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Phil Ivey Wins His First Live Tournament Title In Nearly Two Years

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Apr 22, 2020


Phil Ivey

After dealing with years of legal issues that have kept his focus off the felt, Phil Ivey announced to the poker world that he was still a force to be reckoned with, tearing up the 2020 partypoker MILLIONS Super High Roller Sochi series with four final table appearances for a combined $1,693,550 in earnings, including his first live tournament victory in nearly two years.

The ten-time WSOP bracelet winner and Poker Hall of Famer defeated a field of 55 entries is the $50,000 buy-in short deck event, pocketing $856,050 for the win. The last time Ivey was in the winner’s circle was in May of 2018, when he won another short deck event at the Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro.

Short deck has been a particular great addition to the mix for Ivey, who had two other cashes in the variation during the series. In fact, eight of Ivey’s last 11 tournament cashes have come in short deck. He now has $29.75 million in career earnings, moving back into 11th place on the all-time money list.

Note: Short deck, or six-plus poker, is played with just 36 cards, removing the deuces, treys, fours, and fives. Aces can also be used as a five to complete a straight, and flushes beat full houses.

Here are the five hands that propelled Ivey to the title.

Tournament: MILLIONS Super High Roller Sochi Short Deck
Buy-In: $50,000
No. of Entries: 55
Prize Pool: $2,750,000
1st Place Prize: $856,050

The Action

With five players remaining, Ivey raised to 300,000 from the hijack, and Reixach responded with a three-bet shove for his last 1,260,000 behind him in the cutoff. The blinds folded and Ivey asked for a count before making the call with AHeart Suit 10Heart Suit. Unfortunately for him, he was dominated by Reixach’s ADiamond Suit QHeart Suit. Given short deck’s peculiarities and the dead cards, however, Ivey was 33 percent to win the pot, with a ten percent chance of chopping. Luckily for him, the board ran out 10Diamond Suit 9Club Suit 7Heart Suit 9Heart Suit 10Spade Suit to give him a full house and send Reixach home in fifth place. The Spanish poker pro earned $214,010 for his final-table finish.

The Action

Wai Kiat raised to 400,000 and Ivey made the call, as did Soyza. The flop fell 10Club Suit 8Diamond Suit 8Heart Suit, and Soyza checked. Wai Kiat made a continuation bet of 400,000, and Ivey called. Soyza got out of the way and the turn was the QDiamond Suit. Wai Kiat checked, and Ivey bet 800,000. Wai Kiat asked how much Ivey had behind, and then moved all in. Ivey quickly called with pocket tens for a flopped full house, and Wai Kiat saw he was in trouble with just top pair. Wai Kiat needed one of the two remaining queens in the deck, but the river was the 7Diamond Suit to give Ivey the double up.

The Action

On the first hand of heads-up play, Soyza raised to 370,000 and Ivey defended from the big blind. The flop fell 7Club Suit 7Heart Suit 6Spade Suit, and Ivey checked back to Soyza, who made a continuation bet of 250,000. Ivey made the call and the turn was the JHeart Suit. Ivey checked once again, and this time Soyza checked behind. The river was the KHeart Suit, and Ivey bet 1,200,000. Soyza held KDiamond Suit 9Heart Suit for rivered top pair, and made the call. Ivey showed him QHeart Suit 6Heart Suit, however, for a runner, runner flush to take the lead.

The Action

After falling behind once again in the heads-up match, Ivey raised the button to 1,000,000 and Soyza defended his big blind. The flop fell JHeart Suit 9Heart Suit 7Diamond Suit and Soyza opted to just move all-in. Ivey held KHeart Suit QHeart Suit for two overs with a straight flush draw, and quickly called off the rest of his chips. Soyza was ahead with 9Heart Suit 8Diamond Suit for a pair with a gutshot straight draw, but was actually a 2:1 underdog in the hand against Ivey’s 14-out draw. The turn and river fell JDiamond Suit AHeart Suit and Ivey made the nut flush to double up to a huge lead.

The Action

With Soyza sitting on less than nine big blinds, Ivey looked down at a suited ace and moved in. Soyza held KDiamond Suit 7Spade Suit and felt he was live enough to gamble, and made the call. The dealer produced a flop of KHeart Suit JSpade Suit 8Heart Suit, giving Soyza top pair, and Ivey the nut flush draw. The turn was the 9Club Suit, keeping Soyza in the lead, but the river was the 9Heart Suit, once again giving Ivey the nut flush in hearts to scoop the pot. Soyza earned $561,780 for his runner-up finish, while Ivey grabbed the trophy and the $856,050 first-place prize.

Final Table Results

1. Phil Ivey — $856,050
2. Michael Soyza — $561,780
3. Lee Wai Kiat — $374,520
4. Seth Davies — $267,520
5. Sergi Reixach — $214,010
6. Sam Greenwood — $160,510
7. Dmitry Kuzmin — $133,760
8. Thai Ha — $107,000
9. Danny Tang — $74,850