Posts Tagged ‘Phil Ivey’

Phil Ivey enters Daily Fantasy Sports World

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

phil-ivey-dfsPhil Ivey is making the transition to the daily fantasy sports (DFS) world, but unlike some fellow poker pros, it won’t be as a player. Instead, Ivey is opening his own site called

The upcoming DFS site will run on the iTeam Network and provide players with another alternative to industry leading giants DraftKings and FanDuel.

“Over the past few years, I’ve been looking for more ways to share with fans my perspective on daily fantasy sports,” says Ivey. “I was honored to have multiple options, but iTEAM Network’s focus on compliance and the core technology, along with the leadership of Gabe Hunterton, ultimately made it a pretty easy decision.”

Hunterton, the current CEO of iTeam Network, was dealing cards at El Cortez Casino in Las Vegas 16 years ago. He’s since worked his way up to various higher roles, such as Chief Operating Officer of StarWorld Hotel and Casino. Now he’s looking to help PhilIveyDFS succeed on the iTeam Network, and here’s a look at what he had to say:

“We are always looking for quality brands and partners in the world of fantasy [and] there is no elite-level individual that fans want to follow and learn from more than Ivey. Ivey’s team engaged in extended due diligence, which we welcomed in light of our commitment to conservative regulatory practices and great user experiences.

“There is a large crossover between poker players and DFS players. Adding the Phil Ivey brand will substantially increase network-wide player liquidity and prize pools. We have already started an aggressive marketing and execution plan in which PhilIveyDFS users will be able to compete immediately for more than $20,000 in weekly pro basketball contests and interact directly with Ivey.”

Hunterton’s story somewhat mirrors the rise of Phil Ivey, who went from a teenager using fake IDs to play poker in Atlantic City, to becoming a 10-time WSOP champion. In recent years, Ivey has transitioned more of his time to the business world, where he’s started IveyLeague poker training and opened a sports agency called All In Entertainment. Now, he set for yet another business venture with his soon-to-be-launched DFS site.

With the daily fantasy sports world exploding and people like Aaron Jones winning $5 million, it’s little wonder why Ivey wants to jump on this trend while it’s still hot.

Phil Ivey is Now Terrible at Online Poker

Friday, December 4th, 2015

phil-ivey-wsopUp until about a year ago, Phil Ivey was commonly referred to as the world’s best poker player. However, he’s being called this a lot less now after how badly he’s played in online poker. In fact, he’s down a fortune over the past four years.

According to data from HighStakesDB, which tracks online high-roller results, Ivey has lost over $8.8 million. Here’s a look at the numbers:

2012 – 5,676 hands (Full Tilt), -$252,300
2013 – 76,301 hands (Full Tilt), -$2,441,770
2014 – 102,365 hands (Full Tilt), -$2,372,300
2015 – 126,026 hands (PokerStars), -$2,481,300
2015 – 32,737 hands (Full Tilt), -$1,250,800

phil-ivey-2014-wsop-main-eventYou certainly can’t say that Ivey hasn’t had enough chances to right the ship because he’s played over 343,000 hands. Of course, one might give him a break since he is playing against some of the top grinders in the world. But then again, this is Ivey we’re talking about who’s held to a different standard than your average poker player.

There’s good reason for this too because the 39-year-old was once the world’s biggest online poker winner. Before Full Tilt closed in 2011 (Black Friday), Ivey was up well over $16 million. So even if the current losses are accurate, he’d still be a pretty big winner overall. We can only see assume that he’s also a huge winner in live poker games too.

Regardless of how Ivey is doing in poker these days, he’s involved in several business ventures. Specifically, he owns and also runs a sports/entertainment promotions company called All In Entertainment. So we can be sure that he’s still living the good life no matter how badly things may be going in online poker at the moment.

Phil Ivey gets Appeal in £8m Crockfords Case

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

phil-ivey-crockfords-appealThree years ago, Phil Ivey crushed a punto banco game at Crockfords casino to the tune of £7.8 million. Unfortunately for Ivey, Crockfords withheld the money, then won a lawsuit against the poker champ to keep their millions. But this isn’t the end because a judge recently granted Ivey permission to appeal the case.

“This is really great news. I am getting a second shot and I’m hoping we will win this time around,” Ivey told the Daily Mail. “It is not in my nature to cheat, which is why I was so bitterly disappointed by the judge’s decision a year ago, even though he said I was a truthful witness.”

