World Series of Poker Europe

Brian Altman's Big Call: Looking Back at Phil Ivey's WSOP Main Event Bustout

Phil Ivey
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  • A look back at Phil Ivey's WSOP Main Event bustout hand, a check-raise shove called by Brian Altman.

  • Could you call Phil Ivey's check-raise river jam? Brian Altman did, knocking Ivey from the WSOP Main.

This year's World Series of Poker Main Event attracted a huge field of 7,874 players with John Cynn ultimately emerging as the champion to claim the $8.8 million first prize.

Of those 7,874 players who took part, 10-time bracelet winner Phil Ivey perhaps earned the most attention early on, particularly after lasting into Day 4 while accumulating a decent-sized stack.

But that's where Ivey's Main Event run ended with a 547th-place finish ($23,940) following a final hand versus Brian Altman.

Brian Altman's Big Call: Looking Back at Phil Ivey's WSOP Main Event Bustout 101
Brian Altman

With the blinds at 5,000/10,000, Ivey opened to 22,000 from middle position with {9-Spades}{9-Clubs}, then Altman three-bet to 75,000 from the hijack seat holding {Q-Spades}{J-Clubs}.

It folded back to Ivey who called, and the pair saw a flop come {Q-Clubs}{J-Spades}{2-Spades}, giving Altman two pair. Ivey check-called a bet of 60,000 from Altman, then both players checked the {8-Spades} turn card that made the board even wetter.

The {3-Diamonds} river completed the board and Ivey checked again. Altman bet 195,000, then Ivey jammed all in for his last 629,000. Altman had to think for more than a minute before finally calling. They tabled their hands, and Ivey complimented him with a "good call" before departing.

In the video below, Altman discussed the hand with PokerNews the next day while still alive in the tournament.

"It's a really gross spot," says Altman, noting how easily Ivey could have had a flush or straight.

Listen to Altman look back on how queen-jack was one of the worst hands he could call with, and hear his comments about playing on a feature table and using the available information when doing so. The hand analysis begins about one minute into the video:

Altman ultimately made it all of the way to 113th ($57,010), adding further to his lifetime tournament earnings which now exceed $2.7 million.

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