Few people stand to make more from the World Series of Poker Main Event than Phil Ivey. He is far and away the most skilled and the most well known member of the November Nine and, despite his characteristic silence, has been the focus of much of the media attention over the past month. Currently siting in 7th chip position, he still remains one of the favorites to take the title.
For most of the men at the final table, the $8.5 million first prize is a life-changing sum of money. Even for one the highest high-stakes players in the game, such a large sum is no joke. If he were to win, Ivey would nearly double his lifetime live tournament earnings. Yet it has now come to light that Ivey could be in line for anything over $3 million in extra cash should he win the bracelet.
Tom Dwan revealed to the media that he laid a bet with the 7 time bracelet winner which would see him pay out $1 million if Ivey where to take the title. The pair are often found slugging it out on the high-stakes tables at Full Tilt Poker and have swapped $1 million pots more than once in the past.
Next in line to pay Ivey will be Phil Gordon. The author and WPT champion was a little more cagey about the specific terms of his arrangement, but made no secret of the wager’s size. “My wife was upset with me that I took the bet. We’re quaking in our boots,” he said on a recent Full Tilt podcast.
Gordon also revealed that his fellow Full Tilt pro Andy Bloch would stand to lose a massive $2 million if Phil wins the Main Event. Gordon did not announce the value but noted that “Andy is quaking about 20 times more than I am.” Following those comments, Bloch was forced to confirm the story a few days later. Apparently the pair both made the wager with Ivey when there were 2,400 players remaining, getting odds of 99 – 1. Andy put down $20,000, meaning he’ll be stuck $2 million if Phil can close it out.
Phil Ivey is renowned for his high stakes prop bets, often using them as motivation to leave the juicy cash games and take a shot at tournaments. He reportedly had millions on capturing a bracelet in 2008, a feat he failed to achieve. However, after increasing the stakes this time around he did manage to pick up his 6th bracelet in the 2-7 lowball. He then went on to win the Omaha Hi/Lo – Stud Hi/Lo split event, increasing his capital even more. Ivey later admitted that his hot streak had backfired, as he lost almost all the money he had won. The majority of his winnings were re-wagered on victory in the prestigious $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event, where Ivey failed to even make the money.
On top of his potential prop-bet takings, Ivey would likely be confirmed as the richest professional player in history if he were to win. The potential for endorsement deals and TV appearances would be the like of which no poker player has ever experienced before.