Phil Ivey is considered by many the best poker player in the world today. He certainly has quite a few accomplishments to back that statement up, although in - my opinion – poker’s Tiger Woods still has a few leaps to take to reach the legend status that Doyle Brunson, and from the newer generation, Phil Hellmuth can boast.
The California native moved to New Jersey with his family when he was but three months old. Growing up so close to Atlantic City, certainly proved an inspiration for the young "No Home Jerome”. He also practiced his poker skills using his co-workers at the telemarketing co. he worked for as guinea-pigs.
Phil Ivey is largely regarded as a cash game player, and even he considers himself that, but that never prevented him from setting a few tournament records. To day, he is the only poker player to earn 5 WSOP bracelets before the age of 30.
In one year alone (2002) he won three WSOP bracelets thus tying Phil Hellmuth as far as the number of bracelets won in the same year goes.
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He won his first bracelet at the 2000 $2,500 PL Omaha event, beating none other than Amarillo Slim in the heads-up stages of the game. That feat earned him $195,000.
His 2002 bracelets were won in Stud Hi-Lo, Stud, and S.H.O.E. events.
2003-2004 marked a lull in Phil Ivey’s WSOP activity, but he did return with a vengeance in 2005, to win the $5,000 PL Omaha event and take home $653,603. In 2003 it looked like he was focused on the Main Event, where he was eliminated in 10th position, still netting a very handsome sum in the process.
His overall WSOP performances also include 26 money finishes.
In the WPT, he was less fortunate, as he’s title-less to this very day, although he can show 7 final tables (and thus 7 money finishes as well) for his efforts. (that amounts to about $1.3 million in prizes).
He also took part in EPTs 2006 Barcelona event where ha came in 2nd.
Another outstanding accomplishment of his came in 2005, when he won the Monte Carlo Millions tournament taking home a first prize of $1 million. The performance is all the more notable if you take a look at the 6 guys he defeated there: John Juanda, Phil Hellmuth, Mike Matusow, Gus Hansen, Chris Ferguson and Dave Ulliott.
His cash-game antics were mainly focused around the Bellagio $4,000/$8,000, the world’s biggest cash game, where he played for "The Corporation” and caused billionaire Andy Beal quite a few sour moments. Once he won $16,000,000 over a mere three day period, prompting Beal to seriously consider kicking his high-stakes habit.
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Phil Ivey used to be a regular presence on Poker After Dark, and High Stakes Poker as well.
Some trivia: he’s recently taken part in the World Series of Golf, a tournament where players could bet or fold on every hole they played. Obviously, the Tiger Woods of Poker didn’t exactly live up to his nick on the golf-course, being eliminated fairly early on.