Archive for July 25th, 2009

November 9 Spotlight – Phil Ivey

July 25th, 2009 2 comments

It’s hard to build up a poker player as accomplished as Phil Ivey. When he enters the Amazon Room and sits at the WSOP Main Event Final Table in November, Phil will easily have the most poker experience. Ivey’s been on Poker’s Biggest stage for years, and has so many success stories, it’s hard to say what the best ones are. You can make a case that Phil is not only the best poker player alive (some would argue that to be true – and I agree that he has to be in that discussion), but some may say (and I don’t think that they’re off base) that Ivey is perhaps the greatest poker player to have ever played the game. He is that good. A win at this main event would only add to a collection of impressive poker accomplishments.

Phil is a professional poker player who plays online at Full Tilt Poker, and I went there to read up on his bio. What I came accross just continued to surprise me the more that I read. I wanted to share with you the bio on Full Tilt, because it does an excellent job on capturing the tournament poker accomplishments of Ivey (much better than I ever could have done). So, enjoy:

Raised in New Jersey, Phil’s poker career began in Atlantic City. he made his name as a high stakes player before moving on to the live tournament circuit in 2000. It was then, at the age of 23, Phil won his first World Series of Poker title – beating Phil Hellmuth and Amarillo Slim in the $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event.

2002 saw Ivey claim 3 more WSOP bracelets, winning the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud, $2,500 Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo and $2,000 SHOE events. Over the next couple of years, his success continued with wins in a World Poker Open event, two Bellagio and two Commerce events. In addition to these performances, he also made several WPT final tables – impressive results for a player only 25 years of age.

In 2005, Phil earned his 5th WSOP bracelet in the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha event, and made two more WPT final tables. He finished 2nd in the WSOP Circuit Event at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, before winning the Monte Carlo Millions tournament for $1 million in prize money. Phil then went on to win a further $600,000 just 24 hours late, with a first-place finish at “The FullTiltPoker.Net Invitational Live from Monte Carlo.”

In January 2006, Phil was named Player of the Year by the UK Gaming awards, “Bluff Magazine” and “All In Magazine.” His incredible run continued at the 2006 WSOP, with a 2nd place finish in the $5,000 Omaha Hi/Lo event and a 3rd place finish in the $50k HORSE event, winning over $800k in total. He also increased his reputation through the heads-up Phil Ivey vs. Andy Beal challenge, where he won over $16 million in just three days by playing against the poker billionaire.

The following year, Phil won the “Earphones Please” episode of “Poker After Dark” for $130k before making the final table in the 2007 WSOP $5k HORSE event. In 2008, Phil made his 8th appearance at the WPT Championships, where he won his first ever WPT title and landed in the top ten on the all-time tournament money list.

In 2009, Phil has proven himself as one of the greatest players of all time by winning two more WSOP Bracelets and by making it to the final table of the Main Event.

His 6th gold bracelet came in the $2.5k No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Lowball event when he bested a field of 147 entrants, including some of the world’s top poker players, for more than $96k. He won his 7th bracelet in the $2.5k Omaha/Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo event for over $220k in prize money, a victory which ties Phil in fourth place with Billy Baxter for All-Time Bracelet wins.

In November, Phil will be looking for his third bracelet of the year and his first Main Event win when he sits down at the Main Event final table. Coming to the table with 9.8 million chips, Phil is guaranteed to add a minimum of $1.26 million to his career tournament earnings as a member of the “November Nine.” To date, he has cashed in 36 WSOP events and accrued over $10.8 million in career tournament earnings.

Ask anyone who knows even a little about poker, and Phil Ivey will be the answer as the favorite to win this event.

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Took down the home game

July 25th, 2009 3 comments

I must be playing some pretty good poker lately, as last night I was able to take down the home game again. We had 11 players to start, which meant that we again had to play with two tables. These are my favorite games because for me, more people simply equals more fun.

I started off play just completely cold. I played basically two pots, and committed little chips to them as neither of them really panned out for me (AK from the button lost to a 4 flush – and Kd-Td from the CO was re-raised all in, so I let it go). But apparently tight was right, as Janeth went out in 11th, and Jay in 10th – we re-drew our seats to complete a final table.

I opened with a flurry as I began in the SB with AA at 3/6 blinds. Robert 3 bet the pot, and Traci moved all in from the button for her last 34. I thought about the best way to get Robert’s chips and then decided that 18 was nice, 34 of Traci’s was better, and I moved all in to isolate. Everyone else folded, and Traci tabled JJ. The Aces held, and I began chipping up with a finally healthy stack.

Becky would be the next to exit in 9th place as she would get the remaining 8 chips she had in the middle with K9, but ran into Robert’s Ace high. Chris would exit to Robert as well in 7th. Cherice would exit in 6th having played wonderfully. She moved with K9 as well, and got called by A8 of Robert. The flop came out A-K-J, which gave some hope to Cherice as she hit at least a pair, and the turn 9 gave her two and the lead. But the river 8 gave Robert a better 2 pair, and her night was done.

With 5 left, Robert would be the next to exit when I felted him with 88 vs. KQ. I raised pre-flop and he made the call. The board came out 9-4-4, and Robert moved all in. I made the call putting him on two overs, and ended up having him covered. The board ran out with two under’s and my pair was enough to take that large pot. 4th place went to Brian who committed the last of his stack on the river with the board reading Q-2-T-9-2. I made the call with AA, and they were good.

3 handed, I was able to eliminate Jordan. I had the big stack, and I limped from the small blind with 5d-4d and the flop came out 6c-8d-9c. I checked, and Jordan checked behind. The turn was a 3d and I bet the minimum 10, and Jordan just called. The river was the Kd and I bet out 20, Jordan moved all in and I called with my flush. He showed T-7 for the flopped straight, and exited after the runner-runner flush.

Heads up, I commanded a huge chip advantage of about 900 to 200, and it actually went back and forth pretty well for the first 15 hands or so. The final hand played out with me having Kd-4d on the button, and opening to 30, Tim made the call. The flop came out J high with Jd-4d-Th. I checked and Tim checked as well. The turn was the 9h, and I again checked. Tim bet 50 which left him with only 60 or so behind, and I thought for a while deciding that I was getting too good of implied odds to fold, and just called. The river brought the Qc, and Tim moved all in. I called with my K high straight, and Tim tabled a pair of J’s to be eliminated in 2nd.

It was a fun night of poker, and I’m glad that we had such a great turnout. Tonight, we’re going out for Tim’s birthday, and then likely coming back for some more home game action. Cheers, Paul

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