As poker has exploded in popularity over the last few years, it has wormed its way into all forms of media, including video games. As well as video games based entirely around poker, there are also games that have included poker as a side-game. These typically revolve around Hold’em or Omaha, but in years to come we’ll surely see this replicated with games of Open-Face Chinese Poker. But for now, we can make-do with these top picks:

Red Dead Redemption

One of my close friends, and a very good poker player, was actually introduced to the game of Texas Hold’em via Red Dead Redemption. This may sound strange, but as far as graphics, gameplay and even AI was concerned, Red Dead Redemption pretty much nailed it. It was actually very fun to play poker on this game and you could play it in saloons around the game world, allowing you to feel like Wild Bill.

As well as being realistic, Red Dead Redemption can also help you to learn the game. The friend who became hooked on poker because of Red Dead Redemption had never played poker prior to playing this game. Within a couple of days he fell in love with the game and after weeks of play, and realizing that he was winning time and time again, he took his play to online poker rooms and became one of the best players I know. It goes to show that video games really do matter, at least that’s what we can keep telling ourselves.

Dead Rising 2

In the second game in the Dead Rising series, there were two instances in which you could play poker. The first was back at the hideout, where you could play strip poker with some of your fellow survivors, practicing your skills. The second instance was in the casino, inside a televised poker room with some professional players. Here you could play for big money with some big players (styled on real poker professionals) as zombies battered down the doors and tried to get inside.

Although not perfect, the poker on this game was playable. The AI was not the best and was very easy to beat if you knew what you were doing, but once you made it to the big game, if the cards didn’t go your way then it could get very frustrating very quickly. That’s the beauty of a computer game though, as you could just save before you played and if you lost, then you could just load that save and try again. If only real life and real poker events worked that way.

Poker Night 2

Poker Night 2 includes some popular video game characters, such as Ash from Evil Deal 2 and Claptrap from Borderlands. However, there is nothing going on here but poker. Typically, video games focusing entirely on poker are not up to much. They are made on the cheap, not expecting to sell many copies and therefore not putting much effort into development. However, that is not the case with Poker Night 2. This is a great game, very entertaining from start to finish.

Not only is it accurate in regards to the poker, but the exchanges between the characters are also fun and make for a great experience overall. What’s more, Poker Night 2 isn’t centered just on Texas Hold’em like so many other games. It also includes a pot limit game of Omaha.

To top it off, Poker Night 2 is very cheap. In fact, you can pickup a copy from Steam for just a few dollars. Don’t expect the earth though, and certainly don’t expect to find anything other than a poker game.

World Series of Poker

This is an officially licensed game and there are a few appearances by professional players, but that’s where the positives end for World Series of Poker. Simply put, there are some major flaws with gameplay and you will struggle to find any of the pros. They are certainly in the game, but you will struggle to run into them. This game is available on a number of consoles, including PC. It is a few years old though, created with the first Xbox and the Gamecube in mind. That should give you an idea of how the graphics fair in this game and unfortunately, the gameplay is just as sub-par.

Whilst there is little here for a big-time poker or video game fans, players who enjoy watching the WSOP on ESPN, and absolute beginners will get a kick out of this.

World Poker Tour

This is one of the better and more in-depth poker games available right now. This is the only game on the list that introduces an RPG element, therefore eliminating the simplicity of what is in effect just a simple game. You can create your own player and fix him or her up as you please. There are also a number of pros in the game, including Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari, and these players are quite common, which means you will not struggle to find them or play them.

If you are new to the game of poker or you are looking to improve your skills beyond the basic level, then there are a number of tutorials to help you.

Stacked with Daniel Negreanu

This is probably the best poker-only game on this list. Daniel Negreanu is the biggest poker celebrity and with his own TV show, as well as many appearances on others, it is no surprise to learn that he now has his own video game. There is a poker school that can teach you the basics and the more advanced areas of the game, and there is also an advanced and intuitive AI which makes the level of play far more advanced in this game than it is in any of the other games on this list, and possibly in any other poker game currently on the market. If you want a true test of your abilities, something that will mimic the play of amateurs and professionals alike, then this is the best game for you.

