Phil Ivey Becomes All Time Tournament Money Leader
During the 2010 Aussie Millions $100,000 High-Roller Event, Phil Ivey finished in second place to Dan Shak, receiving $600,000 (Australian), worth about $542,000 (U.S.). This marked a momentous achievement for Ivey, who surpassed Daniel Negreanu to reach the top of the all-time tournament money list. Ivey's all-time winnings are now over $12.8 million.
Ivey began his rise to the top as a teenager, honing his skills in Atlantic City using a false ID with the name "Jerome." In the 2000 World Series of Poker, Ivey, then 24 years old, won the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha bracelet. At the 2002 World Series, he won three bracelets: $2,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo, $2000 SHOE, and $1,500 Seven-Card Stud. He is one of only five people to win three bracelets in a single year. Three more bracelets followed, one in 2005 and two in 2009. He is the youngest player ever to accumulate so many bracelets.
Ivey's best performance in the WSOP Main Event came in 2009, when he finished seventh and received a $1.4 million dollar prize. This marked the only time to date he has been in the November Nine, though he came within one slot of doing so in 2003, and was in the Top 30 two other times.
Ivey has also reached eight final tables on the World Poker Tour since its founding in 2002, though he has only come in first place one time: he won the Los Angeles Poker Classic in 2008, netting nearly $1.6 million. Two other big wins both came in 2005, when he won the Monte Carlo Millions and took home $1 million; the next day he won another $600,000 for coming in first at a FullTiltPoker.Net invitational. Ivey has also played on the European Poker Tour and the European Poker Masters.
Ivey's rise to the top of the all-time list comes as no surprise to anybody who follows the world of poker. It merely confirms what most were already agreed upon: Ivey is the most talented poker player around today. Nevertheless, despite his current status as king of the poker world, he still leads Negreanu by less than $400,000, with third-place Jamie Gold trailing by about $600,000, meaning that Ivey will need to work to defend his title.
Phil Ivey Makes November 9 of 2009 WSOP
For a complete summary of Phil Ivey making the November 9, including the big hands and hardships, please see our Phil Ivey November 9 article.
In what has been one of the most incredible stories of the 2009 World Series of Poker, Phil Ivey has made the final table of the Main Event. He has outlasted 6,485 other participants, along with 8 other players, to become one of the elite “November 9” of 2009.
Ivey has already had an incredible run at this year’s Series, cashing in 5 other events, including 2 bracelets. His two wins this year come in Event 8, Deuce to Seven Draw Lowball (No-Limit) and then, less than 2 weeks later, he won Event 25, Omaha/7 Card Stud H/L 8 or Better Split. That brings his total bracelet count to 7.
However, none of his previous wins would even come close in comparison if he were able to win the WSOP Main Event. In fact, none of Ivey’s 7 bracelets have come in a no-limit Hold’em event.
Phil Ivey will definitely have his work cut out for him in order to take down the world’s largest tournament. However, Ivey is easily the most feared player at the final table, even though his stack isn’t as intimidating as his reputation. He will enter final table play in 7th place, with 9,765,000 in chips. The chip leader, Darvin Moon, has over 58 million in chips.
Phil has the obvious advantage over the other players at the final table of being used to pressure situations on Poker’s biggest stage. It could probably also be said that, although the grand prize of over $8.5 million would obviously be welcomed, the money does not mean as much to Ivey as it does to the rest of the players. His goal is simply to win the bracelet and the title of World Series of Poker Main Even Champion. As he told reporters after making the final table, “You have no idea how bad I want this.”
For now, we’ll have to wait until November 7th through the 10th to find out if Phil Ivey will be able to win his 8th, and likely his most precious, World Series of Poker Bracelet.
For more information on Phil Ivey, see our Phil Ivey November 9 page!
Phil Ivey in Card Player Magazine
Phil Ivey became the youngest poker player in history to win 5 WSOP bracelets in 2005. Ironically his fifth bracelet was from the same game as his first bracelet, Pot Limit Omaha.
Christy Devine has a revealing conversation with Phil Ivey in the Volume 17, No. 24 issue of Card Player Magazine. We start out by learning the details on how young Phil Ivey was when he started playing poker:
Christy Devine: How old were you when you started playing?
Like many Chris Ferguson and many other great players, Phil Ivey supports Full Tilt. Phil Ivey talks about some of the advantages of Full Tilt including the quality software and the chance for folks to play and chat with pros:
Phil Ivey: The first time I played was with my grandfather when I was 8 or 9 years old. He showed me how to play five-card stud. The first time I ever played for money, I was 16.
Christy Devine: Were you sneaking into casinos at 16?
Phil Ivey: No, I was sneaking into casinos at 17 or 18.
Christy Devine: I knew it. Everyone has his own sneaking-into-casinos story. Did you have a good fake ID?
