|27-Jan-2012||A$ 250,000 No Limit Hold'em - $250,000 Challenge|
2012 Aussie Millions Poker Championship, Melbourne
|23-Feb-2008||WPT $ 9,900 No Limit Hold'em - Championship Event|
2008 L.A. Poker Classic, Los Angeles
|03-Jul-2009||WSOP $ 10,000 World Championship No Limit Hold'em|
40th World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2009, Las Vegas
|20-Nov-2005|| $ 25,000 No Limit Hold'em|
2005 Monte Carlo Millions, Monte Carlo
There is no doubt that Phil Ivey must be considered among the best, if not the best, poker player alive. Although Phil is modest about his poker skills, he draws comparison to other top professionals in their fields like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods for his accomplishments on the felt.
Phillip Dennis Ivey Jr. was born on the first of February in Riverside CA, but at the age of three months his family moved to Roselle, New Jersey. One of the many reasons for Philâ€™s astonishing success today is simply the number of years he has spent playing virtually all variations of poker.
Already in his teens, long before he became a pro, he told his family and teachers that his goal was to become the number one poker player in the world. At the age of 16 he sat in on an adultsâ€™ poker game which was hosted by a friendâ€™s father, and proceeded to consistently beat the game. This motivated him to seize every opportunity he got to play in backroom and home games. Then, after high school, Phil worked as a telemarketer to fund his bankroll, which rarely lasted long.
At the ripe age of 18, Phil started grinding a lot more, playing long hours in the Atlantic City casinos. The first few years were not a great success, though, and he ended up losing more than he earned. Nevertheless, as a result of the experience, he was starting to carefully internalize all the important aspects and intricacies of poker the hard way â€“ by regularly draining his bankroll â€“ to eventually become the Poker Master that Phil Ivey is today. On occasion, busting his bankroll would force him to sleep under the boardwalk at the New Jersey Shore. As he said himself, â€śIt was kind of a disgusting feeling waking up to the sun, but you know… what could you do?â€ť However, no matter what came in his way, he remained determined to become the best player at any poker table, and he ground relentlessly for 16 to 18 hours a day, every day, in order to achieve that goal.
In 1997, he moved to Atlantic City to become a professional poker player. By the age of 24 he had won his first four WSOP events, cashing in just over $550K. Three of those were won in 2002 alone, which ties the most bracelets anyone has ever won in one year. In June 2005, he won his fifth WSOP bracelet in a $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha Event. After the win, Ivey was asked if he thought he could earn more bracelets than any other living player. “I want to win 30,” Ivey said, demonstrating yet again his competitive drive to rule the world of poker. He is also known for his regular results in the main event. Between 2002 and 2005, he finished among the top 25 players three separate times.
As if five bracelets wasnâ€™t enough, and nothing ever is for Ivey when it comes to winning in poker, he won three more: two in 2009 and one in 2010. Each of the three games he won was a different variation of poker: No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball, Omaha Hi/Lo / 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo and H.O.R.S.E., proving that Ivey was a not a jack, but rather a master of all trades.
In 2006, when Phil was 30, he was part of a team of 15 poker players who each pooled their money to play against real estate billionaire, Andy Beal, with pots ranging from $200,000 to $1,000,000. Over three days playing head-to-head with Beal, he won the team $16.6 million.
Several years later, the commissioner of the World Series of Poker confidently and calmly stated, â€śPhil is one of the most talked about, revered and I also think feared players today.â€ť As of today, Phil has cashed 127 times in live tournaments worldwide, 22 of which he won. Barry Greenstein made the remark that Phil Ivey was the best tournament poker player in the world, and the only player to successfully transition from tournament poker to beating the “Big Game,” i.e. the high stakes cash game at the Bellagio.
At age 34, he was the youngest player to ever win eight WSOP bracelets. Phil accumulated a total of eight bracelets quicker than any other player. A more recent and notable win of Iveyâ€™s includes cashing first place at the Aussie Millions in the January 2012 high-roller event, defeating some of the worldâ€™s best for a prize of $2,000,000. Phil can be seen playing in the highest limit games all over the world.
Phil Ivey admits that one of his main strengths as a poker player is his â€ścomplete disregard for money.â€ťHe explains, â€śIf I need to bet three to four hundred thousand in a hand, and Iâ€™m bluffing, I just donâ€™t care.â€ť It is his fearlessness, innate talent and discipline in poker, which have all contributed extensively to his mind-blowing success. Possibly the main reason that Phil is such an extraordinarily-skilled player is his drive, his desperation, his undying will to be one of the best poker players in the world. Philâ€™s ultra-competitive drive consumes every living tissue in his body. As Phil reveals, â€śI could be friends with you, but if weâ€™re playing poker Iâ€™m trying to bust you, itâ€™s just that simple.â€ť Phil is also known for his stone cold poker face, and his eerily-intimidating glare. At the table, his body is most often very still, but his eyes dart in all directions, feeding his brain with all the information it needs to crush his opponents.
Ivey is a huge sports fan and his hobbies include prop-betting and golf. As if success in poker wasnâ€™t enough, he even participated in the inaugural World Series of Golf, where he finished in third place.
All in all, Philâ€™s life tells a story of immense dedication and relentless perseverance in achieving his extremely competitive goals. As of 2012, his total live tournament winnings exceed $16,000,000, but he has also made incredible sums of money playing cash games. He is a great inspiration to countless numbers of players worldwide, and has had an incredible success with poker, which shows no signs of stopping.
Philâ€™s favorite food: Sushi
Philâ€™s favorite poker player: Chip Reese
Philâ€™s favorite starting hand: AA
Best experience of his life: “Winning my first bracelet against the late Amarillo Slim.”
Worst experience of his life: Enduring several big losses
Philâ€™s favorite quotes:
â€śIf you want your dreams to come true, donâ€™t sleep.â€ť (A Yiddish proverb)
â€śSome of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will all be judged on one thing: the result.â€ť (Vince Lombardi)
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