Poker is more than just a game to the people who play it day-in day-out. If you have ever become immersed in the world of poker you will know what we are talking about. Yes it is a relatively simple game, but it is a game that can be complex, a game that has many nuances to understand, many tricks to learn. That is why poker professionals and amateurs spend their days on forums chatting to other players, on websites reading articles, and on YouTube watching videos. They are constantly learning, constantly evolving as players.

This applies to all variants of poker, not just to Texas Hold’em and certainly not just to Open-Face Chinese Poker. We have already discussed the best websites to read about Open-Face Chinese Poker and we have already discussed the best message boards to discuss it, but what are the best YouTube channels for those seeking to learn more about this game, and to watch it in action?

TonyBet Official OFC Poker Channel

TonyBet is currently the only place you can play Open-Face Chinese Poker for real money. That’s why we have affiliated with the site and it is also why we are members ourselves. TonyBet is the future and the present of Open-Face Chinese Poker, and it is currently the only site grabbing this game by the scruff of the neck and dragging it forward. It is no surprise then to learn that as well as the gambling software and a wealth of articles, TonyBet also has their own YouTube channel.

There are actually a couple of channels, including a main one that focuses on the sports betting side of the site, but the one that deals with OFC Poker can be found here. As well as learning how to play the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker, this channel also has live tournament action from pro players such as Jennifer Shahade, who is currently one of the biggest names on the OFC Poker circuit, and Jason Mercier, who made his name in Hold’em and has since become a big fan of OFC Poker.

In fact, Jennifer Shahade is a regular feature on this channel and as well as live play, you can also watch her interviews and listen to her views on the game and her tips on how to make it as a Open-Face Chinese Poker pro. Most of the videos on this channel have less than 1,000 views, but all are worth watching and one of them has accumulated views in excess of 10,000.

Poker News

This is a portal for everything poker. It is the video channel of the PokerNews.com website, and they cover a lot of live tournaments, new variants, player interviews and more. This is where you will find an extensive tutorial on Open-Face Chinese Poker by Shaun Deeb, one of its biggest fans. This is actually one of our favorite videos, and it is not the only video on this channel that covers the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker.

If you find yourself wondering whether a certain stop on the WPT or EPT will have an OFC Poker tournament, then this is a good place to find out. As well as details on all upcoming events around the world, they even have details on the city in which it is staged, taking you on a guided tour and giving you some insights into the event venue itself.

To see for yourself, head on over to: Poker News Dot Com. There are new videos added to the site all of the time and they typically attract a significant number of views, as they have around 20,000 subscribers and that number is growing day by day.

China Open Poker

Located at China Open Poker, this channel is devoted to the game we love so much. It is a player channel where videos of online events are uploaded, often from TonyBet. If you would like to see how high-stakes games of OFC Poker are played, then this channel is perfect. The videos show OFC Poker played at its best, with everything from late tournament rounds, to big money cash games and more. This will give you an insight into how the game is played at the highest level, whilst also showing you the TonyBet software. There are a number of videos here and they cover several variants of the game, including the ever-popular Pineapple OFC.

Open Face Odds

This channel doesn’t focus entirely on TonyBet, but it is all about the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker. There are videos from a number of apps, including free and “fun” apps, as well as real money games. There are also tutorials that aim to expand your knowledge of the game and the odds that you have of winning each individual hand. It’s always good to know the numbers behind a game, and to understand your odds in any given situation, and this channel can help with that.

The videos don’t get a huge amount of hits but they are all informative and the channel is also very active on YouTube, so any questions you direct to them will probably be answered in a timely fashion. There is also a lot of variety here, with the channel covering every aspect of Open-Face Chinese Poker and never deviating from this game like so many other OFC Poker channels tend to do.

You can find Open Face Odds here. Some of the videos that we recommend include Pineapple OFC Odds, which gives you a quick rundown of the odds of this popular, high-speed variant of Open-Face Chinese Poker. There is also a simple strategy video, which will help beginners to learn how to follow a simple and effective strategy that will allow them to get one over on their opponents time and time again.

One of the best ways you can advance your game is to talk to other players. This applies to all games, but especially to poker, where bouncing ideas off of other players can be crucial to the learning process. This is what the best players do, which is why you will find poker professionals on many message boards out there, and why many of them have even created their own message boards.

