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Phil Ivey

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    Born: 1977-02-01, Riverside, California, US

    A man widely recognized as the best of the best – Phil Ivey is one more proof that one does not simply become good at something. Ivey has been playing in the casinos since he was 18 years old (with a fake Jerome Graham alias).

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  • A man widely recognized as the best of the best – Phil Ivey is one more proof that one does not simply become good at something. He was born in California 1976, and when he was a teenager, he started telling his parents that he had a vision to be one of the most popular professional gamblers in the world. Ivey has been playing in the casinos since he was 18 years old (he used a fake alias as Jerome Graham). Since then he has two nicknames 'No Home Jarome' for spending every waking hour at the casino and 'Tiger Woods of Poker' for visual resemblance to the golf pro. But now he is in almost every Poker TOP5 there has been made which leaves no doubt Phil Ivey is one of the best poker players in the world.


    Nothing comes easy and it certainly did not go smoothly for Phil Ivey. There was some good, some bad and ugly. Being late to pay rent, pay for electricity, etc. It all went very slowly right until 2000 when Ivey turned 24 and entered his very first World Series of Poker. He managed to finish in the money in three events including a 1st place finish in $2,500 PLO after beating poker legend Amarillo Slim to win a WSOP gold bracelet and over $200.000.


    A day is too short to tell all about Phil Ivey's career. It is too short even to list only the highlights. Here we provide you with Ivey's most significant plays in WSOP. Even though, Ivey already has 8 WSOP bracelets in his hands (which at the moment is fourth best result in the world), a numerous money finishes he is still to win his WSOP Main Event title.

    World Series of Poker

    Phil Ivey with WSOP Bracelet
    Phil Ivey with WSOP Bracelet

    Under the World Series of Poker, he has tournament accomplishment winning including three bracelets at the 2002 WSOP, tying Ted Forrest, Puggy Pearson and Phil Hellmuth Jr. for a single year's most tournament wins. From 2000 to 2005, he also has bracelets in Pot Limit Omaha, having been, in 2000, the first person to beat Amarillo Slim heads-up at final table of a WSOP. He has also recorded victories in the WSOP Main Event; this is in addition to his eight World Series bracelets, while for four times, he was among the top 25 between the 2002 WSOP and the 2009 WSOP.

    World Poker Tour

    The World Poker Tour also has the name of Phil Ivey as one of the players to always respect. The reason is that he has been in the final nine times, having lost most of the time while each time holding the same starting hand, a queen and an ace. Phil has made the television final table and has also cashed in a WPT event 9 out of the 12 times. In February 2008, in the 6th season of the WPT, he made the LA Poker Classic at Commerce Casino final table, a tournament which included big names like Nam Le and Phil Hellmuth, to win the $1,596,100 first prize money.

    Phil Ivey won the 2012 Aussie Millions $250,000 Super High Roller in Melbourne by beating Patrik Antonius heads up to cash home the $2 million prize money. This important tournament was won even though he had been out of the poker scene for some months. For $100,000, he first placed 12th in the Main Event before going to obtain the largest score of his career to win the Super High Roller.

    Phil Ivey has also won many other important tournaments, winning the $120,000 winner-take-all "Earphones Please" tournament in January 2007 after defeating Tony G, Mike Matusow, Andy Bloch, Sam Farha and Phil Hellmuth, though was defeated by Don Cheadle in the "National Heads-Up Poker Championship" in April of the same year.

    Bracelet wins:

    • 2010 - $3,000 H.O.R.S.E.
    • 2009 - $2,500 Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo
    • 2009 - 2-7 Draw Lowball (No-Limit)
    • 2005 - $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha
    • 2002 - $1,500 7 Card Stud
    • 2002 - $2,000 S.H.O.E.
    • 2002 - $2,500 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
    • 2000 - $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha


    Official WSOP site claims that Ivey has bagged over $5,870,892 from WSOP cashes only while his overall winnings exceed $12 million. Once a guy that played a freeroll at Atlantic City to win $1.000 now can easily enter tournaments such as The Big One for One Drop with a $1 million buy-in.

    Life at Full Tilt Poker

    Phil Ivey does not act as you would your average celebrity to. Since his start as a Full Tilt Poker pro in 2007, he has always stayed humble and patient, always willing to help other poker players online. This of course, did not stop him from making profits. Being a member of Team FTP brought him a nice amount of earnings including $1.99 million in 2007, $7.34 million in 2008, $6.33 million in 2009 and $3 million in 2010.

    Unfortunately, this all ended with a day that every poker knows now as the Black Friday when on 15 April, 2011 FTP was closed after the owners were alleged of money laundering. Phil Ivey was one of the very few who broke the silence. In May, 2011 he filled a suit against FTP in order to cancel his contract with the online poker room and declared that he will not be playing in the upcoming WSOP as it would not be fair to play for him while other FTP players have their assets frozen.

    Interesting facts:

    • Ivey was close to playing at the final table of WSOP Main Event in 2003 but has busted out against the winner of that year Chris Moneymaker.
    • Ivey is a top high stakes player. In 2006, he won over $16 million in The Big Game against Texas billionaire Andy Beal (stakes were $25k/$50k to $50k/$100k).
    • In 2008 Phil Ivey played in $10.000 L.A. Classics and cashed in for over $2.5 million by winning the first place.