Phil Ivey is widely considered as one of the best poker players of all time, with over $32 million in live earnings as well as millions more in cash games and online. He is often referred to as the “Tiger Woods of poker” for his resemblance to the golf professional and also because he expects to win every time he performs to his greatest ability.
Phil Ivey was born on Feb. 1, 1977, in Riverside, California, but he moved to Roselle, New Jersey when he was just three months old. Ivey won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 2000 at the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha event collecting $195,000. Since then he won another nine bracelets, as well as one World Poker Tour title which he scored at the WPT L.A. Poker Classic in 2008.
While not as prolific at the poker table as he once was, Ivey still captures the attention of the room as soon as he walks in and has recently joined the world of NFT's.
Jerome Graham got his start playing poker in the casinos of Atlantic City when he was just 21 years old. What the casinos didn’t know was that Jerome’s real name was Phil Ivey, and that his real age was 18. It was only after a few years of fake I.D. use that Ivey legally turned 21 and was of age to play in the casinos.
World Series of Poker
In 2000, Ivey took on the WSOP, cashing in three events. The third cash out of the three proved to be his best when he took home the bracelet and almost $200,000 in prize money. Ivey wasted little time in returning to WSOP glory when just two years later he won three more bracelets after cashing in seven events. In the following years Ivey won another three bracelets and scored 42 money finishes.
However, none of the bracelets were as profitable as Ivey's 7th place finish at the 2009 WSOP Main Event when he collected over $1,4 million in cash after making his first final table in the world's biggest poker event. His last WSOP title came in 2014, where we triumphed in the $1,500 8-Game Mix event to join the double digit bracelet club.
Amazingly, Ivey has reached heads-up play on 15 occasions in WSOP events, so the fact that he was the eventual winner in two-thirds of those contests just further the argument that Ivey is the best poker player of all time.
Phil Ivey's WSOP Bracelet Wins
|2000||$2,500 Pot Limit Omaha||1st||$195,000|
|2002||$1,500 7 Card Stud||1st||$132,000|
|2002||$2,500 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo||1st||$118,440|
|2002||$2,000 Limit S.H.O.E.||1st||$107,540|
|2005||$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha||1st||$635,603|
|2009||$2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo||1st||$220,538|
|2009||$2,500 No Limit Deuce to Seven Draw||1st||$96,367|
|2013||A$2,200 Mixed Event||1st||A$51,840|
|2014||$1,500 8-Game Mix||1st||$166,986|
World Poker Tour
In 2003, Ivey made a name for himself on the WPT circuit at the Five-Star World Poker Classic where he won two events and placed third in the Main Event. Then in 2005 he finished sixth at the Five-Star World Poker Classic $25,000 Main Even for more than $260,000 in cash. Ivey collected his first WPT title in 2008 when he took down the L.A. Poker Classic Main Event in 2008 taking home almost $1.6 million in prize money. In 2010 Ivey scored his third biggest WPT cash after finishing third in the Bellagio Cup VI $10,000 Championship event collecting over $360,000.
Since 2015, Ivey has boosted his WPT earnings by more than a million thanks to his win in the WPT Heads Up Poker Championship ($400,000) and fifth place finish in Triton Super High Roller Series - Cali Cup for $656,500.
Phil Ivey's Top 5 WPT Results
|2008||L.A. Poker Classic $9,900 Championship||1st||$ 1,596,100|
|2016||Triton Super High Roller Series - Cali Cup||5th||$656,500|
|2021||WPT Heads Up Poker Championship||1st||$400,000|
|2010||Bellagio Cup VI $10,000 Championship||3rd||$363,650|
|2003||Jack Binion World Poker Open $10,000 Championship||2nd||$290,130|
European Poker Tour
Ivey made his first appearance on the European Poker Tour circuit in 2006 when he entered the EPT Barcelona Open €4,800 Main Event and finished in second place for €371,000. In 2010 he scored another EPT cash after finishing 59th at the EPT London £5,000 Main Event/UKIPT Grand Final for £13,000. Two years later Ivey made another deep run in the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo busting in 9th place for €73,200.
Phil Ivey's Top 3 EPT Results
|2006||Barcelona Open €4,800 Main Event||2nd||€ 371,000|
|2012||Grand Final, Monte Carlo €25,000 8 Max High Roller||9th||€73,200|
|2010||London £5,000 Main Event/UKIPT Grand Final||59th||£13,000|
Aussie Millions Poker Championship
Surprisingly, Ivey's biggest tournament scores have come outside of the United States due to him winning A$250,000 No Limit Hold'em - $250,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions Poker Championship on three occasions.
Phil Ivey's Top 5 Aussie Millions Results
|February 2014||A$250,000 No Limit Hold'em - $250,000 Challenge||1st||A$4,000,000 ($3,582,753)|
|February 2012||A$250,000 No Limit Hold'em - $250,000 Challenge||1st||A$2,000,000 ($2,058,948)|
|February 2015||A$250,000 No Limit Hold'em - $250,000 Challenge||1st||A$2,205,000 ($1,710,854)|
|January 2010||A$100,000 + 500 $100,000 Challenge||2nd||A$600,000 ($553,776)|
|January 2012||A$10,000 + 600 No Limit Hold'em - Main Event||12th||A$100,000 ($ 102,947)|
Ivey is also known for winning big tournaments outside the US. Back in 2005 he scored a first-place finish at the Monte Carlo Millions for $1 million while in 2012 he took down the Aussie Millions $250,000 Super High Roller event collecting a cash prize of more than $2 million. That same year Ivey final tabled the Macau High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller event taking home over $800,000 for his 8th place finish.
Tournaments aren't all that Phil Ivey does though. He is a regular fixture in the “Big Game” in Vegas where he locks horns with some of the greatest players in the game today including Doyle Brunson, Barry Greenstein, Chau Giang, and Jennifer Harman. It’s even reported that Phil won over $16 million from banker Andy Beal after he challenged some of the best high-stakes players to a match.
Phil Ivey was one of the founders of the Full Tilt Poker online poker site. For seven years he has been the ambassador and the icon of Full Tilt Poker as well as a member of the site's Team Pro until April 15th, 2011 a.k.a. Black Friday. After the site has lost its Aldreney e-gaming license in June 2011 and seized its operations, Ivey had dissociated himself from Full Tilt, sued the company and boycotted the 2011 World Series of Poker claiming it would not have been fair for him to play when other players couldn't.
Did you know?
- Phil Ivey bubbled the final table of the 2003 WSOP Main Event. He was eliminated by the eventual winner Chris Moneymaker, whose victory triggered the so called Moneymaker Effect.
- Ivey is often referred to as the “Tiger Woods of Poker” not only due to his resemblance to the famous golfer, but also because Ivey likes to play golf himself. Ivey even participated in the inaugural World Series of Golf, where he finished in third place.
- Ivey was embroiled in a long court case against the Borgota regarding $10 millions worth of winnings from the baccarat tables, the case has since been settled but it's one heck of a story to check out.