So, with that in mind, where are the best boards to improve your knowledge of the game?

TwoPlusTwo: This is one of the most popular poker forums on the internet. It is a little heavy on advertising for our liking, but for a site that doesn’t charge any sort of fee and doesn’t sell a product, it only makes sense. They need to make their money and pay their bills somehow. You can find videos, tips and more on the TwoPlusTwo forum, and we would advise that you have a good luck around before you join. There is a lot to catch up on, so read through the many forums and the posts, covering everything from the Poker Video section to Beginners Question. If you think you’re good enough to go deep in the biggest tournaments but you don’t have the money to put up a stake, you can also visit the Staking section and get someone to stake you.

Poker Strategy: This is the place to learn all about strategy, with many different poker variants covered. There is less of a focus on additional topics here, with everyone talking about poker hands, moves, tournament play, cash play and more. Poker may seem like a simple game at first, but there are many ways to approach it and play it, which is why even the best players who have been playing for decades are still learning the game and picking up bits of strategy as they do.

CardsChat: The focus is very wide on this message board, and the many poker networks and sites are also discussed in more detail. This is useful, because whilst the game is the same, there is a huge difference between a game of Hold’em on Pokerstars and a game of Hold’em on 888 Poker. Of course, OFC Poker is our main focus on this site, and on Cards Chat you will also find some discussions relating to this up-and-coming variant, although these discussion are not as widely available and as extensive as they are for the other, more popular, variants.

Poker Forums: Although considered a smaller community, there are still 20,000 members or so on this site, with a wealth of topics open for discussion. At any given time this site has hundreds of members viewing, and even during off-peak times you will find between 50 and 100 people browsing and posting. Again, this is not as much as some of the other sites on this list, but those limited numbers and that smaller community is just what some players are looking for.

One of the best Open-Face Chinese Poker players on the planet right now, if not the best, is Jennifer Shahade. Jennifer made an impact in this game many months ago, but she increased her acclaim and her respect when she picked up the High Roller title at the OFC World Championship, along with some other big-name tournaments.

Typically, the fairer sex don’t have the best time of it playing poker. No female has played on a WSOP Main Event final table, for instance, and their male counterparts always outnumber them. However, this has nothing to do with their abilities as players and is purely because there are far fewer women taking up the game of poker than there are men. There are no doubt many reasons behind this, but the main one could be that poker has always been seen as somewhat of a macho game, played by heavy smoking, heavy drinking men in back rooms. That image is disappearing in the modern age though and as it does, we’re seeing more females entering the ranks of the poker professional.

In this article we’ll look at the best female players currently playing poker at the highest level.

Vanessa Selbst

Although it is disputed as to whether she is the best female player or not, you can’t argue with the fact that Vanessa Selbst is one of the most successful. Her live tournament winnings are into 7 digits and her CV includes two World Series of Poker bracelets, two NAPT Main Events and a victory at the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event. Vanessa is also a poker celebrity and can be seen on many television cash games, tournaments and more.

One of her biggest single victories to date came in 2013 when she scooped a prize of close to $1.5 million at a PCA High Roller event. According to the global rankings (who, incidentally, do rate her as the best female player in the world right now) Vanessa is currently ranked as the 8th best poker player overall, a ranking that is well deserved and one that should improve.

Annette Obrestad

The Norwegian poker pro began her poker career playing online games and receiving a lot of recognition for her abilities. She once won an entire tournament without looking at her cards, proving that poker is more about playing the player than it is about playing the cards. Annette became the youngest person to win a WSOP bracelet when she was just 18, and since then she has increased her total online earnings to over $2.5 million. It should also be noted that Annette’s online name is “Annette_15”, on account of the fact that she was only 15 when she started playing.

Jennifer Harman

Perhaps more of a regular feature on the poker circuit several years ago than she is now, Jennifer still makes an occasional appearance. She was one of the first female poker celebrities, having appeared on several televised events. She was also the first female player to win two WSOP bracelets, an achievement she realized back in 2002.

