Poker Player Spotlight: Phil Ivey
The “Tiger Woods of Poker“, aka Phil Ivey, is one of the all-time best professional poker players.
This famous American has won ten WSOP bracelets and more than $37 million from tournaments.
On top of that, he was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2017, joining a select group of 60 inductees.
Phil Ivey has a lot to be proud of, and many poker enthusiasts have much to learn from his achievements. Let’s look at who he is, his poker successes, earnings, and more.
Who Is Phil Ivey?
Phil Ivey was born on February 1, 1977, in Riverside, California but has spent most of his early years in Roselle, a small town in New Jersey. He picked up poker basics when he was only eight, mostly from his grandfather, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise due to his talents.
It didn’t take long for Ivey to master the game and develop his own playing strategies. During his high school years, he was already regularly playing poker with his friends, winning most of the games but making little money.
Ivey continued his rise to prominence at casinos in Atlantic City, where he secretly got in multiple times before legal age. Even though he rarely won much, he continued playing regularly. He earned the nickname “No Home Jerome” at this time, thanks to the fake ID he used to enter poker rooms, where he spent most of his time.
He never got away from the game, so he eventually moved to Atlantic City to continue his soon-to-be professional career. After turning 21, he finally began playing under his real name.
Notable Achievements and BraceletsIvey started making strides at the World Series of Poker in 2000 — his first WSOP tournament. He played in the Pot Limit Event, taking home a massive $195,000 payday and won his maiden WSOP gold bracelet.
What’s more, he became the first player to beat the famous Amarillo Slim in a heads-up game at that same event.
Only two years later, he made a mark in the record books, winning three bracelets in the same year. Only five other players achieved this feat, and only three held it then — Puggy Pearson, Phil Hellmuth Jr. and Ted Forrest.
Phil Ivey was ranked among the top 25 players four times from 2002 to 2009. He climbed to number seven in 2009, when he won two bracelets — the first after beating a field of 147 players and the second against 376 people.
Here’s a complete list of all Phil Ivey’s WSOP bracelets and the amounts he won:
- 2000 — $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha Event ($195,000)
- 2002 — $2,500 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo Event ($132,000)
- 2002 — $2,000 Limit Shoe Event ($107,540)
- 2002 — $1,500 7 Card Stud Event ($132,000)
- 2005 — $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha Event ($635,603)
- 2009 — $2,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Event($96,367)
- 2009 — $2,500 Omaha/7 Card Stud Hi/Lo Event ($220,538)
- 2010 — $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. Event ($329,840)
- 2013 — $2,128 (A$2,200) Mixed Event ($50,155 or A$51,840)
- 2014 — $1,500 Eight Game Mix Event ($166,986)
It’s also worth mentioning that one of Ivey’s biggest feats is being the youngest player to win ten bracelets. Only three players have won ten or more bracelets in the history of WSOP — Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson both have ten, while Phil Hellmuth Jr. has 16 (most of all).
However, Ivey holds the record for the most bracelets from non-Hold’em events — all ten.
World Poker Tour
Phil Ivey is no stranger to the World Poker Tour, which he first entered in 2006. He was fortunate to reach the final tables 11 times.
Even though he lost seven final tables in a row at one point, he broke the dry spell in the $10,000 LA Poker Classic in February 2008. He was pitted against Phil Hellmuth Jr. and Nam Le, coming out on top, and earning a staggering first-place prize of $1,596,100 as the champion — almost a third of all his WPT earnings.
Interestingly, he lost several WPT events with the same hand — a queen and an ace.
Phil Ivey’s Poker Earnings and Net Worth
As of October 2022, Phil Ivey has won $37,729,341 from poker tournaments.
Here’s a breakdown of his earnings from the most important tournaments and events:
- $8,843,616 won from 76 clashes at the World Series of Poker
- $3,369,821 won from 13 clashes at the World Poker Tour
- $514,003 won from three clashes at the European Poker Tour
As for his net worth, it’s currently estimated to be around $100 million.
Most of that money came from poker tournaments, but Ivey has won several million from playing casino games like baccarat. He typically uses a method called edge sorting in baccarat, when a player focuses on card imperfections to identify specific cards.
Due to this, he is not only hated at many casinos, but he also lost two court battles to them.
Does Phil Ivey Still Play Poker?“No Home Jerome” is still going strong, even though he hasn’t won a WSOP bracelet since 2014. However, 2022 was his closest shot to winning the venerated 11th bracelet, an achievement only Phil Hellmuth Jr. reached and subsequently surpassed.
Ivey played in the 42nd event, the $100,000 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em, but came in second. The online specialist from Latvia, Aleksejs Ponakovs, denied him his 11th bracelet. He went home with the bracelet and $1,897,363, leaving Ivey with only $1,172,659 in hand.
He continued competing in other events, so it’s safe to say that Ivey is back from an easygoing 2021 when he missed the WSOP and only took part in two Super High Roller Bowl Europe events.
Phil Ivy’s Latest Triumphs
Although nothing has changed regarding the number of bracelets Phil Ivy has to its name, the esteemed poker pro has secured yet another title and a 7-figure cashout in 2023. This Poker Hall of Famer took part in the 2023 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series London this August and nailed the $62,400 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo event for a massive prize of $1,007,000. Although this was Ivy’s first title in 2023, it was indeed one to be remembered.
The poker pro had to defeat 60 other players to secure this victory. This win has earned him 12th position on the Poker All Time Money List and gave him an edge in the competition for the G.O.A.T. in the poker world.
Aside from winning this considerable reward, Ivy also cashed at two more 2023 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series events. As a runner-up at the 2023 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series, Ivy earned $434,900, while second place at the $60,000 No-Limit Hold’em Seven Max event brought him another $363,000.
These last three Triton cashes significantly increased Ivy’s lifetime earnings to almost $40 million, and the score is expected to grow even further by the end of 2023.
Other Notable Ventures of Phil Ivey
One of Ivey’s most significant ventures outside the poker world is a company he created with his mother called The Budding Ivey Foundation to help unprivileged kids with various enrichment programs. They established it in dedication to Phil’s grandfather, who spent most of his life doing the same.
Phil also had an innovative for-profit website called the Ivey League. The site resembled a college experience where people paid money to watch videos of specific poker tips and strategies made by pros. Basically, to learn how to become a pro player. Ivey launched the site early in 2014, but it didn’t last long. The Ivey League stopped posting content in 2017 and eventually shut down completely.