Phil Back in the Ivey League
NEWS FLASH:  Phil Back in the Ivey League – Wins Eighth WSOP Gold Bracelet

Poker Icon Phil Ivey Stages Dramatic Comeback Victory Playing H.O.R.S.E.

Phil Ivey was the winner of the $3,000 buy-in H.O.R.S.E. championship at the 2010 World Series of Poker.  The dramatic win marked his eighth career WSOP gold bracelet victory.  The personal triumph locks Ivey into a tie with Erik Seidel for fifth place on the all-time WSOP wins list.

Ivey becomes the youngest player in history ever to reach such a lofty plateau.  Now age 33, Ivey has won more bracelets than all but game masters Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and the late Johnny Moss.  A scarier thought for anyone fading action on Ivey’s success – he shows absolutely no signs of slowing down and remains hungry to win more.

“I think I can win 30 gold bracelets,” said Ivey afterward.  “I think I can reach that if I keep playing and stay healthy.”

The notion that any single player, even a player with Phil Ivey’s level of skill and self-confidence, could possibly reach 30 lifetime victories seems almost absurd at first mention.  But given what Ivey has accomplished in ten years of tournament poker, don’t bet against the player who started out grinding an hourly win rate in the cardrooms of Atlantic City over a decade ago.

Ivey now has three wins at the last two WSOPs.  This was his first major triumph following last year’s disappointing (in Iveyesque terms) seventh-place finish in the WSOP Main Event.  He now has $5,213,809 in career tournament WSOP earnings.  His overall tournament winnings worldwide now approach the $13 million mark according to some sources, which is the highest amount won by any player in poker history.

This tournament was special for a number of reasons.  It was arguably the most appealing final table thus far in 2010, loaded with superstar talent and just enough wild cards to make the long night unpredictable.  Five of the eight finalists were former gold bracelet winners, including Bill Chen, John Juanda, Ken Aldridge, and Jeffrey Lisandro.   An interesting dynamic – the five former gold bracelet winners finished 1-2-3-4-5, while the non-winners took the 6-7-8 spots.

The runner up was two-time gold bracelet winner, Bill Chen.  He is widely-acknowledged as one of poker’s top math theorists and has one of the most logical approaches to the game of any player in the world.  Chen held a 3.5 to 1 chip advantage at one point.  But Chen and a standing-room only crowd saw once again that no chip lead is ever safe when Phil Ivey is sitting in the opposite seat.

“How much did first place pay?” Ivey nonchalantly queried a bystander immediately following his victory.  When he heard the amount was $329,840, Ivey reached across the table for his eighth gold bracelet.  All witnesses knew then and there what meant the most to the eight-time champion.

Indeed, Ivey seriously believes he can reach 30 gold bracelet wins.  At the rate he’s going, Ivey will hit magical number 30 at the 2021 World Series of Poker, at the age of 48.  One must now ask -- is it conceivable that even Ivey’s optimistic estimate may be too low?

A full report of this event will be posted shortly.

For official tournament results and additional details, please CLICK HERE.