Liv Boeree

Part model, part poker pro, British-born Liv excels in both professions. She’s also incredibly smart, having studied astrophysics at university before deciding that her career lay in poker. The biggest win Liv has had to date came in 2010, when she scooped the San Remo stop of the European Poker tour, collecting a pot of over $1 million. Her total live winnings account to just over $2 million, but she is also prolific online.

Victoria Coren

Another super-intelligent Brit with a passion for poker, Victoria is also a great writer and has written many books and articles on poker. She is one of the most experienced female players in the world, although she tends to be more selective with the number of tournaments she plays these days, having a number of other things on her plate (including hosting a quiz show in the UK). Victoria’s biggest and most memorable win came back in 2006, when she scooped over half a million Sterling in a European Poker Tour event in London.

Xuan Liu

This Chinese poker pro has picked up close to $1.5 million in live earnings, including a 4th place finish at a PCA Main Event, where she earned around $600,000. She’s young and ambitious and as her talents are plain to see, she has a long and no doubt prosperous career ahead of her.

Vanessa Rousso

With over $3.5 million in live tournament cash, Vanessa is a force in the live game, with consistent ITM cashes. She is ranked as one of the best female players in the game and as well as a number of top performances in live events, she has also recorded some big wins online, where she plays under the screen name “Lady Maverick”

Allyn Shulman

Allyn had a very successful career outside of poker before she retired and invested her free time and her wealth into this game. It’s a good thing she did as well, because she has proved to be an impressive force in the game of Texas Hold’em, winning a Senior’s Championship at the WSOP in 2012 that netted her a pot of over $600,000. Since then she has won another big pot and continues to play the game when she can.

Jennifer Tilly

Formerly an actress, with roles in films such as The Bride of Chucky (where she played the eponymous bride) Jennifer Tilly has also picked up some prestige playing the game of poker. Her live tournament winnings fall short of $1 million, but she once scooped a Lady’s Event at the WSOP and as her career obligations lie elsewhere, you can’t blame her for not being a regular feature on the live poker circuit.

Finding a real money game of Open-Face Chinese Poker is not an easy task. When it comes to other variants, you have an endless choice of online and offline games, and many players like to try out as many of these as possible. When it comes to Open-Face Chinese Poker, however, TonyBet is basically your only option online, and you could count the offline options with the fingers on one hand.

If you want a place to test your Open-Face Chinese Poker skills and to fill in the gaps between the big TonyBet tournaments, then checkout these apps. All of them can be played for free and all are fun-play games, which is to say that there is no real money gambling involved. They are also all available on Android and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

Open-Face Chinese Poker by MWS Games

This is my best choice for Android OFC Poker games, as it was the game that allowed me to test my skills for the very first time. I was introduced to the game via a Hold’em pro who also let me join a live game he hosted. When that game was over and I wanted more, this is where I turned. It is where I learned all about Open-Face Chinese Poker and where I became good enough to advance to TonyBet and to become a profitable player.

This app is simple and easy to use. There are no bells and whistles that serve to clutter the page and get in the way, no features that are hard to get used to. Everything is simple and focused on the game of Open-Face Chinese Poker, which is how it should be. If you are new to this game and want an easy way to play some rounds, then checkout MWS Games OFC Poker.

Pineapple Poker by Oye Games

Initially just a variant of Open-Face Chinese Poker, Pineapple Poker is now actually more popular than OFC Poker. This is the game that the pros adore so much, the game that players like Shaun Deeb can’t get enough of. There aren’t many huge differences between Open-Face Chinese Poker and Pineapple Poker, but the latter is quicker and is often seen as a more enticing game for new players.

This is one of the highest rated Open-Face Chinese Poker games on the Google Play Store, and it is also one of the most downloaded ones. There are a lot of cool designs and graphics used in this OFC Poker app, but the actual game interface itself is not too cluttered and is very easy to use.

Chinese Poker by Software KIT

This was actually one of the first Chinese Poker games on the Android operating system. This is not OFC Poker, but as any professional OFC Poker player will tell you, it pays to know the rules of basic Chinese Poker. This is a great app with which to do that, as its simple layout and friendly design is easy to get used to and will have you playing 4-hand games of Chinese Poker in no time.

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 (http://chinesepokerrealmoney.com/blast-longer/) 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.