1. Viktor Bloom,A.K.A. Isildur1
Viktor is famous for his loose hyper-aggressive style. The gifted Swede began his poker career in the mid-2000s at PokerStars. His brother introduced Viktor to online poker and gave him $100 to play. In a couple of months, Viktor had converted the $100 into tens of thousands.
While playing at high limits, Viktor managed to demolish his poker arch-rivals like Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Tom Dwan (Durrr), andIlariSahamies, nicknamed Fin. However, his most incredible victory of all time in poker came against Tom Dwan while playing an expensive game of Full Tilt Poker online, where Isildur won a jaw-dropping 5 million dollars from his rival Tom Dwan.
In addition, in the same year, during the offline EPT world tournament series, he finished 1st, winning €1,000,000 top-prize money after defeating a fellow amateur poker player. Notably, he achieved this feat at only 19 years of age.
2. Tom Dwan, A.K.A. Durrrr
Tom Dwan is another young poker whizz, popular for his loose-aggressive style of play, like Viktor Bloom. Like all small beginnings, Tom's online poker career began when he asked his father to deposit $50 as a gift for his next birthday at the then-famous Full Tilt Poker game. Tom had turned the $50 into hundreds and thousands of dollars within a short time.
As time went by, Tom began playing in expensive offline Texas Hold 'em Poker rooms with players such asPhil Ivey, Chriss Ferguson, Phil Hellmuth, Phil Luck, Patrik Antonius, and others. He was running bluffs with nothing using his playing style.
Tom's biggest victory came at a table against Phil Ivey with a speculative hand. Both players had made a straight, but only Tom's was a "nut straight." Ivey had confidence in his "straight" hand but lost $1 million to Dawn.
3. IlariSahamies (Fin)
Ilari (Fin) is a Finnish poker player with a loose-aggressive play technique that I would at times even regard as crazy! Unlike the abovementioned virtuosos, Ilari's poker career wasn't all roses and diamonds from the word go. Ilari had to work at a car wash not only to earn money for the game.
However, in the end, he manages to make his way up the poker limits and eventually becomes a frequent player of high-end Hold 'em cash games offline. His victories, especially in Pot-Limit Omaha, are distinct since he annihilates players with his playing style, making millions of dollars in the process.
He's noteworthy for making appearances on television shows and in his friend's rap music videos. Also, he's known for playing online poker while intoxicated with alcohol, calling his rivals indecent names, losing several millions of dollars, and sleeping off later.
4. Gus Hansen
The Danish dynamite Gus Hansen is very multiskilled. In addition to playing poker, he fancies golf and other sports, and like the players above, he also plays in a loose-aggressive system. Gus is fond of playing expensive closed poker games. Therefore, the exact amount he wins in such games isn't known.
During an expensive high-stakes poker game, an unforgettable hand came when Hansen got busted by his rival, Daniel Negreanu, Kid Poker. Hansen later makes a 'four-of-a-kind' with pocket 55 against Negreanu's 'full house.' The Dane successfully traps Negreanu and cleans $500,000 off him.
Nevertheless, it's important to note that Hansen has lost over $21 million in 10 years of online gambling. Apparently, that doesn't bother him because it's not money to him.
5. Stewie Ungar A.K.A. The Kid
He's probably one of the greatest poker players of all time, although he's not alive. However, he left behind a massive legacy for the above players. I can safely say he's the "Father" of the loose-aggressive style of play. Notably, he won multiple world poker tournaments using this style of play.
Stewie was already playing cards at an early age before playing Hold'em. Additionally, he was so excellent at gin rummy worldwide that players would refuse to play at a tournament he was participating because Ungar was the apparent winner.
Beating his opponents wasn't satisfactory enough for Ungar; he liked destroying his opponents mentally. He read their hands and had a fantastic memory. One time, he made a wager that he could guess all the cards in the deck, and he did it!
In 1980, Ungar beat the legendary Doyle Brunson in the World Series to become the youngest ever player to win the tournament. In 1981 he defended his champion status by winning the tournament again. When asked where he would spend the money, Ungar truthfully said,"of course, on the game."
Perhaps Ungar's most glorious tournament was when he caught his opponent on a bluff after perfectly reading his hand. He said, "you have 4-5 or 5-6." Ungar called a "bluff all in" and flipped his 10-9, thus winning $1,000,000.
Sadly, Ungar couldn't strike a balance between investing and spending his money. He wagered his money on sports betting, horse races, and every type of gambling in between. He squandered a vast share of the money on a luxurious lifestyle and use of cocaine.
On November 22, 1998, at the age of 45, Stuart Ungar was found dead in an Oasis Motel room. He died of a heart attack. His wife and daughter live in Las Vegas.