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WSOP November Nine Profile -- Phil Ivey

Despite Entering in Seventh Place, Many Expect Him to Win

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Phil IveyWill he do it?

Since the poker boom, there has never been so much anticipation regarding one player and one final table. But as Phil Ivey looks to complete an incredible World Series, the poker community will eagerly watch to see if he will add the finishing touches to a magical WSOP run.

Although he enters the World Series of Poker main-event final table just seventh in chips, Ivey is the overwhelming favorite in the fans’ minds. A WSOP poll showed that 78 percent of fans expected him to come back and win. Some bookmakers only give two players better odds — chip leader Darvin Moon and Eric Buchman, who is second in chips — despite the fact that six people come into the final table with bigger stacks than him.

Of course, all of that may just be fans’ wishful thinking, but the fact remains that the pressure will be on Ivey. This is the first time he has ever made the WSOP main-event final table, and he knows how huge that is.

“So far, I’ve just made the final table, which is a pretty big accomplishment. Winning it would be the top of the line for me,” said Ivey. “I can taste it now … I’m right in the hunt.”

Although the pressure will be intense, it seems doubtful it will affect one of the most feared men in poker. He has played in some of the biggest cash games on the planet, and has publicly said that “there is no amount of money that makes me sweat.”

Coming into the 2009 WSOP, Ivey hadn’t won a bracelet since 2005. Now, that may not seem like that long of a cold stretch for the common man, but for Ivey it was an eternity. Since he won his first bracelet in 2000, never before had three World Series passed without Ivey taking home one of the events. Many people blamed Ivey’s lack of success on the emphasis he placed on the much more lucrative cash games.

But entering 2009, with a fervent buzz about the number of prop bets that Ivey had made on his ability to win a bracelet, all eyes were on the former New Jersey native to see if he could make good on his bets. The answer came fairly quickly, as Ivey won a $2,500 deuce-to-seven event in early June.

But before the “congratulations” even seemed to subside, Ivey did it again — winning an Omaha eight-or-better/seven card stud eight-or-better mixed event for his second bracelet of the summer.

Watch Card Player TV’s interview with Ivey after his second win of the summer:

The accolades earned him yet another Card Player cover story and a spot on CP’s Top 10 Performances of the Summer,, which was published as the main event got under way.

With Ville Wahlbeck and Jeffrey Lisandro having such incredible summers, Ivey was just third on that list for his two wins in relatively small fields. And then came the main event. Ivey proceeded to storm through a 6,494-player field to reach poker’s promised land.

“This is his year,” said Mel Humphrey, who has been traveling with his wife Pat to Las Vegas every year from the East Coast to root on their friend. “He just keeps on getting better.”

The Humphreys watch their favorite player, Phil Ivey, from the rail.The Humphreys first met Ivey when he was just 17 years old, as he made his way through Atlantic City cardrooms with a fake ID and a deep desire to improve. The couple has been featured on ESPN for their loyalty to their friend, with huge buttons and T-shirts adorned with Ivey’s face.

“We look forward to this every year, and we make it to Las Vegas for it every year,” said Pat Humphrey. “Phil is the same guy we met years ago. He’s not flashy, he’s not showy. He really is quite shy.”

Despite his alleged “shyness,” ESPN couldn’t be happier at Ivey’s appearance in this year’s November Nine.

“This is the most excited I’ve ever been for a season of the World Series of Poker,” said Jamie Horowitz, the coordinating producer for ESPN told media on a conference call last week. “It’s long been discussed in poker — could a pro ever win the main event [again]? Having Phil Ivey as part of our November Nine has just added a new level of interest in poker, not just on the blogs but even within ESPN … There is just an elevated sense of excitement for this season.”

ESPN color commentator Norman Chad agreed, saying, “There’s some mystical, magical quality to Phil Ivey that elevates him above the rest … He just has an amazing table presence that’s unequaled in the game.”

After receiving $1.26 million for making the final table (equivalent to the ninth-place payout), Ivey has moved into third on the all-time lifetime winnings list with $11.47 million, behind only Daniel Negreanu and Jamie Gold. Negreanu overtook Gold for the all-time lead with his second-place finish at the WSOPE main event. If Ivey were to go the distance and win the main event, he’d be No. 1 on that list by more than $6 million.

