Phil Ivy Biography

Phil ivy biography

Phil ivy biography

Phil Ivey is considered one of the best players active. With his aggressive style, his excellent reading of the game and his ability to vary his style, he is even cited as being the best of his generation. Moreover, few players can decipher his hands. Rightly nicknamed the “Tiger Wood of Poker”, the American is today a living tournament legend, a Cash Games icon and probably one of the richest players in the world.

Phil ivy

Biography of Phil Ivey

  • Name: Phil Ivey
  • Nickname: The Tiger Wood of Poker
  • Date of birth: January 1, 1976
  • Nationality: American
  • Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
  • Favorite hand: Q-8 hearts
  • Career earnings: more than $83 million

A player introduced to the world of Poker at a very young age

Phil Ivey is a professional poker player born in Riverside, under the name Phillip D. Ivey. Although he is a native of suburban Los Angeles, California, New Jersey is where he grew up, just a stone’s throw from Atlantic City . Phil Ivey discovered Poker at a very young age since at the age of 8, his grandfather introduced him to the rules of the game. Showing excellent skills, he continued to improve his style during adolescence. Moreover, the young American loved Poker so much that during this period, he used a fake ID card in a casino.

At 18, he found a job in telemarketing and met his colleague Jerome Graham. He will then use the latter’s identity to enter the casinos and spend most of his time playing. His presence on the tables was so frequent that his playing companions nicknamed him “No Home Jerome” at the time. Despite the hours spent in casinos, his success was not immediate during the first years. At the same time, he met Lucietta at his work, the one who became his beloved and later his wife until their separation in December 2009.

Phil Ivey

Beginnings of Phil Ivey’s incredible career

At age 20, he began to consider a career as a professional poker player. Obtaining his majority the following year (21 years old in the USA), he can finally reveal his true date of birth. The years passed and he finally inaugurated his prize list in April 2000. Aged 24, Phil Ivey won his first major tournament, a Seven Card Stud at Binion’s Casino and came home with $53,000 in his pocket. Two months later, he tried his luck at the WSOP (World Series of Poker) and reached the final table of a $2,000 No Limit Hold’em tournament for the first time, placing in 5th place .

His dreams were fulfilled a week later. During the Pot Limit Omaha $2,500 event, he won his first WSOP bracelet against formidable opponents like Phil Hellmuth , Amarillo Slim Preston and David Ulliot.

In 2002, he repeated the feat by leaving with 3 WSOP bracelets, like Vanessa Selbst . During the tournaments (Card Stud $1,500, Card Stud Hi/Lo and SHOE $2,000), the American pocketed a total of $357,980. With these victories, he is tied with Phil Hellmuth and Ted Forest for having amassed the most victories, and earnings, this year.

From then on, the successes kept coming for Phil Ivey. After arriving in first place at the final table of a Pot Limit Omaha, he won his 5th WSOP bracelet in 2005. Subsequently, he narrowly missed his 6th and 7th opportunities by finishing 2nd at the Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, then 3rd in the HORSE. Nevertheless, he managed to accumulate $800,000 in winnings.

String of exceptional results

In 2006, only 30 years old, Phil Ivey was elected “Poker Player of the Year” by All in Magazine and Bluff Magazine, but also at the UK Gaming Awards. Being at the top of his game, the American will join the group of players The Corporation , a community that comes together to defeat billionaire banker Andy Beal . During a Cash Game against the latter, he pocketed $16,600,000 while the game lasted 3 days with blinds of $25,000/50,000.

Alongside the WSOP and Cash Game games, Phil Ivey also participated in 6 editions of the WPT (World Poker Tour) before winning his first title in February 2008. During the Poker Classic tournament, he established his notoriety with a prize pool that amounting to 1.5 million dollars, which is a lot of poker chips .

During the WSOP Main Event in November 2009, he came in 7th place and pocketed $1,404,002. Two months later, in January 2010, the Tiger Wood of Poker came in 2 nd place in the High Roller of the Aussie Millions and won nearly $500,000. With this triumph, he joined the All Time Money List thanks to his incredible tournament winnings. Of the 13 million he has accumulated, 40% comes from the WSOP and 3 million from the WPT circuit. He thus joins living legends like his idol Doyle Brunson , the Pope (and Grandpa) of Poker.

Phil Ivey’s records in Poker tournaments

During the month of February 2014, the American again emerged victorious in the Aussie Millions, during the AU$250,000 Challenge. On this occasion, he walked away with AU$4 million (or US$2.5 million) and obtained his highest winnings in a live tournament. Throughout his career, Phil Ivey has accumulated more than $26.6 million in tournament winnings, reaching 7th place among players who have won the most money in competitions.

In the space of 4 years, between 2007 and 2011, Phil Ivey will then accumulate more than 19 million US dollars during his online Cash Game games on the Full Tilt Poker room. Thanks to this feat, he also became the biggest winner in online Cash Games. To crown his success, in 2010 he appeared at the top of the All Time Money List ahead of Daniel Negreanu(2nd place ) and Jamie Gold (3rd place ).

A reputation as an excellent poker player

Thanks to his dizzying successes, Phil Ivey makes everyone agree. He is undoubtedly among the best Poker players in the world. Today, he has 10 WSOP bracelets to his credit and unlike Phil Hellmuth, with the same number of bracelets which all come from Hold’em, the Tiger Wood of Poker has obtained his titles in 9 different variations. Until now, he holds the record for the youngest player to have won 10 bracelets (38 years old), thus dethroning Phil Hellmuth who obtained his tenth at 42 years old. In addition, he has reached the WSOP final table 31 times, which is an unrivaled performance.

Phil Ivey is today considered one of the best players still active, even if since 2018 we have seen him less on the Poker tables. After developing his game, he gained real skills in concentration and especially in reading “ tells ” thanks to his careful way of observing his opponents.

An aggressive and regular player, he proves to be particularly excellent in tournaments, but he also frequents the High Stakes Poker tables (big bets) both online and live. Among the places where you can meet him is Bobby’s Room at the Bell Casino where he often takes part in games, notably the famous Big Gamme (table of 4,000-8,000 mixed Cash Game). Living in Las Vegas, Nevada, he also plays on the most expensive tables in the world at the Bellagio Casino.

Beyond his exploits at Poker, Phil Ivey is also an admirable philanthropist. In 2008, he created the Building Ivey Foundation , a structure that continues the good works of his grandfather. He is also known for his donations to the Excel association (New York) which helps underprivileged children and the charity tournaments that he organizes.

Phil Ivey: highlights

  • 2002: record number of WSOP bracelets won (3)
  • 2005: wins $1.6 million at Monte-Carlo Millions and Full Tilt Poker
  • 2014: youngest player with 10 WSOP bracelets
  • Victory at the EPT in Monte-Carlo against Phil Hellmuth ($536,000)
  • Biggest win: $3,582,753


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