Ivey = Machine

You can’t help but marvel at Phil Ivey.  When motivated, Ivey is as good as we have in this game.  Ivey has been motivated of late by some ‘friendly competitions’ he has entered into.  Ivey has won two bracelets this year, and will be trying to become the first player to win three in one year since…well….Phil Ivey did it in 2002.

However, Ivey’s ‘friendly competitions’ are, as far as we can tell, all resolved with Phil coming out on top.  It will be really interesting to see if Ivey shuts it down now that his competitions are over.  One would assume we’ll see Phil in the $50k HORSE, and many of the $10k championship events, but will we see him grinding in the $2,500 events?  Stay tuned.

“Year of the Multiple”

Speaking of multiple bracelet winners in the same year like Phil Ivey, I remember a time when we in the poker media were saying we’d never/rarely see multiple bracelet winners again, but this year we have two players who have won two events, and we were a couple key cards away from having three (Ville Wahlbeck).  We’re just now half way through the series.  Will we see more?  Could we see a three time winner?

The media marveled at Jeff Madsen’s two wins in 2006, at a time when the battle cry for some was ‘the fields are too big, the pros will never win again’. The last two years have shown us that the pros have adjusted to the new world order of poker, and are doing quite well, thank you.  Especially in non No Limit Hold Em events.

Heads Up Event

The $10k Heads Up World Championship has become a marquee event, especially in terms of buzz generated.  This is such a great event for players and fans alike and really gives everyone a chance to participate.  The heads up format has brought ‘bracketology’ to poker, and given fans and the media alike the chance to be emotionally invested in this event like they can in no other, simply due to the format.

256 players is a bit extreme to cover, but I for one hope that ESPN will consider televising this event in future years.  I understand that NBC has it’s own Heads Up competition, but I really think the format is so great for TV, and the brand so strong that I think the heads up event is must see TV.

Greenstein/Lisandro v. Daniel/Erick Update

This is turning into a really great competition.  For those who might not have heard, Daniel Negreanu and Erick Lindgren have teamed up to take on Barry Greenstein and Jeff Lisandro in a battle for Player of the Year point supremacy.

Daniel and Erick shot out to a lead based on Daniel’s hot start, but when Lisandro won his bracelet, things tightened up.  Today is the first day that team Greenstein/Lisandro have taken the lead since the competition began.  Thanks to cashes yesterday from both Barry and Jeff, their team has taken a very slim 185 – 175 lead over team Negreanu/Lindgren.  No players are still in any of the events currently running, so its really tight as we reach the halfway point in events played.