Thirty-three days into the 2015 World Series of Poker, the consensus best poker player on the planet finally showed up. The allure of a potentially massive seven-figure score in the WSOP's $111,111 High Roller for ONE DROP was too much for even Phil Ivey to pass up.
Rumor has it the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner had spent the the first half of the 2015 WSOP whale hunting in nosebleed cash games over in Macau and across the pond in Europe before taking a seat in the One Drop event on Sunday. While tightlipped about his exact whereabouts over the few weeks, Ivey did admit he's a little more interested in cash games than bracelet hunting these days, and that's what's kept him away.
"Of course I care about bracelets," Ivey told PokerNews. "But you know, sometimes there are games elsewhere in the world and duty calls."
Although he arrived in Las Vegas Saturday and has plans to play a few events throughout the remainder of the 2015 WSOP schedule, Ivey said duty may call again and without a lot of side action in bracelet bets, he's likely to answer when it does.
"I'm going to play this tournament, I'll play some cash games, it just depends," he said. "It was lot easier when I had the bracelet bets. It was a lot more motivating to sit down and play the tournaments — you know, like the $1Ks and the $1,500s. It's easier when you have a bet that you're going after."
Widely considered the one player with a shot at catching all-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth and his 14 bracelets, Ivey said it's a chase he's still interested in, but not one that takes top priority these days.
"I'd like to [catch Hellmuth], if time permits, if my schedule allows it," Ivey said. "If there's a huge, huge cash game at ARIA or Bellagio, or somewhere during a smaller tournament, then I'm going to choose to play the cash game. That's what I've been doing the whole time here until the last couple of years when I was playing so many events because I had these big bracelet bets. That action has kind of dried up now."
Ivey confirmed he will be playing the $500,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl at ARIA beginning July 2 and added even though high-stakes cash games have taken his focus off the WSOP right now, he maintains the mark he leaves on the game of poker, and indeed his legacy, is just as important to him as ever.
"Look, I'm going to play as many tournaments as I can and do as well as I can," he said. "That's really all that comes down to, right?"