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Ivey Joins the 10 Bracelet Club

Written by Mathias | Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

It’s been four years since Phil Ivey won his last WSOP bracelet on US soil, though he did pick up a bracelet at the WSOP Asia Pacific last year, and five years since he finished seventh in the 2009 WSOP Main Event Championship. This year, he joins the elite club of players who own 10+ gold bracelets with his 10th bracelet win in Event #50 $1,500 Eight Game Mix. Only one other player owns more, and that’s another Phil—Hellmuth. Ivey now joins the likes of two others who have 10 bracelets, Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson, the godfather of poker, himself. Now Johnny Moss is the odd-man out with nine bracelets on his wrist, and Erik Seidel trails close behind with eight.

With only 484 other players to overcome, Ivey picked up momentum after an early elimination from the $50K Poker Player’s Championship just a few days before and no few more than a dozen chances to make his tenth WSOP a possibility. And while the payout was a mere $167,332, the achievement is worth far more than the money. But this is a mere drop in the bucket when the side bets are taken into consideration that he’d win a 10th bracelet this year.

“It’s number ten. That’s a good number,” Ivey said afterward. “Me and Daniel [Negreanu] made these bets. That’s what I’m talking about. I said either me or him were going to win [a gold bracelet] and we took even money. Me and him were both very deep in this tournament. This was a great opportunity. The tournaments are dying down. There’s not too many left. I knew I had to get this one, or else it was going to be pretty tough from here.”

Ivey was far from chip leader at the close of the first day of play, but by the start of the third day, he was third in chips in the remaining 14 players, taking them out one by one, one for each year he’s been playing poker, plus one to grow on, with a heads-up victory over longtime friends. Bruce Yamron, who lost to Ivey will never forget the day he almost kept his friend from winning that 10th gold piece.

According to reports from WSOP, following the win, Ivey smiled, but maintained his typical cool composure and said, “Doyle is one of my poker idols. When I first game to Las Vegas, him and Chip [Reese], we were all playing poker, so it’s very meaningful to tie him. It’s not too fair of a race because he doesn’t play too many tournaments anymore. I’m in there playing a lot of them. I just got finished playing with Doyle last week…we played for 12 hours, and he’s still as sharp as he can be. Yes, it’s meaningful.”

But Brunson has played his fair share of poker, though Ivey’s accomplishments in a matter of 15 years make many players’ careers pale in comparison. Ivey won his first WSOP bracelet in 2000 when he went heads up against Amarillo Slim and won. Referred to as the “Tiger Woods of Poker,” Ivey at just 38 years old has won a lot of money playing poker, other casino games, sports, and in golf as well, which makes the nickname even more fitting.

Now just three bracelets away from tying with Hellmuth, and four away from besting his record, Ivey has his work cut out for him, though he’s not a poker legend for nothing. Again, it’s the time frame in which Ivey has accomplished what he has. Hellmuth is nine years older than Ivey and has been playing about that much longer, so it’s a fair split however you look at it.

“Do I think I can catch Phil Hellmuth? Sure, I think I can catch him. It’s possible. We just have to see how it goes. I just have to keep in playing at this pace. I got to keep playing a lot of them because he [Hellmuth] plays a lot of them, so it’s a lot of work.”

So it’s what comes next that really matters to Ivey, his fans, and the history books.

In conclusion, this year’s $1,500 Eight-Game Mix event attracted 485 players and amassed a $650K prize pool that paid the top 49 finishers including Daniel Negreanu, 9th; David “ODB” Baker, 20th; Brandon Cantu, 29th; and Greg Raymer, 40th, all prior bracelet winners.

Written by Mathias · Filed Under news · Comments Off on Ivey Joins the 10 Bracelet Club  

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