Playing poker is one of the most interesting pastimes. When you first learn how to play, the game can seem a little overwhelming. You may not be sure about what card combination is the best or if your opponents have something that can outdo your hand.
Many players find that when they spend some time playing online poker, they can learn the ropes of the game and understand strategic techniques as well. Rather than constantly playing with other people who may be focused on winning more money on a given night, playing online enables you to think about your own game and work on your weaknesses.
If you have ambitions to become a professional poker player, or if you are someone who follows the sport and wants to know about the best players, then we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together a list of the top 5 most impressive and successful poker players so far in 2023.
1. Espen Uhlen Jørstad
The best player in the world, Espen Jørstad, had an outstanding year in 2022. He netted $10.5 million thanks to his outstanding displays at various WSOP events. Jørstad hails from Norway and only announced himself to the world last year with his impressive displays at the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em – WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.
One interesting aspect of Jørstad’s career is that he was a late bloomer for poker. Most of the top players are participating in money events by their early 20s at the latest, but Jørstad worked as a brewer and even got a master’s degree in brewing before eventually switching to poker, which proved to be a smart financial decision.
2. Sam Grafton
A British native, Sam Grafton, started playing poker in his home city of London in 2008. He was initially playing online using various aliases as he felt more comfortable in the online poker world. He got to learn his craft and improve without any external pressure.
Eventually, Grafton graduated to table games and live events. He would play at places such as the Gutshot Poker Room, along with many underground poker venues in London. In 2011, he made a major move at the $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em – Six Handed event at the Rio in Las Vegas.
Grafton then went on to become one of the most impressive poker players in the world, and he is now a player that anyone would fear if they saw him on their table at a tournament. He won $8.1 million in prize money in 2022.
3. Jake Schindler
Another poker player who won more than $5 million last year, Jake Schindler, managed a $7 million haul in 2022. Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Schindler got his first proper exposure to poker when he was 20. The 1989-born star started playing tournaments for money around that age when many of his contemporaries were worrying about the grades they were getting in college.
Schindler’s first year on the poker circuit, 2009, saw him win significant money at the Superstack Hold’em Series in Verona, New York. He has not looked back since, earning his first success at the WSOP level two years later at the 5,000 No Limit Hold’em – Six Handed event.
Schindler managed a very good haul of winnings in 2022, entering countless tournaments and constantly finishing among the top five or 10 players.
4. Mikita Bodyakovsky
Mikita Bodyakovsky is an extremely impressive poker player. Born in 1992 in Belarus, Bodyakovsky had to work hard to build up a reputation in the sport. Many of the best poker players come from the United States, given the game’s popularity in this part of the world. Bodyakovsky, however, proved himself playing online and then at live tournaments in the mid-2010s.
By 2018 he was one of the top earners at major events, with a haul of $2.5 million at the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Montenegro, impressing many poker enthusiasts at the time. He also had a superb performance at the Barcelona €100,000 Super High Roller the same year.
Bodyakovsky is in the top 10 in the all-time money list, and he had a very impressive 2022, with winnings of $7 million.
5. William Alex Foxen
A New York native who is having an impressive career on the poker circuit, William Alex Foxen is often a top pick when there are online poker tournaments. He has an athletic background, as he was a football tight end at Boston College with a dream of going pro.
While his NFL career did not materialize, Alex Foxen did not let that get him down. Instead of dwelling on his lost dreams, he found another one. He started to play poker casually, improving his game with friends and around college. Eventually, he began to enter tournaments and realized that he was very good.
Foxen won $7 million in 2022, showcasing his quality and demonstrating that he may well be a poker star who is here to stay.