Canada’s Best Poker Players
What makes a great poker player – and how do you measure it? As with any other sport, saying one person is better than another at poker is mostly subjective. And the luck element in poker makes it even more difficult to judge. Still, we’re going to give it a good go at ranking Canada’s best poker players.
We can always turn to the results. Tournaments are what make poker a true sport, even if cash games are more difficult to master. The players who have won the most prize money at the tournament tables are the ones we can celebrate with at least some level of authority.
You won’t get too much argument with this approach when it comes to Canada’s best poker players of all time. The person with the most tournament earnings in this case happens to be one of the most famous players in the world, and an easy No. 1 pick here at Bodog Poker.
1. Daniel Negreanu ($50.48 million)
Chances are you’re already familiar with Kid Poker. Negreanu is a proud native of Toronto, where he was born to Romanian parents in 1974. He’s third on the all-time list with over $50 million in tournament earnings, and the only reason Justin Bonomo and Bryn Kenney are ahead of Negreanu – for now – is because both those gentlemen took home eight-figure prizes at super high-roller charity events.
Negreanu’s bona fides are beyond compare. He’s the only person to be twice named World Series of Poker Player of the Year (in 2004 and 2013), and the first to win WSOP events on all three circuits: Las Vegas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. And Negreanu is no stranger to the big money himself, taking down the top prize of $3.3 million at the Super High Roller Bowl VII last October in Vegas. He deservedly tops our list of Canada’s best poker players.
2. Sam Greenwood ($30.83 million)
One of the most respected thinkers in the business, Greenwood comes from a successful family of poker players from Toronto, alongside twin brother Lucas and older brother Max. After cutting his teeth with online poker starting in 2006, Greenwood earned his first live tournament cash at the 2008 WPT North American Poker Championship in Niagara Falls, then went on to great success on the global stage.
Remarkably, Greenwood has only one WSOP bracelet to Negreanu’s six, but that’s partly because Greenwood is more likely to be found at the international tables. He’s won dozens of big tournaments across Europe and Asia, including his largest cash of $3.3 million this past January at a super high-roller event in Nassau. Check out his tutorial videos on Run It Once if you haven’t already.
3. Timothy Adams ($30.78 million)
Falling to third place on this list after Greenwood’s big win in the Bahamas, Adams might be back in second by the time you read this. The Burlington native is coming off of a successful run at the Triton Super High Roller Series in Vietnam, where he added another $800,000 to his growing pile of prize money.
Like everyone else on this list aside from D-Negs, Adams got his start during the poker boom of the mid-Aughts, going online in 2004 and winning millions of dollars before making his WSOP debut in 2007. And in addition to a WSOP bracelet, Adams has claimed two giant super high-roller titles for a combined $7.1 million in earnings, the first in Jeju in 2019 and the second the following year in Sochi.
4. Daniel Dvoress ($23.11 million)
Another familiar name from the Run It Once crew, Dvoress was born in the former Soviet Union before emigrating to Toronto at age eight. He started with online cash poker games in 2006, and stuck with them while he went to college before finally turning pro. Dvoress had his first taste of live tournament success in 2013; he doesn’t do Vegas much, but Dvoress did win a WSOP bracelet at the online 2020 Millionaire Maker for a cool $1.5 million.
That wasn’t the biggest prize Dvoress has bagged. His top cash was $4.1 million back in 2019 at a super high-roller event in Nassau, beating a tough field of 51 players including a stacked final table featuring Bonomo, Jason Koon, Steve O’Dwyer, Seth Davies and the legendary Erik Seidel. Dvoress has also topped seven figures at two separate Short Deck events in Montenegro (2019) and Madrid (2022).
5. Michael Watson ($18.58 million)
Finally, we have SirWatts himself, the pride of St. John’s. He’s the only player on this list without a WSOP bracelet, but again, Watson has more than made up for it at the international tables, including WPT and EPT titles – and first place for $700,000 in his most recent cash two weeks ago at a Short Deck event in Vietnam. That victory puts Watson ahead of 2010 WSOP Main Event winner Jonathan Duhamel for fifth on our list.
Watson didn’t need a super high-roller bonanza to make this list, either. His biggest lifetime cash was at the 2008 Bellagio Cup IV in Vegas, where he won a $15,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $1.7 million in prize money. Four years later, Watson took home his other seven-figure payday by winning the Majestic Roller tournament on the WSOP-Europe circuit in Cannes.
Of course, there have been many other poker players from Canada who deserve consideration as the best of all time. Duhamel stamped his ticket by winning the most important tournament in the world, but he’s basically retired now. Mike “Timex” McDonald may be the most technically gifted player this country has ever produced, but he’s more involved in poker staking and other ventures these days.
Maybe you’ll be the next player to put your name on this list. Bodog Poker is the perfect place for players from Canada and all over the Americas to learn how to play poker like a true champion. Check out our archive of poker strategy articles, keep working on your craft, and we’ll see you at the tables.