Leading the way in live professional poker is Phil Ivey. This 40-year old is one of the youngest bracelet winners and one of the biggest poker sharks around. Having won 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, few can say they’re better than The Tiger Woods of Poker. So, let’s see what has this Poker Hall of Famer got under his belt.
No Home Jerome
Phillip Dennis Ivey Jr. was born in Riverside, CA, but his parents moved to Roselle, NJ, when he was only three months old. His childhood isn’t the stuff of legend, but legends often come from seemingly uninspiring circumstances. Phil started developing his skills playing against his coworkers at a telemarketing firm in New Brunswick. Here, he earned his nickname No Home Jerome from his ID card. The ID card had been secured by Phil in this teenage years when he was playing poker in Atlantic City, NJ. In 2002, after his ginormous wins, he earned a nickname The Phenom, and, after that, he got his nickname the Tiger Woods of Poker.
He rose to prominence first by winning a WSOP bracelet in the year 2000 in Pot Limit Omaha, where he defeated Amarillo Slim heads-up, becoming the first person to do so. However, his great breakthrough came in the year 2002. During that year, he won three tournaments, a $2.500 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, a $2.000 SHOE and an $1.500 7 Card Stud event, with the prizes totaling over $300.000/ he then went on to win a 2005 $5000 Pot Limit Omaha, the same tournament he won five years ago, a 2009 $2.500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball and an Omaha Hi/Lo – 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo the same year, a $3,000 Horse tournament in 2010, a $2.200 Mixed Event Asian-Pacific WSOP in 2013, and a $1,500 Eight Game Mix tournament in 2014. He has widely positive score against most top-rated poker players, 10-4 or 71%.
Along with these tournaments, Phil also has 31 appearances on final tables and has walked away with a cash prize 55 times, little more than half that of Daniel Negreanu.
The Tiger Woods of Poker, however, isn’t all that impervious to lawsuits. In August 2012, Ivey won £7 million at Punto Banco in London. However, the payment was denied on the counts of the famous poker player using edge sorting to secure his win. He denied the claim. Two years later, Borgata casino in Atlantic City sued him too for edge sorting after he won big playing baccarat. In October the same year, his Punto Banco lawsuit was settled in favor of the casino.
Phil Ivey enjoys playing video games in his free time, as well as golf. He is a fan of the LA Lakers and Huston Rockets, as well as Buffalo Bills. He is also well-known for giving to charity, as he gave $50,000 in 2008 to the Empower 2 Excel programme for underprivileged children. He also has his own organization that raised $260,000, again mostly for Empowered 2 Excel.