Phil Ivey Bio
In the Beginning
It is February 1st, 1976.
Phillip D. Ivey is born in Riverside, California. Within a few months his family packs up and moves to the east coast. Roselle, New Jersey – just a stone’s throw away from Atlantic City.
He has a taste for action at a very young age. Some kids grow up wanting to be football players. Some kids want to be scientists. Phillip D. Ivey wants to be a poker player.
His grandfather teaches him how to play Five-Card Stud. He uses the old hustler’s trick of dealing from the bottom of the deck to teach Phil about the potential perils of the poker lifestyle. This lesson is meant to be a warning.
It doesn’t work.
Phil grows up watching from the sidelines at various home games, studying the action and learning how to spot tells. He tells anyone who will listen that he intends to become a professional poker player.
When the time is right, Phil starts to turn his ambitions into reality. Hours and hours are spent in the casinos of Atlantic City, honing his game with each hand. The kid takes his lumps, just like everyone else. He isn’t making money, but he’s gaining valuable experience.
All of his energy is focused on becoming the world’s best poker player.