Phil Ivey at the 2009 WSOP

Phil Ivey is one of those players who require no special introduction to fans of poker and online poker. This guy is equally successful online and offline. He is the owner of 7 WSOP bracelets and a WPT title. He is estimated to have collected about $12.2 million in tournament winnings in his career. His cash game earnings cannot really be estimated, but he is a regular at Full Tilt Poker’s nosebleed tables and he often walks away with serious profits. If there were people who hadn’t been familiar with Ivey’s name before the 2009 WSOP November Nine, they sure know him well now. Ivey waded through the Main Event’s field this summer to secure a place at the November final table. Had he not made the mistake of mucking a made flush one time, he may have made it to the final nine on a much heftier stack, and things may have turned out differently.

Because he made the amateurish mistake though, Ivey was forced to start the November Nine showdown as one of the short stacks. Despite the fact that he was a statistical underdog, bookmakers and online bookmakers saw horrendous amounts of money come in on him as bettors and the majority of the online poker industry wanted to see him take the title. Theories about how he could help the industry provided he managed to take the title, abounded before the event. Unfortunately for his fans though, Ivey was eliminated from the title run in 7th place, following another mistake: he folded his pocket Js when faced with Antoine Saout’s pocket 7s.

That hand began to push his stack down the hill, and despite getting his chips in good in his final hand on an A,K vs Darvin Moon’s A,Q, a Q hit the flop and he was eliminated well short of the heads-up stage.

All-in all, Ivey’s WSOP performance was an outstanding one. The taste of disappointment that his 7th place finish has left in the mouths of his fans cannot possibly belittle his merits. He played great poker all through the Main Event, and luck just didn’t side with him when needed. And as we all know, nobody – regardless of how skilled he is - will ever win a MTT without getting incredibly lucky at least a few times along the way.

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