Even with the last level of blinds at 120,000-240,000, Ivey still holds more than 40 big blinds. Although this is the first time Ivey has ever reached the main-event final table, he’s done very will in the tournament in the past few years. Since 2002, he’s finished in the top 30 a record four times — including a 10th-place finish in 2003.

Far from guaranteeing victory with his limited chips, Ivey has just said that he will “perform the best he can.”

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in July, but updated in preparation for next week’s final table.

 
 
 
 

Comments

ADAMTHEXPERT
almost 13 years ago

Good luck to Mr. Ivey

NOW, can people PLEASE stop saying "the November nine" Without adding a "so-called" or at LEAST
some other remark that clearly shows the contempt this concept deserves

WSOP belongs to the people who PLAY it, not those that make fortunes selling the TV programs thereof

Some day, the worst possible consequence of this horrible crime against the players will happen.
Someone will DIE during the four-month hype period, having gotten so close to their dream of playing the final table, only to have said dream STOLEN by marketing executive's Idea Du Jour.

THEN the thing will be removed. I'm rather shocked that anyone actually played the main event this year, after the horrible affront of "the so-called" November nine

 
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Twicey
almost 13 years ago

ATE you're a massive stroker.

You amaze me by managing to come across as a know-it-all, pedantic stroker just by the judicious use of caps lock. The fact you talk utter pony is just the icing on the cake.

The delay to the final table generates interest in the game and gets more people playing and spending their cash. This money then feeds up to people that can play. It also generates a huge amount of income for those that make the final table through sponsorship and endorsements.

I'd be quite happy to wait if it meant four months being treated like a rock star and raking in cash. I'm also quite happy as a casual player making (an admittedly small amount of) money from people who have no idea how to play but want to because of the excitememnt ESPN generate.

Back in the day people whined about hole card cameras because they were worried it would give their game away. Ask any of the really big pros if they mind all the extra income that television has generated for them. Ask Moneymaker if he objects to all the money his celebrity status has given him. This comes from television - it's the whole reason the game exploded. You have to pay a price for this, and if this means a lag between the the main event and the final table, I'm sure it's a price that most pragmatic individuals in the game realise they have to pay.

Good luck to Ivey, for the fact he's a great player but also because it will generate interest and dead money. I'd like to end this with a SOBER and JUDICIAL summary but I'll just end by saying you're a PIECE of the HIGHEST ORDER. XX

 
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Twicey
almost 13 years ago

Apologies for the typos, can't find an edit button.

 
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bridash
almost 13 years ago

Twicey your an idiot. Nov. 9 concept is b.s. One week two tops would be enough time

 
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pikachucards
almost 13 years ago

Twicey is spot on here. Without media exposure, poker is nothing.

 
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watso1rj
almost 13 years ago

You are all being ridiculous. The concept itself is, of course, debatable. That said, is it really wrong to build hype for the largest and (arguably) the greatest poker tournament on the planet? There are so many major poker tournaments being held all over the world every year that do not adopt this hype-building strategy, and yet we make a fuss about this one tournament using a new method to build the hype? If other major events began to use this same method then I would absolutely agree that the concept only hurts the players and takes away from the game itself. But this is one tournament we are talking about. There is always the theorist that shows up and speaks the most extreme criticisms, but if someone dies during this hiatus, do you really think language was left out in the contract adhering to that possibility? Besides, you know what you are getting into once you make it that deep. Let them run the tournament the way they want to and be grateful that poker has become as popular as it has in the past few years. Pretty soon, people are going to start claiming they "boycotted" viewing the WSOP on TV. What a joke.

 
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drakes67
almost 13 years ago

I like tater tots?

 
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SevenKidsPoppy
almost 13 years ago

If someone passes away (from too many interviews?) from now 'til November, their next-of-kin will still get the $1.2 mill. How freaky would that be, though, if his tournament chips get blinded off (talk about dead money...)? And Twicey, you left out the 00 after the XX at the end of your post.

