1th Feb 1976
Polarizing (Full Tilt)
Widely considered the greatest all round poker player of his generation, Phil Ivey discovered poker when he was eight years old and his grandfather taught him 5-Card Stud, playing with pennies. He fell in love with the game as a teenager and, still under 21, would inhabit the Atlantic City casinos using a fake ID with the name “Jerome”.
Things started to take off for Phil when he moved to Las Vegas. In 2000, he won his first WSOP bracelet, the first of eight, in the $2,500 PLO. In 2002, he picked up three.
In 2005, Ivey won the $1m first prize at the Monte Carlo Millions, picking up a further $600k just one day later for winning The FullTiltPoker.Net Invitational. In 2006, playing for the Corporation, a conglomerate of pros pooling their resources against billionaire banker Andy Beale, Ivey won $16m over three days playing heads-up limit hold’em at stakes of $25k/$50k and $50k/$100k, recouping the Corporations $13m losses.
In 2009 he made the "November Nine”, ultimately finishing seventh in the WSOP Main Event for $1.4m.
Ivey was part of the original Full Tilt Poker Team. Following Black Friday he filed a lawsuit that claimed Full Tilt had breached his contract, claiming £150m, which he later withdrew.
Despite his success, he remains famously publicity shy. “Fame has never interested me,” he once told us. “I’m a poker player. I don’t feel like a movie star or a rock star. I just go in there and try to play poker and make my money.”
Interview: Reading Phil Ivey
Ivey 6-bets Paul Jackson all-in with nothing on the final table of the Monte Carlo Millions in 2005
Phil Ivey 5bet bluffs Durrrr in Poker After Dark
Ivey and Dwan play a $1.1m pot