Phil Ivey

Table of Contents

Phil Ivey

Phillip Dennis Ivey Jr., born on February 1, 1977, is a distinguished American professional poker player boasting an impressive track record in the realm of high-stakes poker. With an illustrious career spanning decades, Ivey has clinched an astounding ten World Series of Poker bracelets, cementing his status as one of the most formidable players in the game. Additionally, he boasts a prestigious World Poker Tour title under his belt and has graced the final tables of nine World Poker Tour events. Renowned for his unparalleled skill and strategic prowess, Ivey is widely revered among peers and poker enthusiasts alike, earning accolades as the preeminent all-around player in the global poker circuit. In recognition of his remarkable contributions to the game, Ivey was rightfully inducted into the esteemed Poker Hall of Fame in 2017, further solidifying his enduring legacy in the realm of professional poker.

Phil Ivey, often regarded as one of the greatest poker players of all time, has carved an indelible mark in the world of professional poker with his remarkable skills and unflappable demeanor. His journey in the poker realm is nothing short of legendary, showcasing a blend of innate talent and meticulously honed skills. With numerous World Series of Poker bracelets to his name, Ivey’s achievements at the poker table are both enviable and inspiring. His ability to read opponents and make daring plays has made him a formidable figure in the poker community, earning him the respect of peers and the admiration of fans worldwide.

Beyond his poker accolades, Ivey’s influence extends into the broader aspects of the gambling world. He is known for his high-stakes baccarat sessions, which have led to famous legal battles, further cementing his status as a gambling icon. However, it’s not just his victories that define him; it’s his approach to the game. Phil Ivey embodies a unique blend of relentless ambition, strategic thinking, and psychological warfare, making him a master of the craft. His poker face, a term as iconic as the man himself, symbolizes the cool composure and strategic depth he brings to the table.

Phil Ivey’s legacy in the world of poker and beyond is a testament to his enduring excellence and passion for the game. Whether it’s his strategic brilliance at the poker table, his adventurous forays into high-stakes gambling, or his contributions to the poker community, Ivey’s impact is profound. His story inspires aspiring poker players and gambling enthusiasts alike, offering a blueprint for success that is rooted in skill, discipline, and an unwavering will to win. As the poker landscape continues to evolve, Phil Ivey remains a constant, a true icon whose influence will be felt for generations to come.

Riverside, California, U.S.

Riverside, California, U.S

Name

Date of Birth

Birth Place

Profession

Residence

Phillip Dennis Ivey Jr.

February 1, 1977

Riverside, California, U.S.

Poker

Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.

World Series of Poker

Bracelet

Final table

Money finish

Highest ITM

 

10

31

59

7th, 2009

World Poker Tour

Title

Final table

Money finish

1

9

13

European Poker Tour

Title

Final table

Money finish

None

1

3

Career

Live poker

In 2000, Ivey’s emergence onto the poker scene reached a pivotal point with his victory in a Pot Limit Omaha event at the WSOP, clinching his first coveted bracelet. Notably, he made history by defeating the legendary Amarillo Slim heads-up at a WSOP final table. This triumph marked the beginning of a remarkable journey characterized by unparalleled success and strategic brilliance. Over the years, Ivey’s prowess at the felt has been undeniable, with standout performances including his impressive three bracelet haul at the 2002 World Series of Poker, a feat matched by only a select few in the poker pantheon.

The years that followed further solidified Ivey’s status as one of the game’s all-time greats, as he continued to amass accolades and etch his name into the annals of poker history. In 2009, he showcased his versatility by securing his sixth bracelet in the $2,500 No-Limit 2–7 Draw Lowball Event, triumphing over a field of formidable opponents. His mastery of different variants was on full display as he added another bracelet to his collection in the $2,500 1/2 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo 1/2 Omaha Hi/Lo event, outlasting a sizable field with strategic finesse.

The pinnacle of Ivey’s success came to fruition in 2010 when he clinched his tenth bracelet, solidifying his status as a poker legend. His victory in the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. event showcased not only his exceptional skill but also his ability to thrive in elite company, as he navigated through a final table brimming with top-tier talent. With this milestone, Ivey joined an elite echelon of players, standing shoulder to shoulder with icons of the game. His legacy as one of the most accomplished and revered figures in poker is not only defined by his record-setting bracelet count but also by his unwavering dedication to the craft and his enduring impact on the world of poker.

