Phil Ivey Bio

Bracelet #1

It is June, 2000.

23-year-old Phil Ivey takes a slim lead into the final table of the World Series of Poker Event #14, a $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament.

The table is stacked with big names: Markus Golser, Dave Colclough, David “Devilfish” Ulliot, Phil “The Poker Brat” Hellmuth. And poker legend Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston. The man has never lost at the final table of a WSOP event. If Doyle Brunson couldn’t do it, what chance did a fresh-faced kid from Jersey have?

Pot Limit Omaha is an action game, and right now the action is fast and furious. Ivey is patient, picking his spots well and not wasting any chips. Amarillo Slim knocks a tongue-tied Ulliot out in 5th place, adding more ammunition to his stockpile. Phil responds by finishing off a short-stacked Hellmuth, and then sending Golser to the rail.

We’re down to heads-up play – Ivey and Preston mano y mano. Amarillo Slim is the chip leader by a good margin and looks to be unstoppable in his quest for his next bracelet.

But Ivey has an Ace up his sleeve today. After riding the brakes throughout most of the final table, Phil changes gears once heads-up play begins and is full throttle on the gas pedal. Preston doesn’t even know what hit him – Ivey goes from tight to loose faster than you can say “all in.”

Phil wins two major pots, turning the tables on Amarillo Slim. Suddenly, Ivey is the one holding a majority of the chips.

The finish line is in sight, Amarillo Slim slides the remainder of his chips into the pot after flopping a straight. Ivey needs a King on the turn or river to complete his gut-shot and claim his first taste of gold.

The turn is a King.

Bracelet #1 is in hand. His bankroll is boosted by almost $200,000. Phil Ivey makes history by denying a member of poker royalty his crown.

The Summer of Phil