Phil Ivey: I had an ID. I was Jerome, Jerome Graham. That was my name. Everybody in Atlantic City knew me as Jerome until I turned 21. When I turned 21, I walked into the Tropicana and found the shift manager. I said, "Hey, my name's Phil." She said, "What?" I said, "My name's Phil. I'm sorry." She told me it was OK. She didn't think I was old enough to be in there anyway, but there was nothing they could do then; I was official.
Christy Devine: How long have you been playing professionally?
Phil Ivey: I started playing for a living when I was 21, maybe 22. That's when I really started trying hard to make money at poker.
Christy Devine: What made you think you could do this for a living?
Phil Ivey: I would look around at the other people who were doing it for a living, and would think, "They're making money playing poker?" So, I would play with them and not be very impressed. I thought it was the best thing ever, being able to play cards for a living. What could beat that?
Christy Devine: Did you think it was going to be a lot easier than it has been?
Phil Ivy: It seems simple until you start losing. People have different ways that they go about making money. I'm not the best at managing money. If I've got the money to play, I'm gonna play.
Christy Devine: How did you get involved with Full TiltPoker?
Phil Ivey: I was involved from the very beginning when Chris (Ferguson) told me he was working on a site. All the guys involved with the site are people I respect. I respect them as people and as players.
Christy Devine: Do you think Full Tilt has put out a good product?
Phil Ivey: I do believe it is a good product. The software is the best out there and the games are the best, and where else can you go to talk with professional players and play with them? We're trying to give the quality service to customers that the other online sites don't give them. We're trying to make things a little more personal. Right now, there is a big deposit bonus, and a lot more people are playing than a few months ago.
Christy Devine: How much time do you spend online at Full Tilt?
Phil Ivey: I try to play about 10 hours a week.
Phil Ivey in Bluff Magazine
Bluff Magazine had a nice article with Phil Ivey. The interview begins by congratulating Phil Ivey on his accomplishments in 2005.
Bluff Magazine: Congratulations Phil, you are Bluff’s Player of the Year. Are you getting used to the accolades yet?
Phil Ivey started playing poker when he was young and it wasn't legal for him to enter casinos.
Phil Ivey: Well, no. I’ve never won anything like this in the past. Even though I’m usually in the Top 20, I never have much of a chance of winning a player of the year award, because I don’t play in as many tournaments as everybody else.
Bluff Magazine: Was 2005 your best year for tournament winnings?
Phil Ivey: For tournament, yes...
Bluff Magazine: How did you first discover poker?
It has been said that Phil likes the Los Angeles Lakers but he doesn't admit that they are one of his favorite teams in this interview.
Phil Ivey: I was 8 years old and my grandfather taught me how to play 5-card stud [and] we played with pennies. I didn’t play much until I was over at a friend’s house when I was about 15. They had a little poker game over there and they asked me if I wanted to play. It was a $20 buy-in thing, so I joined them and I fell in love with the game.
Bluff Magazine: You were “Jerome” in those days. Does anyone down in Atlantic City still know you as Jerome?
Phil Ivy: No. No one knows me as Jerome anymore. It was just the name on my fake ID. I didn’t really speak to that many people anyway; I just went down and played poker and that was it. But, I told people I was Jerome and… when I turned 21, I told them I was Phil.
Bluff Magazine: What kind of limits were you playing in those days?
Phil Ivey: I started off playing $1/$3 and $1/$5. A couple of times, I’d play $20/$40, but that was a real big thing for me back then.
Bluff Magazine: Did you have a mentor when you were learning the game?
Phil Ivey: Nah, I didn’t have a mentor; it was basically just trial and error. I’d learn by watching some of the players that won a lot, and by thinking about the game all the time. I learned to play on my own.
Bluff Magazine: People don’t know a lot about you away from the table. What do you do when you’re not playing?
Phil Ivey: I play golf [and] a little basketball every once in a while. I like to travel, go to restaurants, chill out with my wife -- just relax and have a good time.
Bluff Magazine: What’s your favorite sport to watch?
Phil Ivy: Basketball.
Bluff Magazine: Who’s your team?
Phil Ivey: I don’t really have a team. I guess my team is whoever I bet on.
Bluff Magazine: Are you a big sports bettor?
Phil Ivey: Not a big one; if I go to a game, then I’ll bet on the game. I used to bet [on] sports a lot, but I’ve cut down on all that stuff.
More about Phil Ivey
I like the fact that Phil Ivey has won bracelets in so many different forms of poker. It is only a matter of time before he wins a bracelet in No Limit Hold'em. Everyone knows he is one of the best No Limit players in the world. In fact, the books didn't give any player better odds of winning the 2005 main event than Phil Ivey.
Common Misspellings of Phil Ivey:
Learn more about Phil Ivey at Full Tilt Poker.
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