 
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paulstar
almost 13 years ago

The delay should be until just before the WSOP circuit begins in the fall.
Infortunately, some high ranking marketing idiot didn't like the sound of the Spetember Nine and thought the November Nine has a better flow. What the hell is that? Are you still in grade five ESPN?
A delay is good for the game; but 4 months!?!
People in marketing are like fashion designers - they have to get more extreme and lose touch with reality and what really works.

 
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JoeCali01
almost 13 years ago

Darn,

i sure wish stuey ungar were alive with these huge fields there are today. As far as im concerned, there are only 5 players we can mention as the "greatest ever", Stuey and Ivey top that list, you also have to include doyle and hellmuth, the longevity of their time in the game and their consistent tournament play has to be taken into consideration, and for the fifth, id have to give it to the mouth... mike the mouth goes deeper into these huge fields today more than any pro. If i had to rank the top 5 all time TOURNAMENT players....

1. Stuey the Kid
2. Phil Ivey
3. Phil Hellmuth
4. Doyle Brunson
5. Mike Matusow

arguments?

 
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evengary
almost 13 years ago

Matusow?? RU joking? This year WSOP --- less than $7,500 total cashouts. Decent player at best.

 
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jokerhigh
almost 13 years ago

AS great as Ivey is I the King of Kings am greater~!&*&!~
I look forward to closing two third of the casinos in the USA
I look forward to a steady paycheck as sitting for tokes and grinding for possibilities isn't enviable
GOD Bless a winning lottery to me
So I can put enough on the table to feed the greedy house
YUP THE HOUSE IS MINE
I BOUGHT THE HOUSE AND IT IS FUNNY WHEN________!
How funny is that ? b*****

 
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SevenKidsPoppy
almost 13 years ago

I'd give Johnny Chan, Erik Seidel, Men the Master, Layne Flack, Negreanu, and Barry Greenstein the edge over the Mouth in tournament play.

 
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FZKK
almost 13 years ago

how come nobody's talking about jeff shulman?

 
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holdem4food
almost 13 years ago

FZKK - If you are referencing Shulman's comments about tossing the bracelet, there's a whole other article with it's very own comment section ..... As for this article, GL to Phil .... It'd be great to see him take this one down, and he doesn't need to 4 months to rake in the endorsement deal $ ..... lol

 
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holdem4food
almost 13 years ago

drakes67 - I like tater tots too .... awesome.

 
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jokesoup
almost 13 years ago

mmmm... taters

 
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SevenKidsPoppy
over 12 years ago

Mr. Ivey was born in California and grew up in NJ.

 
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Prieure
over 12 years ago

Twicey, do you really think Moneymaker is loaded?
I think you'll probably find he is sponsored into big events by Pokerstars and spends the rest of the year being their puppet so he has food to eat.
November Nine is a horrible concept, the main event in 2006 had the most players without this gimmick, the only reason numbers fell is due to the online gaming bill and the downturn in the economies of most countries. The Main Event used to be the tournament to win, now it isn't even the tournament with the best play. I'd rather win a WSOPE Main Event, that is a real test of a player, this one is just like any online tourney with a massive number of entries, ie a luckfest.
FZKK, why should we talk about Schulman, all he has done is used this platform that he's got to say dumb things about throwing the bracelet away, everyone knows that if he wins it he'll be just as proud as anyone else would be.
I hope he goes out first.

 
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Sazzle
over 12 years ago

Sucks for everyone that a British kid named James Akenhead is going to win.

 
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tompoker
over 12 years ago

While on the subject of Phil Ivey.....heres a question or topic you never hear mentioned or discussed and its not even a "dirty little secret"....its public information that no one ever seems to mention. How can person with a financial interest/partner role in a poker website like FullTilt play for millions of dollars on that website? Phil Ivey/Gus Hansen? If this were Wallstreet they would be prosecuted by the SEC!! Why is it that no one ever questions this obvious conflict of interest and/or access to inside information????

 
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deadmeat82
over 12 years ago

I think drakes67 hit the nail on the head. Tater tots FTW

 
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aces11
over 12 years ago

Phil Ivey is a quiet a hole...I saw the 09 episodes of the WSOP and when he was losing towards the end , and went down to 4M in chips there was a hand that he was not in that he had to give his comments to a kid who he previously lost too. So waht if you are the best Poker player in the world. When you lose show some class. Your facial expressions really show who you are.

 
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