Poker Statistics

World Series of Poker bracelets

Year Tournament Prize (US$/A$)
2000 $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha $195,000
2002 $2,500 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo $118,440
2002 $2,000 S.H.O.E. $107,540
2002 $1,500 7 Card Stud $132,000
2005 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha $635,603
2009 $2,500 No-Limit 2–7 Draw Lowball $96,367
2009 $2,500 Omaha Hi/Lo / 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo $220,538
2010 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. $329,840
2013A A$2,200 Mixed Event A$51,840
2014 $1,500 Eight Game Mix $166,986

WSOP Heads-Up Record

Year Event Opponent Result Win Loss Win%
2000 $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha Amarillo Slim Win X
2002 $1,500 Limit 7 Card Stud Toto Leonidas Win X
2002 $2,500 Limit 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo Sirous Baghchehsaraie Win X
2002 $2,000 Limit S.H.O.E (Event 23) Diego Cordovez Win X
2003 $3,000 Limit Razz Huck Seed Loss X
2005 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Robert Williamson III Win X
2006 $5,000 Omaha Hi-Lo Split Sam Farha Loss X
2007 $10,000 World Championship Seven Card Stud Chris Reslock Loss X
2009 $2,500 Deuce to Seven Draw Lowball (No-Limit) John Monnette Win X
2009 $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud HL/8 or Better Ming Lee Win X
2010 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. Bill Chen Win X
2012 $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em Andy Frankenberger Loss X
2013A $2,200 Mixed Event Brandon Wong Win X
2014 $1,500 Eight Game Mix Bruce Yamron Win X
2022 $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em Aleksejs Ponakovs Loss X
10 5 .667

WSOP Texas Hold'em Record

Cashes Final Tables Wins
32 8 0

WSOP Non-Texas Hold'em Record

Cashes Final Tables Wins
24 19 10

WSOP Non-Texas Hold'em Results

Year Event Result Winnings
2000 Limit 7 Card Stud (Event 3) 12th $5,145
2000 Pot Limit Omaha (Event 14) 1st $195,000
2001 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo (Event 23) 6th $18,165
2002 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo (Event 3) 9th $7,640
2002 Limit 7 Card Stud (Event 5) 1st $132,000
2002 Limit 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo (Event 10) 8th $5,860
2002 Limit 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo (Event 16) 1st $118,440
2002 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo (Event 20) 14th $3,720
2002 Limit S.H.O.E (Event 23) 1st $107,540
2003 Limit Razz (Event 27) 2nd $36,000
2003 Limit 7 Card Stud (Event 31) 3rd $53,560
2003 Pot Limit Omaha w/re-buys (Event 33) 9th $10,720
2005 Omaha Hi-low Split (Event 5) 54th $2,410
2005 Pot Limit Omaha (Event 27) 1st $635,603
2006 Limit Hold’em (Event 4) 21st $9,476
2006 Omaha Hi-low Split (Event 12) 2nd $219,208
2006 H.O.R.S.E. (Event 20) 3rd $617,760
2007 World Championship Seven Card Stud (Event 11) 2nd $143,820
2007 H.O.R.S.E. (Event 26) 4th $65,424
2008 H.O.R.S.E. (Event 22) 24th $7,998
2008 World Championship Seven Card Stud (Event 14) 9th $37,130
2008 World Championship H.O.R.S.E. (Event 45) 12th $159,840
2008 H.O.R.S.E. (Event 2) 6th £13,750
2009 Deuce to Seven Draw Lowball (No-Limit) (Event 8) 1st $96,367
2009 Omaha/Seven Card Stud HL/8 or Better (Event 25) 1st $220,538
2009 Pot-Limit Omaha (Event 30) 44th $4,883
2010 Event #27: Seven Card Stud Hi-Low-8 or Better 52nd $3,182
2010 Event #33: Pot-Limit Hold’em/Omaha 12th $16,074
2010 Event #37: H.O.R.S.E. 1st $329,840
2012 Event #15: Seven Card Stud Hi-Low Split-8 or Better 7th $34,595
2012 Event #24: Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better 3rd $136,046
2012 Event #32: H.O.R.S.E. 5th $99,739
2012 Event #35: Mixed Hold’em (Limit/No-Limit) 8th $21,699
2013A Event #3: Mixed Event 1st $51,840
2014 Event #12: Pot-Limit Hold’em 22nd $5,030
2014 Event #48: Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better 30th $6,836
2014 Event #50: Eight Game Mix 1st $166,986

World Poker Tour

Ivey has graced numerous final tables on the World Poker Tour (WPT). One notable moment occurred during the sixth season of the WPT in February 2008, where Ivey clinched victory at the LA Poker Classic held at Commerce Casino. Facing off against formidable opponents like Phil Hellmuth and Nam Le, Ivey secured the coveted $1,596,100 first prize, ending his streak of seven WPT final tables without a win. His success on the WPT circuit has garnered him over $4 million in cash prizes.

Venturing into the European Poker Tour (EPT) scene, Ivey made his debut in Barcelona in September 2006. Displaying his prowess, he navigated to the final table of nine as the chip leader. Despite his strong position, Ivey ultimately settled for the runner-up title, conceding victory to Bjørn-Erik Glenne from Norway. This event marked another significant chapter in Ivey’s illustrious poker career, showcasing his adaptability and skill on the international stage.

