Phil Ivey won his ninth career World Series of Poker bracelet Wednesday night in Melbourne, but it was no easy task. Brandon Wong gave him everything he could handle and more, with Ivey only emerging victorious after well over three hours of heads-up play.
“I wasn’t surprised,” said Ivey, regarding his tough heads-up opponent, “I’ve played with him some in California. He plays limit games really well, so I figured it would be a grind.”
Deuce-to-Seven was a key game in the 8-Game mix for Ivey, bringing him back from the brink of elimination several times.
“I was very lucky in that game,” said Ivey. “That’s the game to be lucky in too.”
It was certainly a cathartic experience for Ivey, who won his first bracelet since the 2010 WSOP. After taking the 2012 WSOP off completely, Ivey made an astounding five consecutive final tables in less than two weeks in 2012, only to fall short each time.
“I definitely wanted to win this event,” said Ivey, “Especially when I got deep and I felt like I had a chance, because the last five final tables have been tough. They took a lot out of me, and I’m glad I had a chance to finish this one.”
Ivey now sits at an elite level in the annals of WSOP history, tying Johnny Moss for fourth on the all-time bracelet list and putting him one behind legends Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan. The fact that this victory came in Australia, the site of many of Ivey’s greatest successes, including a 2012 $250,000 Challenge win, was all too fitting.
“This is my favorite place to play,” said Ivey. “I love coming down here, I love the feeling I have when I come here. The Crown is great, great staff, great dealers.”
Name: Phil Ivey
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Occupation: Professional Poker Player
Lifetime live tournament earnings: $15,881,261
Notable poker achievements: Ivey is widely recognized as one of the best all-around poker players in the world. In addition to his countless successes in live tournament poker, where he’s won nine WSOP bracelets and a WPT title, Ivey also excels in the biggest cash games in the world, both live and online.
Memorable quote: (On how he views his legacy)
“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to think about my history in poker, and where I’m going to stand. It’s important for me to win these bracelets, I’m trying to catch Phil [Hellmuth] but it’s hard, he keeps winning them. I’m looking forward to the summer.”
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