Right now Phil Ivey is probably one of the best known professional poker players around the world. Not only for the amount of money he has won, but mainly because of his extraordinary (nearly freakish) poker skills. Ivey has won over 8 World Series of Poker bracelets and one World Poker Tour (WPT) title, totaling over 13 million dollar in tournament prize money.
He won his very first WSOP bracelet when he was 23 and was able to beat old school poker legend Amarillo Slim in the pot-limit Omaha poker event of 2000. Only 2 years later, in 2002, he won 3 WSOP bracelets in one year. In 2005 Phil Ivey won another Bracelet (his 5th) in a $5,000 Omaha event and made a cool $1 million when he won the Monte Carlo Millions tournament. This wasn’t enough for mr. Ivey, so the next day he played a Full Tilt invitational tournament in Monte Carlo and won another $600,000.
Besides all the live poker success, Phil Ivey is also considered to be one of the very best cashgame players in the world. Be it online or offline, Phil Ivey is definitely someone you wouldn’t want to come across at a poker table (unless you’re willing to pay to learn).
One of the more memorable cashgames is the one Ivey played against Andy Beal (an extremely rich banker). Some of the best poker players in the world (including Ivey) put their poker bankrolls together to be able to play the stakes Andy suggested with blinds of $50,000 and $100,000. The Group of players were called the Cooperation and after the first few sessions Andy Beal was up $10 million.
Phil Ivey hadn’t played Beal yet and was the third in line to try and reduce the losses the other 2 poker players had made before him. After the first night Ivey was up about $2 million, the next night he was up $4,6 million and by the end of the third night he was able to extend his lead to over $16,6 millions dollars, leaving Andy Beal behind with a very bitter taste in his mouth. Beal hasn’t been seen at a poker table since.
All the success of Phil Ivey has led to him being nicknamed ‘The Tiger Woods of Poker‘.
Unfortunately, success at the poker table doesn’t always guarantee success in ones private life. Ivey got married with his high school sweetheart Luciaetta, but in December 2009 they filed a joint petition for divorce, after having been married to each other for over 7 years.