As much of the poker/gambling community heard, Ivey beat the Crockfords punto banco game through a technique called “edge sorting,” where you exploit tiny flaws on the back of cards. And the 10-time WSOP champion fully believes that he was merely using smart advantage play, rather than cheating like he’s been accused of.

“When you are a professional gambler you are always looking for ways to gain an advantage over the casino,” he explained. “It’s their job to prevent me from having any advantage. Sometimes I come out on top, sometimes they do.”

As for Crockfords, they claim that Ivey tricked their dealer into giving him certain concessions out of superstition. For example, he asked that the cards be rotated 180 degrees because he thinks it’s good luck; however, the real reason is that this allowed him to better spot flaws on card backs.

Despite Crockfords’ argument, Ivey still fully believes that he’s in the right and will challenge the case again. And he’s not only hoping to win because of the money, but also to restore his reputation.

“When you’re accused of cheating it’s a very big deal in gambling,” said the 39-year-old. “I’m not allowed in certain casinos because of what happened. But my colleagues have been tremendously supportive – they know what is cheating and what is not.”

3 Europeans who could get in 2016 Poker Hall of Fame Class

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

carlos-mortensen-pokerFollowing the 2015 Poker Hall of Fame selections of John Juanda and Jennifer Harman, most of the conversation afterward has centered on how non-Americans have very little chance to make the PHOF. Specifically, the only non-American in the Hall is Edmund Hoyle, who died in 1769 and was selected in 1980. With all the talk about how the HOF voting needs to be less biased, it seems like a European player/contributor could make it in next year. That said, let’s discuss three Europeans who could potentially land in the 2016 Poker Hall of Fame class.

1. Carlos Mortensen

Purely from a tournament perspective, Carlos Mortensen is a shoo-in for the Poker Hall of Fame. He has $11.91 million in live tournament winnings along with two WSOP gold bracelets and three WPT titles. Furthermore, “El Matador” won the 2001 WSOP Main Event and the 2007 WPT Championship. About the only thing that Mortensen can’t claim on his resume is a successful high stakes career. However, there are other players who don’t quite satisfy this requirement either.

2. Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott

dave-devilfish-ulliotThere was an emotional aspect involved in Ulliott’s 2015 bid for the PHOF, given that he passed away this year. So when Ulliott didn’t make it in, there were some cries from fellow European players who questioned the all-American voting panel for the HOF. Will Devilfish make it in next year as a result of the outcry? Ulliott’s resume is borderline, with $6 million in tournament winnings and a gold bracelet. However, his entertaining personality adds something to his bid for the PHOF.

3. Bruno Fitoussi

Based purely on his playing career, Bruno Fitoussi falls short of the Hall. He has $2.79 million in tourney earnings, but has never had a major victory. However, what pushes Fitoussi’s resume over the top is that he’s perhaps the most-instrumental person in the history of French poker. Fitoussi brought poker to Aviation Club de France and also influenced many French citizens to take up the game.

Phil Ivey in Another Chrysler 300 Commercial – Also wins $500k in Online Poker

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

phil-ivey-pokerThings are really going Phil Ivey’s way these days since he was recently featured in his own Chrysler 300 commercial, and he won $500k in online poker.

Beginning with the first story, some may already be aware that Ivey has done a Chrysler 300 commercial, as part of their “Kings and Queens of America” series. However, that one featured plenty of other self-made entrepreneurs too. This time around, Ivey was all by himself in a commercial, which is pretty amazing when you consider that poker players don’t normally carry much mainstream fame.

The message here is: “There’s nothing wrong with being flashy…so long as you’ve done the work to back it up.” Kind of funny because the 10-time WSOP champion isn’t overly flashy, nor do I consider driving a Chrysler 300 to be flashy (maybe just slightly yuppish). But again, it’s cool that Ivey is the centerpiece of this commercial.

And do you want to know what else is cool? How about the fact that Ivey’s online poker graph is finally going up once again. He won nearly $500k this week, through a combination of Full Tilt ($280k) and PokerStars ($201k). With this week, Ivey, known as “RaiseOnce” on PokerStars and “Polarizing” at Full Tilt, moved himself out of the position of this year’s biggest online poker loser. That distinction now belongs to Viktor “Isildur1” Blom, which you can see below:

2015 Biggest Online Poker Losers
Viktor “Isildur1” Blom – $1,494,604
Phil “Polarizing” Ivey – $1,330,470
“Sanlker” – $726,621
Phil “OMGClayAiken” Galfond – $470,721
“BigNittyBanker” – $459,090

As these losses indicate, Ivey has not played exceptionally well in online poker lately. In fact, he’s down over $6.3 million on his Polarizing name at Full Tilt. The good news, though, is that he’d made $19.4 million in pre-Black Friday (April 2011) profits, and he has more than enough outside businesses going that he won’t ever have to worry about money again. High stakes poker is truly just a game to him, and one that he’s finally winning at again.

