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Phil Ivey: "The Tiger Woods of Poker"


Phil Ivey is one of the world’s best known and most popular poker players.

Born in February 1976, Ivey was introduced to the game by his grandfather, Ivey showed proficiency for the game straight away. Ivey loved the game the only problem was his age which prevented him from playing as much as he would have liked. He played in some games with people his own age as well as playing in a game organized by a father of one of his friends.

Straight away Ivey was destined for better things. At the table he seemed to just know what to do. At the age of 18 Ivey went to Atlantic City to try his hand at poker. Again age was a problem for Ivey as was his inexperience. He had to play using a fake ID with the name Jerome Graham on it. A lot of the seasoned gamblers were getting the better of the rookie but this was part of his poker education. Shortly after making Atlantic City his new home, Ivey turned 21. Now there were no restrictions as to where he could play.

In 2000, he set the poker world alight with his incredible World Series of Poker debut performance. Two final tables and one bracelet was just as a good a maiden performance as anyone has ever had on poker’s biggest stage. The bracelet came in $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha which was a pet event of Ivey’s.

With Ivey making a splash in the poker world it was time to move to bigger and better things and that was to the West Coast. Ivey was now the hot sensation in poker. Nicknamed - "The Tiger Woods of Poker". Everyone wanted to take him on and more often then not they came off second best.

Ivey honed his poker game and became dominant in all forms of it. In 2002, he won three WSOP bracelets in three different games which showed his versatility. This tied with Phil Hellmuth Jr. and Ted Forrest as the most bracelet wins in a single tournament. Ivey was now part of the poker establishment and a player to be reckoned with. His fifth WSOP bracelet came in 2005 again in Pot-Limit Omaha was an event Ivey was making his own. With five bracelets in a short period of time, it looked as though Ivey could win 20 but he hadn’t won another one since.

Ivey has had a good record elsewhere winning the 2005 Monte Carlo Millions and invitational tournament in the space of five days, picking up $1.6 million in the process. In January 2006, Ivey was named Player of the Year by All In Magazine, Bluff Magazine, and the UK Gaming Awards. At the recent WSOP Ivey came second in the Omaha Hi/Lo event and third in $50,000 HORSE event.

As of 2006, his total live tournament winnings exceed $6,900,000.

The strength of Ivey’s game is his ability to focus as well as his memory which assists him with tells. His controlled aggression also serves him well. Ivey also had a very good record at the World Poker Tour finals makes five final tables.

Away from poker, Ivey is a big Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets fan and can often be seen courtside. He has been named the Tiger Woods of Golf and recently he has taken up golf. Other hobbies include video games, working out and watching movies.

He has married his high school sweetheart, Luciaetta and together the two of them have a stable life which assists Ivey away from poker. Ivey is part of the Full Tilt Online Poker team and website.

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