Seven poker quotes from World Champions to inspire you


Having a champion kind of week? Maybe your Monday started like getting one-outered on the river. If so, never mind! We have seven quotes from World Series of Poker Main Event World Champions for you to absorb and be inspired by.


Despite protestations to the contrary, we haven’t included any from WSOP $5,000 Rebuy Main Event Stoyan Madanzhiev, although as he told us himself last week, maybe he should be considered a World Champion too.

Let’s seek solace in these wise words from seven World Series Main Event winners.

  1. “I respect anyone that pulls a chair up to a poker table, no matter what the stakes are.”

As Doyle Brunson told CardPlayer Lifestyle in this interview, his views on the game of poker are fairly simple – everyone deserves respect. ‘Texas Dolly’ may have won it all and became a true Poker Idol, but he remains humble enough to credit even the beginner player for putting down their money and sitting down to risk their chips.

  1. “I came into this tournament as an underdog and it was only when I busted Johnny Chan that I really started to gain confidence.”

This revealing interview with Chris Moneymaker showed the world that what they already suspected was true – Moneymaker may have had the flash name, but a man for whom humility is second nature is the reason his legend goes on.

  1. “Not too many players try to bluff me. If there’s going to be bluffing or stealing going on, I’m going to be the one doing to it.”

Johnny Chan’s words on the art of bluffing should inspire you to take it to your opponents at all times. If Johnny Chan had ever actually faced Mike Dermott from Rounders at the felt, he’d have made mincemeat of him. 

  1. “I never want to be called a ‘good loser. ‘ Show me a good loser and I’ll just show you a loser.”

Stu Ungar said many things about poker, but this summarises how most poker players feel… especially after a bad beat. Where would Stu Ungar be if he was still around today – in the super high rollers, or the Rio daily? It’s a tragedy that we’ll never know.

  1. “I play against people all the time who are younger than I was when I won it. One of these guys is going to win.”

Joe Cada told me this in 2017 and I still believe him. Maybe in 2021, we’ll see the youngest-ever winner of the WSOP Main Event. We wouldn’t be at all surprised, although Joe Cada winning another bracelet to add to the four that he already has in his collection would seem ever more likely. The 2009 WSOP Main Event world champion holds legendary status in our eyes.

  1. “I never felt that pressure to ‘go pro.’ I told myself I could keep playing as long as I kept winning.”

Martin Jacobson would know a thing or two about doing so as he told me just a couple of years ago when we discussed his early life as a chef back in Sweden. It’s fair to say that he’s been cooking up a storm at the poker felt ever since, winning the 2014 Main Event for a cool $10 million, the second largest prize in Main Event history. 

  1. “I love playing poker. I love the competition. It’s not about the money to me. It’s going up against the best with your mind.”

Chris Ferguson’s this week’s curveball quote from the halls of the Rio a couple of years back, designed to simultaneously fill you with anger and a burning desire to eclipse the talents of ‘Jesus’. If he can do it, then why can’t you? Just be kind to people along the way.