Just when you thought the world’s best poker player couldn’t possibly garner any more accolades, Phil Ivey once again proves everyone wrong. Besides being the most feared cash game player in the world, part owner and member of Team FullTilt, and fresh off a final table appearance at the 2009 WSOP Main Event, Ivey took things one step further in January at the Aussie Millions $100,000 High-Roller Event. Ivey’s 2nd-place finish, worth $600,000, moved him past Daniel Negreanu to the top of the all-time tournament money list.
Phil Ivey is widely considered the best poker player in the world, but his story to the top is just as remarkable. Playing as an underage teen in Atlantic City in the early ’90s, Ivey went by the name “Jerome” which appeared on his fake I.D. After dominating the stud games in AC for years he finally made the move to Vegas where he quickly became a household name in the poker world. One of his more storied ventures was playing for the “corporation” who took on Texas businessman Andy Beal for huge sums of money in 2006. Playing up to $50k/$100k blinds it was rumored that Ivey won more than $16,000,000 from the amateur, forcing Beal to quit the game.
While he does have seven WSOP bracelets it is his two near misses in the Main Event that most remember. In 2003 Ivey finished 10th when he took back to back bad beats against Freddy Deeb and eventual winner Chris Moneymaker. This past year he finished 7th when his AK was outdrawn by Darvin Moon’s AQ when all the money went in before the flop.
Despite those “failures” Ivey continues to plug away, winning bracelets in many different games including Pot-Limit Omaha, 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, SHOE, 7 Card Stud, NL 2-7 Lowball, and OE Split. Overall he has collected nearly $5,000,000 in cashes at the WSOP alone. This past year he won two bracelets and collected more than $2,000,000 in prop bets from fellow poker professionals. Ivey also owns one WPT bracelet for winning the LA Poker Classic in 2008 for $1,596,000.
While Ivey has claimed the top spot he does sit on a perilous perch, as less than $2,000,000 separates the top six players:
1. Phil Ivey $12,813,990
2. Daniel Negreanu $12,432,367
3. Jamie Gold $12,201,061
4. Phil Hellmuth Jr. $11,018,271
5. Scotty Nguyen $10,955,557
6. Joe Hachem $10,856,216
7. Peter Eastgate $10,729,565
8. Allen Cunningham $10,398,118
9. Erik Seidel $9,925,179
10. T.J. Cloutier $9,925,179