The unstoppable Phil Ivey wins his second bracelet of the year
After ending a four year drought by capturing his sixth WSOP bracelet last week, many poker pundits thought that Phil Ivey may now have the motivation to go on a tear for the remainder of this year’s Series.
However, not many predicted that he would be celebrating his seventh bracelet win within a week. Over this past weekend though that is exactly what happened as Ivey was declared the $ 2,500 Omaha/Seven-card Stud Hi-Lo champion. He joins Brock ‘t soprano’ Parker as the only player to have collected two bracelets at this year’s festival.
However, much more important than that are the reverberations that will be felt around the poker world with two thirds of the WSOP still to play. Ivey’s seventh win places him joint sixth on the all-time list of bracelet winners, tied with Billy Baxter. The players ahead of him read like a who’s who of all-time greats; Erik Seidel, Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Phil Hellmuth.
At just 32 years old and with a renewed vigour for tournament poker Phil Ivey is now odds-on favourite to become the most successful WSOP player of all time and you wouldn’t bet against him adding an incredible third bracelet to the mix this current year.
Coming into this final table as one of the short stacks Ivey had a lot of work to do before he got his hands on this new item of jewewllery. In customary fashion though, he managed to chip up as players were eliminated around him. At the three handed stage a potential epic heads up clash between Ivey and 2001 WSOP Main Event champion Carlos Mortenson was on the cards before the Spaniard was eventually KO’d. With Ivey entering the heads up match at a 2:1 chip advantage over Ming Lee the common consensus was that it was just a matter of time before the Full Tilt poster boy continued his monstrous streak. After around an hour of play, it was all over and Ivey had made history.
For winning, he will pick up $ 220,358 but, as we see in the nosebleed cash games he plays online, that money appears seemingly irrelevant to Ivey these days. It seems that the main reasons he has performed so well at the Rio this year – besides his two victories Ivey has an 18th place finish also – are the countless millions in bracelet prop bets he has on the side and a newfound desire to create a legacy in tournament poker.
Ivey himself acknowledged this in an interview after the win saying, ‘I have the chance to put myself in poker history and I have the chance to be the all-time bracelet holder if I continue at this pace’.
For years, many players and commentators alike have said that Phil Ivey’s biggest problem with tournaments has been a lack of motivation, not skill. Now that he has seemingly found this again, the rest of the poker world has been put on notice.