In this installment, to wrap things up, we'll take a look at powerhouses like the U.S. and underrated nations like Canada. Here's how it all stacks up.
Germany is gradually becoming a poker hotbed. Although development of top-tier players in the region has been slow, the country still boasts some exceptionally talented players. Card sharks like Andreas Krause, Eddy Scharf and even Katja Thater have proven they have the ability to take down numerous events, while up-and-coming players like Johannes Strassman and Sebastian Ruthenberg have serious potential to make waves on the international poker scene.
Germany's all-time cashes are still woefully low compared to other countries', but with a little luck they will be a serious threat on the global scale in the years to come.
Canada is a bit of an enigma when it comes to poker. The all-time money list for the True North is extremely top-heavy with Daniel Negreanu, the clear front-runner, who has tournament winnings in excess of $10 million (Negreanu has won more in tournaments than the entire top 10 list of Germany combined).
While Canada is no doubt home to some poker talent, it feels, in many ways, as if the hockey-loving nation has yet to reach its true potential in the world of poker. Perhaps with players like Mike "Timex" McDonald, Greg "FBT" Mueller, Glen Chorny and Sorel Mizzi starting to find success in major tournaments, it will reach that potential sooner rather than later.
Grouping Scandinavia together is obviously a controversial move (It's not a country) but when you consider how similar many of the top pros in that area are, it's hard not to. When Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland are combined they form a poker powerhouse that rivals the U.S. in tournament cashes and sheer ability.
You can't go wrong with a guy like Gus Hansen, who has logged over $7 million in tournament winnings, while Patrik Antonius, Thor Hansen, Martin de Knijff and Juha Helppi are obviously no slouches either.
The foundation those players built has paved the way for young players like William Thorson, Annette Obrestad and Trond Eidsvig, who are quickly becoming a force on the tournament circuit.
Scandinavia is the heir apparent to the global poker crown and if it weren't for the next country, it would be the center of the poker universe.
United States of America
What more can be said about the U.S. when it comes to poker? The only region that would come close to competing with the U.S. in skillful poker players would be Scandinavia, and that requires combining a number of countries.
The U.S. is simply packed with experienced poker players like Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel and many, many more. It's not just the older crowd either. Internet superstars like Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond, Tom "durrrr" Dwan and Brian "sbrugby" Townsend are changing the game and should not be underestimated.
Poker was essentially born in the United States and the country remains the true home of the game. The big question is - for how long?
Thanks for reading about the seven essential poker-playing countries in the world. In the future we'll take a closer look at some even smaller nations on the scene, like Russia and Australia, and their role in the poker industry.
In the meantime you might want to try some poker for yourself. Who knows; maybe you'll put your country on the poker map, if it isn't there already.