Phil Ivey stars in Chrysler 300 Commercial

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

phil-ivey-chrysler-300It’s a pretty good bet that Phil Ivey doesn’t drive a Chrysler 300 and instead has some mix of top-end luxury cars sitting in his garage. Nevertheless, it’s pretty cool that he got to star in a Chrysler 300 commercial that was recently released.

The commercial is entitled “Kings & Queens of America,” which alludes to the fact that the U.S. has no monarchies or royal blood, but rather entrepreneurs who take what’s out there. Directed by “Game of Thrones” actor actor Peter Dinklage, this 60-second spot includes Chrysler’s version of kings and queens, or rather people who’ve created their own success in life.

To be quite honest, I don’t know who the hell any of these people are beyond Ivey – at least from their faces alone. Luckily, PR Newswire is there to back me up with a tidy little clipping about the commercial. Here’s an excerpt that discusses the random faces I see featured:

Those featured in the campaign include Becky Hammon (first full-time female NBA assistant coach); Alexis Ohanian (tech entrepreneur/Reddit cofounder); Mercedes Yvette (jewelry designer/The Gilded Fox); Lynn Le (founder of sportswear company Society Nine); Caroline Styne (restaurant owner); Nolen Niu (furniture designer/Nolen Niu Inc.); Avi Brosh (hotelier); Kwaku Alston (photographer); Andrew Sasson (hotelier); Tiffany Schrade (jewelry designer); Smith Henderson (novelist); Phil Ivey (professional gambler/entrepreneur); and Shawn Williams (martial arts studio owner/instructor).

Okay, so I’ve heard of Becky Hammon, I know what Reddit is, and I know of Ivey pretty well…so I think that I’m good. Assuming you’d like to watch the commercial yourself and see if you can identify any of these money monarchs, then take a crack below:

Andy Beal battles Todd Brunson and loses $5 Million

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

todd-brunson-vs-andy-bealA decade ago, billionaire businessman Andy Beal played in some of the most-legendary high stakes poker games in history. But it’s been years since the banker/real estate mogul has played poker in Las Vegas. That all changed this weekend, though, as Beal made his triumphant return to Vegas’ Bobby’s Room to take on Todd Brunson heads-up.

The two competed in a game of $50,000/$100,000 Limit Hold’em, with both players fronting a $5 million bankroll. And thanks to a spectator named Kyle Loman, there were plenty of tweets on how the matchup was going. After the first couple of hours, the chip stacks remained pretty even and the original 20 spectators were whittled down to just Doyle Brunson.

But after three hours, when it was around 4:00am Vegas time, even Doyle couldn’t stick around to watch his son. It didn’t matter, though, as Brunson swung the tide in his favor and took Beal’s entire $5 million stack.

It’s worth mentioning that Beal isn’t some complete amateur since he took on the world’s best poker players in 2004 and ’06. This matchup between Beal and “The Corporation,” a group consisting of Doyle, Jen Harman, Phil Ivey, Ted Forrest and others, would see Beal take an early $13.6 million lead. However, Ivey played the businessman heads-up and won $16.6 million, promptng Beal to quit the game. This story served as the inspiration for Michael Craig’s famed book The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time.

Well, there was no Ivey there to dominate Beal this time, however, Brunson did a more-than-adequate job of beating his wealthy opponent. So will Beal limp off for another eight years after this one? Or will he return with a vengeance, much like he did in 2006 after getting handled in ’04?

Jorn Walthaus says Macau Poker Games not so Great

Monday, November 17th, 2014

jorn-walthaus-macau-high-stakesIt used to be that Bobby’s Room (Las Vegas Bellagio) was THE premier place for high stakes poker. But that largely changed a few years ago, when top-notch grinders like John Juanda, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and others began mixing it up with billionaire fish in Macau. According to Dutch high stakes player Jorn Walthaus, though, the Macau poker games aren’t nearly as lucrative these days.