 

YearTournamentPrize (US$)
2008$10,000 L.A. Poker Classic$1,596,100

Other

In 2006, Ivey showcased his poker prowess at The London All Star Challenge during the inaugural European Poker Masters. Despite fierce competition, he secured a notable seventh-place finish, walking away with £6,700 ($12,534) in winnings. November 2005 marked a significant milestone in Ivey’s career as he clinched the $1,000,000 top prize at the prestigious Monte Carlo Millions tournament. Adding to his triumph, he claimed an additional $600,000 by emerging victorious at “The FullTiltPoker.Net Invitational Live from Monte Carlo,” besting formidable opponents like Mike Matusow, Phil Hellmuth, and Gus Hansen.

On January 22, 2007, viewers witnessed Ivey’s dominance on NBC’s Poker After Dark, where he conquered the “Earphones Please” tournament, seizing the $120,000 winner-takes-all prize. Throughout the competition, he skillfully outplayed renowned players including Tony G and Phil Hellmuth. However, not every match led to victory, as demonstrated in the April 15, 2007, airing of NBC’s “National Heads-Up Poker Championship,” where Ivey faced defeat against actor Don Cheadle in the opening round. Despite setbacks, Ivey’s tenacity remained evident as he continued to make waves in the poker world, participating in esteemed events like GSN’s High Stakes Poker.

In subsequent years, Ivey’s success only soared higher. In 2012, he emerged triumphant at the Aussie Millions A$250,000 High Roller event, outdueling Patrik Antonius in a thrilling heads-up battle to claim the A$2,000,000 grand prize. His dominance at the Aussie Millions continued, with notable victories in the 2014 and 2015 LK Boutique $250,000 Challenges, earning him AU$4,000,000 and AU$2,205,000 respectively. With total live tournament winnings exceeding $38.3 million as of 2023, including over $9.2 million from the WSOP, Ivey solidifies his status as one of the most successful and revered figures in the world of professional poker, currently holding the 11th position on the all-time money list.

Cash Games

Ivey is a familiar face in the high-stakes mixed cash games at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, commonly known as the Big Game. His prowess in the poker world was particularly showcased in February 2006 when he engaged in a high-stakes heads-up Limit Texas Hold’em battle against Texas billionaire Andy Beal. Over three intense days at The Wynn Resort, with stakes ranging from $25,000/$50,000 to $50,000/$100,000, Ivey emerged victorious, amassing a staggering sum of over $16,000,000. Notably, Ivey represented “The Corporation,” a group of elite poker professionals who pooled their resources and rotated in challenging Beal. This monumental win came shortly after Beal had triumphed over the Corporation, claiming over $13,000,000 from them earlier in the month.

Beyond his prowess at the poker table, Ivey was instrumental in the inception of Full Tilt Poker, where he served as part of the original design team. However, in May 2011, Ivey took legal action against the company, filing a lawsuit in Clark County, Nevada, alleging breaches of contract. Seeking damages exceeding $150,000,000 and requesting release from his contractual obligations, Ivey’s lawsuit garnered significant attention within the poker community. Despite the initial legal action, Ivey voluntarily withdrew the lawsuit on June 30th, marking a pivotal moment in his ongoing relationship with Full Tilt Poker.

According to data from HighStakesDB.com, Ivey’s dominance extended beyond live play, as he amassed substantial winnings on Full Tilt Poker. His earnings on the platform were remarkable, with $1.99 million in 2007, $7.34 million in 2008, $6.33 million in 2009, and $3 million in 2010, solidifying his status as one of the most formidable and successful players in the history of the game.

Edge-sorting Litigation

Ivey has faced legal battles with casinos on two occasions, accused of breaching contracts through his manipulation of edge sorting. In both instances, he lost all court challenges, though a mediation process in the second case resulted in an agreed settlement between Ivey and the casino. One such incident occurred in August 2012 at Crockfords, a London casino, where Ivey reportedly won £7,300,000 but was denied most of the payout due to his use of edge sorting. Despite denying any wrongdoing, Ivey’s efforts to claim his winnings were unsuccessful.

In another case in April 2014, The Borgata Casino in Atlantic City sued Ivey, alleging cheating at baccarat by exploiting a defect in the playing cards’ manufacturing. The lawsuit sought $15.6 million from Ivey, including his winnings, anticipated losses by the casino, and additional compensations. Legal proceedings culminated in a UK court ruling that Ivey’s techniques at Crockford’s amounted to cheating. Despite appeals, including one to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the judgments consistently upheld the view that Ivey’s actions constituted cheating.

