variants you could think of (except OFC) but that each of them has their fair share of entrants. From Badugi to Stud and Draw, you will always find a full SNG or MTT tournament to play, and there are also cash games for Five Card Draw, Omaha and more.

The only downside is that the competition is fiercer. These players are not there by accident, they know how to play and they know how to beat you. Yes, there are a few that are clueless and in some cases this can be as high as 20% of the entrants, but many of them know what they’re doing.

We have already looked ahead to the World Series of Poker, announcing the schedule for those few weeks when all eyes in the poker world are turned towards the glittering lights of the City of Sin. But there is more to the build-up — all big events require long and tortuous roads to get there, and the WSOP is no different.

The Road to the WSOP National Championships is an extensive one that began at the end of a July 2014 and is played through to May 2015, with 21 circuit stops in total, giving players all around the country a chance to get in on the action.

The first stop was in Florida on the 30th of July 2014, at the famous Palm Beach Kennel Club. The play then moved to the huge Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut. In fact, although that event is well behind us now, the Foxwoods Resort will also play host to the final stop in May 2015, before the actual World Series kicks off.

There are plenty of stops between now and then though. At the time of writing, the tour is currently in Maryland, in the Horseshoe Baltimore. Although not particularly known for its high stakes poker action, the tour is due to move to Los Angeles very soon, where the Bicycle Casino should attract some more of the country’s best players.

The Horseshoe takes over again after that, this time at the Council Bluffs in Omaha/Iowa, before the tour moves to two Harrah’s casinos in North Carolina and then Louisiana. With Foxwoods after that, the tour is due to finish on May 24th, after which players only need to wait for 3 days before the World Series of Poker actually begins.

The WSOP may seem like a long way away now, but the excitement of the tour is sure to keep your appetite sated for the time being. Just remember, the tour, as with the World Series itself, is not for amateurs and there are plenty of professional players who follow it through every stop that it makes.

Michael Mizrachi is a poker professional known for his ability to cash consistently in major poker tournaments. The Florida resident has won three bracelets at the World Series of Poker and once finished 5th in the WSOP Main Event. He also has two World Poker Titles and one European Poker Title to his name, and his record in cash play is astonishing, which is what saw him gifted a sport at the televised High Stakes Poker event.

These days, however, Michael has turned his sights to a new venture, and one that promises to bring the greater poker community together. Known as Blast Longer, this is an app and a community that allows poker players to place last-longer bets against each other. It’s all about the side bets, which are one of the most popular ways for many gamblers to bet, and the goal for Blast Longer is to extend those side bets for as long as possible.

“Players at live events really enjoy last-longer side bets,” Mizrachi, known as The Grinder throughout the poker community, began, talking to Pokernews. “We realized that if we could bring it to online players, they might like it just as much.”

The process is pretty simple, players just need to download the Blast Longer app and join the community. It’s free and there is no commitment to pay at any point, unless you lose the bets of course. Once there they can challenge other players to last-longer bets for all of the major online and offline poker tournaments.

Known as “Blasts” these last-longer side bets can also be placed with friends through the Blast Longer community, but the aim is to create a trusted gambling community, which means that you don’t have to already know and trust the person in order to place a bet with them. There is a pot and all players contribute to it, before the player who lasts the longest in any given tournament is then given the pot.

This is an innovative platform that has received a lot of thought and development, there are even separate pots for different levels, and as well as live tournaments (due to be available later this year) it also works for online ones. To date, Blast Longer is compatible with all of the major tournaments from all of the major networks, including PokerStars, Full Tilt, iPoker, PartyPoker and WinaMax.

Blast bets give players like Michael, those who run deep in many tournaments but don’t have the luck to win them all, the chance to cash in. It means that even if they don’t make it to the final table, they will still stand a chance of bettering their opponents, winning the side bet and making the tournament a profitable one.

At the time of publication, Blast Longer is still in a beta stage, but it is a public beta which means it is open for new members to join. Simply head over to and sign up.