Playing in the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific at Melbourne’s Crown Casino this week, poker megastar Phil Ivey took down his 9th WSOP bracelet win, tying with the legendary – and now deceased – Johnny Moss for most WSOP bracelets ever. Both considered masters of the game and daunting heads-up players, Ivey now looks to be a shoo-in to join Moss for what was already an obvious spot in the Poker Hall of Fame once he hits the 40-year-old minimum age in three years.
Mixed Game Wins It
Playing the WSOP APAC third event – the $2,200 Mixed Game tournament – Ivey took home the historic win. Not for the faint of heart (or anyone who can’t switch gears very quickly), you must be able to play No Limit and Limit Hold’em; Pot Limit Omaha; Omaha Hi-Lo; Seven Card Stud; Stud Hi-Lo; Razz, and 2-7 Triple Draw; obviously to take down a tournament that requires that many skill sets makes the accomplishment all the more impressive.
In fact, only 81 players enrolled in the tournament, and Ivey amassed a huge chip lead over Days One and Two, only to meet an equally skilled opponent, Daniel Negreanu, at the final table. Also among the final six at this table of poker warrior giants were former WSOP bracelet winner Kevin Song, accomplished tournament veterans Graeme Putt and Brandon Wong, and the 2013 Aussie Millions mixed-games champ Rob Campbell. Talk about needing nerves of steel and cajones the size of Mt. Rushmore.
Coming Out Right with Wong
In the end, it was Wong and Ivey, head-to-head; and Wong began the match with more chips. He continued to grow his stacks until he had a 4-to-1 chip advantage over Ivey, nearly crushing him. Indefatigable, Ivey pushed his way back; when Wong missed an important draw, it was Ivey’s turn to jump back in the driver’s seat and leave Wong, ultimately, in the dust.
“I definitely wanted to win this event, especially when I got deep and realized I had a chance, because my last five final tables were very tough,” said Ivey to the WSOP. “It took a lot out of me, and I was happy to have the chance to finish this one.”
Not on Full Tilt, It Appears
Although somewhat blackballed in poker circles following the 2011 Black Friday events that led to Full Tilt’s demise (on which he’d been a recognized pro), Ivey made a huge comeback in 2012, and clearly, that upswing is now unstoppable.
He may have a creepy stare, but you cannot fault the guy’s talent at cards.