Phil Ivey, who is also known as the Tiger Woods of Poker, was born in 1976 in Riverside, California. As one of the youngest and most popular poker stars, he is well known about his ability to play the worst possible hand, the offsuit 7-2 as if it was a pair of aces. The young poker phenomenon developed a competitive personality still in his childhood. At the age of eight, he played five-card stud with his grandfather, who taught him about the dangers of gambling. Phil, however, completely ignored the admonitions of his grandfather and one day he announced he was going to be a professional player.
At age 18, Phil Ivey still lived in New Jersey, worked for a telemarketing firm and started playing poker with his colleagues. Since he was under the age limit, he was playing with a fake ID card in Atlantic City under the name of Jerome Graham. His nickname then was "No Home Jerome", which stuck to him, because he almost never left the casino. Initially, he lost quite a lot, but gradually, he improved his skills. At age 20, he moved to Atlantic City and at age of 21, he won his first WSOP bracelet in Pot Limit Omaha.
Then he began to take part in high-stakes cash games, and his mates started to take him seriously from that moment. In 2002, he won three bracelets at the WSOP, in seven-card stud, in stud high-low, and in SHOE. This was followed by, in 2005, the fifth WSOP bracelet in Pot Limit Omaha again, right after which he won the Monte Carlo Millions and the one million dollar prize as well. Earlier, at the World Poker Tour events he played at the final table nine times, then the first WPT victory came in 2008, when he won the LA Poker Classic and a one and a half million dollar prize. He won another two WSOP bracelets in 2009 and another in 2010, so he has a total of eight world championship titles.
In February 2006, he got into the poker news headlines not because of a tournament but after during a three-day-long battle, he won more than $ 16 million from Texas billionaire Andy Beal.
Sitting at a table with Phil Ivey, one can notice an aggressive style. Most opponents agree that it is very difficult to read him. A sort of constant sadness is always on his face, even in the most exciting jackpot situations. The strengths of his game are his ability to concentrate and a sharp memory.
Phil Ivey currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his high school love Luciaetta, and regularly plays at high-stakes tables at the Bellagio next to Dolyle Brunson or Jennifer Harman. In his spare time, he likes playing golf, betting and playing video games. He is an enthusiastic Los Angeles Lakers fan, and likes to wear basketball T-shirts at the poker table, which, incidentally, he collects. According to himself, he plays at least 10 hours per week online. In 2005, Bluff Magazine voted him player of the year.
In live tournaments, he won a total of nearly $ 14 million, of which more than five millions are from the WSOP. With this, he is one of the world's top-earning tournament players and many consider him as one of the world's best players of all styles.
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