Sitting Next to ‘Phil Fucking Ivey’ in the WSOP Main Event

Dustin Iannotti woke up to find Phil Ivey on his left of Day 3 of the WSOP Main Event (Drew Amato photo).

Dustin Iannotti woke up to find Phil Ivey on his left of Day 3 of the WSOP Main Event (Drew Amato photo).

As Day 2C of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event wrapped up very early Thursday morning Dustin Iannotti was all smiles. He bagged up 161,300 and was looking forward to a good night’s sleep and all of the potential of Day 3. When he woke up Thursday morning the dream quickly turned into a nightmare. To his horror Iannotti, the Director of Content & Pro Marketing for Ultimate Poker, had drawn the worst seat in the house.

“I woke up early this morning and couldn’t fall back asleep. I was thinking in my head I hope I don’t have a tough draw,” said Iannotti, who planned to go back to sleep but not before checking his table draw. “I’m looking down the list, and I’m Seat 8, so I get all the way through and I’m like ‘Well, Cong Pham is a super tough player, $500,000 in cashes. I’ll just try to stay away from him and at least I have position.”

“Then I look at seat number nine and it’s Phil Fucking Ivey,” laughed Iannotti. “No big deal, chip leader of the tournament, position on me. I’m a glass half full kind of guy. I just looked up the stats and realized he only has, only 2097 times the lifetime earnings that I have.”

Ivey finished day 2C as the chipleader with 505,500 chips. All kidding aside, Iannotti was a poker fan before he ever started working in the industry, so there is a part of him that is relishing the opportunity to sit with the player considered my most to be the best in the world.

“This is my first Main Event, I’ve been having a blast the whole tournament, yesterday I started with 30,000 in chips and got all the way up to 215,000 before finishing with 161,000,” said Iannotti. “So I’m feeling great about the whole experience and obviously it’s kinda cool to sit next to Phil. But at the same time, if I’m thinking about the dollars and the money amount, which is what we’re all here playing for it’s really not so cool.”

The two do have a history though, even if Ivey is unlikely to know it. Prior to joining Ultimate Poker, Iannotti worked with the Rational Group as the Head of Pro Marketing for Full Tilt Poker. Following the acquisition by PokerStars Ivey wanted to return to the tables but didn’t want his screenname to be ‘Phil Ivey’ so he had to call Iannotti to get it changed.

“I asked him what he wanted it changed to and he told me ‘I dunno, you pick something’,” said Iannotti. And just like that Ivey became ‘Polarzing’ on Full Tilt Poker. According to Iannotti, Ivey asked him what it meant.

“Maybe I’ll bring it up somehow,” said Iannotti, who had never met Ivey before play began on Thursday afternoon.

You can follow along throughout the day as Iannotti plans to tweet as much as possible about what it’s like to have Phil Ivey on your direct left in the biggest tournament of the year on @dustiniannotti.

The following two tabs change content below.

Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at BLUFF.com
Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, ThePokerBiz.com in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.
Comments
Bluff.com News Contributors

Related News Stories