Walthaus describes a situation where a smoking ban and too many pros have driven away some of the recreational players. “The biggest difference between the games when I came here and now is I think…there are less recreational players,” he told PokerNews. “I was here when the smoking ban came, so no more smoking at the tables. And I think that really hurt the games. What happened is that a lot of professional players came here, and so there were more professional players at the table compared to recreational players.”

After spending eight months living and grinding from 10:00am to 4:00am every day, Walthaus made the decision to leave this gambling capital. His two reasons were A) the games got worse, and B) he can make more money playing online poker.

The Dutchman spent his time at the $300/$600 and $1k/$2k tables, and he says there were plenty of rec players at the table. However, he believes that the scene has largely shifted to pro vs. pro in recent times.

Given that Walthaus had trouble “getting satisfaction” from the Macau routine when he was winning, tougher games convinced him that his time would be better spent elsewhere. You can see everything that he had to say on the matter below:

Phil Ivey loses £7.7m Crockfords Case – Is Precedent set for Borgata?

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Phil Ivey took a bad beat in court when a UK High Court judge ruled against him in a £7.7 million baccarat edge sorting case.

Predictably, Ivey argued that edge sorting is not cheating and he wouldn’t use the technique if he thought it cheated the casino. The judge believed that Ivey didn’t think he was really cheating. However, the judge still sided with Crockfords’ argument that Ivey went above and behind the normal scope of advantage play, including asking for a bunch of favors under the guise of being superstitious (i.e. cards tilted at 180-degree angle, same deck used, Chinese-speaking dealer).

After the case was decided, a disappointed Ivey continued to profess his belief that he won fair and square. The 10-time WSOP champ said the following:

I am obviously disappointed with this judge’s decision. As I said in court, it is not my nature to cheat and I would never do anything to risk my reputation.

I am pleased that the judge acknowledged in court that I was a truthful witness by saying that ‘I am entirely convinced that Mr Ivey did not consider that what he was doing was cheating.

I believe that what we did was a legitimate strategy – we did nothing more than exploit Crockfords’ failures to take proper steps to protect themselves against a player of my ability – clearly today, the judge did not agree.

There’s also a $9.6 million lawsuit filed by the Borgata against Ivey that’s yet to be decided. Another edge sorting case, Ivey was actually paid the $9.6 million in baccarat winnings before he left the casino. However, Borgata now wants their money back and, like Crockfords, they’re taking their case to court.

Given what happened in the Crockfords judgement, there may be some precedent here. Of course, Borgata is dealing with a different country and they already gave Ivey the money. This case is supposed to be decided next year, so it’ll be interested to see if Ivey goes 0-for-2 or he gets better luck this time.

Dan Cates up $10.2m, Phil Ivey down $5.1m

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Oh what a difference a couple of years can make in high stakes online poker. Coming into the relaunched Full Tilt Poker, Phil Ivey was the game’s biggest winner with $19.2 million in online profits. However, he’s since taken a big tumble over the nearly-two years since Full Tilt reopened.

Switching to the name “Polarizing,” Ivey is now down $5.1 million. This still leaves him with about $14.1 million in career online poker winnings. And we certainly wouldn’t expect him to be in money trouble, given his multiple business endeavors and baccarat edge-sorting profits. Still, it’s strange to see the man whom many call the “world’s greatest all-around poker player” struggle so badly.

On the other end of the spectrum is Dan “jungleman12” Cates, who is dominating the cyber felt this year. Cates had the prime of his poker career interrupted by Black Friday, as he’d earned $6.8 million in just a year before April 15th, 2011. Since resuming his high stakes career at Full Tilt, Cates hasn’t experienced any drop-off, and his HighStakesDB graph just keeps going up. At the time of this writing, Jungleman has made over $2.83 million in 2014, which leads everybody entering September.

Cates also ranks third all-time with $10.23 million. He only trails Ivey and Patrik Antonius – the latter of whom is another interesting story. Like Cates, Antonius is crushing players this year and has earned $1.83 million. Overall, the Finn has collected $5.95 million in career profits through his “Finddagrind” name. Combine this with $11.2 million from his self-titled name and Antonius has over $17.1 million in career winnings.

Of course, the high stakes online poker world is a fickle place. So it’ll be interesting to see if Cates and Antonius continue dominating the big games at Full Tilt. But at this point, we have little reason to doubt their skills.