Following a federal judge’s decision in January 2019 allowing the Borgata to pursue Ivey’s assets in Nevada, the US Marshals Service seized Ivey’s 2019 World Series of Poker winnings to offset his debts to the Borgata. Subsequently, after mediation, both parties reached a settlement in July 2020, bringing an end to the prolonged legal dispute.

Personal life

Born in Riverside, California, Ivey’s early years were spent in Roselle, New Jersey, where his family relocated when he was just three months old. He completed his education at Old Bridge High School in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey, setting the stage for his future endeavors.

Currently based in Las Vegas, Ivey’s personal life has seen its share of ups and downs. In December 2009, he and his then-wife, Luciaetta, filed for divorce after seven years of marriage, which was finalized later that month. Despite personal challenges, Ivey remains a dedicated fan of both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets, showcasing his enduring love for basketball.

Beyond his prowess at the poker table, Ivey indulges in a variety of hobbies, including sports betting, prop betting, and golf. He even ventured into the world of competitive golf, participating in the inaugural World Series of Golf, where he impressed with a fourth-place finish. Moreover, Ivey has a philanthropic side, generously contributing to charitable causes. In 2008, he established the Budding Ivey Foundation, named after his grandfather, to support underprivileged children. The foundation has raised substantial funds for various initiatives, including children’s literacy projects and programs to combat homelessness. Additionally, Ivey has collaborated with organizations like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, bringing joy to children through memorable experiences at the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas. In the realm of business, Ivey has founded two companies: Ivey Poker in 2012, offering a free-to-play poker app, and Ivey League in 2014, a poker training site featuring expert coaches. Through his diverse pursuits, Ivey continues to make an impact both on and off the felt.

FAQ

How much money has Phil Ivey won?

Phil Ivey, a name synonymous with poker excellence, has raked in over $31 million in live tournament winnings alone. That’s not even accounting for his substantial earnings from cash games and online poker. Ivey’s poker prowess has seen him conquer tables worldwide, making him one of the game’s biggest earners.

Is Phil Ivey the best poker player in the world?

Debating the best poker player in the world often circles back to Phil Ivey. With ten World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets to his name and countless high-stakes victories, his skills at the felt are almost unrivaled. While “the best” is subjective in the poker world, Ivey’s name is always in the conversation.

Is Phil Ivey retired?

Phil Ivey is far from retired. Though he may not be as omnipresent in the poker circuit as in his heyday, Ivey still participates in high-stakes games and prestigious tournaments around the globe. His passion for the game appears undiminished, and his presence at a table is always a headline event.

Why is Phil Ivey so rich?

Phil Ivey’s wealth isn’t just a product of his poker winnings; it’s a testament to his versatility and strategic acumen in the game. Beyond the live tournament scene, Ivey has made millions in cash games, online poker, and even some high-profile legal battles. His ability to read opponents and make fearless plays has significantly padded his bankroll.

Who is the king of poker?

While the title of “king of poker” is subjective, Phil Ivey has often been crowned by peers and fans alike. His consistent performance, strategic depth, and ability to win under pressure across different formats of the game have cemented his legacy as one of poker’s all-time greats.

Who is the richest poker player ever?

Determining the richest poker player can be tricky due to the private nature of cash games and personal wealth. However, names like Dan Bilzerian have been floated, often with a focus on their flamboyant lifestyle and massive social media following. Yet, when it comes to pure poker earnings, players like Bryn Kenney and Justin Bonomo have topped the charts with their tournament winnings. Phil Ivey, of course, remains one of the wealthiest when considering his all-around earnings from the game.

Is poker a skill or luck?

Poker is a unique blend of skill and luck. While luck decides the cards you’re dealt, skill is what you use to play them. Over the short term, luck can dominate, but skill is what separates the long-term winners from the rest. Phil Ivey’s career is a prime example of how mastering the skills of the game can lead to consistent success.

Who is the goat of poker?

The “Greatest of All Time” (GOAT) in poker is a hotly debated topic, but Phil Ivey’s name frequently tops the list. His longevity in the game, combined with his versatility and success across different poker variants, make a compelling case for his GOAT status.

Why poker is better than chess?

Poker and chess are both games of strategy, but they cater to different tastes. Poker, with its blend of skill, psychology, and the element of luck, offers a dynamic and unpredictable gaming experience. It’s this unpredictability and the psychological warfare involved that many find more thrilling than the pure strategy and predictability of chess. Plus, the financial stakes in poker add an extra layer of excitement and risk that chess typically lacks.

Phil Ivey’s illustrious career embodies the thrill and complexity of poker, making a strong case for the game’s appeal over more deterministic games like chess. His success is not just a product of understanding the mechanics but also mastering the art of deception and psychological manipulation, skills that have made him a legend in the poker world.

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