Phil Ivey is back in the World Series of Poker

Phil Ivey tapped the table twice, got to his feet, and shook the hand of his opponent, Aleksejs Ponakovs, who had just won a gold bracelet from the 2022 World Series of Poker.

Latvian poker professional Ivey was decimated again in 2022 after reaching the third final table of the WSOP in less than three weeks. He may have missed out on poker’s biggest prize, but for the 2017 Poker Hall of Fame recruiter, his statement to the poker world was clear: Phil Ivey is back.

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Knock on the door to his eleventh bracelet at the WSOP

After winning two events and reaching five final tables at the Super High Roller Series Europe in April, the poker rumor mill started circulating about whether or not Ivey would compete in the WSOP.

Daniel Negreanu, a close friend and fellow Poker Hall of Fame confirmed that Ivey had a break room next door to him which was close to the tournament area at Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas. However, that didn’t guarantee Ivey would play a full WSOP roster of events. He’s appeared a few brief times over the past few editions of the WSOP, but his days of playing an entire table are a thing of the past. Until 2022.

“It’s nice to see him come back,” Negriano said of Ivy’s return as an Ivy. “He’s got his head straight. He’s skinny, he’s smart, he’s a yogi, he meditates, he eats clean, and he’s really very focused.”

more: Daniel Negreanu searches for the WSOP Third Player of the Year award

Having taken a seat in everything from a $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo to a $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller, Ivey has no doubt been called in and focused on winning more gold at the World Series of Poker. WSOP.

“He was grinding,” Negrino said. “I think he’s happy to be here.”

Ivey has raised five times and reached three final tables in the first three weeks, which includes third place in the $10,000 Stud Tournament and second place in the $100,000 High Roller Tournament.

Best 2022 WSOP Results for Phil Ivy

Event #2: $100,000 High Bonus seventh $133,127
Event #8: $25,000 Hold’em High Roller NL 34 $40,648
Event #22: The Seventeenth Thousand Dollar Stud Tournament Third $108233
Event #32: 1500 HP 26 $5,544
Event #42: $100,000 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller Second $1,172,659

Will Phil Ivy Capture Phil Hellmouth?

At the 2006 WSOP, Phil Hellmuth won his 10th WSOP bracelet to tie poker legends Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan to the most WSOP bracelets. The following year saw Helmuth break his tie by winning his eleventh, and he went on to add five additional bracelets including his number 16 at the WSOP in 2021.

With Brunson and Chan not playing the heavy WSOP tables, it’s up to Ivey to challenge Hellmuth in an effort to bridge the gap between these two poker greats.

“It’s going to go up the greatest players in the world, like Ivy, and give me some competition in the WSOP bracelet race,” Helmuth said. “I think I will win 24 WSOP bracelets, which is a great number.”

WSOP career bracelets for Phil Ivy

2000 Omaha $2,500 Pot-Limit ($195,000)
2002 $1,500 off seven cards ($132,000)
2002 $2,500 off seven Hi-Lo cards ($118,440)
2002 $2,000 shoes ($107,540)
2005 Omaha up to $5,000 ($635,603)
2009 $2,500 Unlimited 2-7 Single Draw ($96,367)
2009 $2,500 Omaha / Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo ($220,538)
2010 3,000 HP ($329,840)
2013 A$2,200 for 8 mixed games (A$51,840)
2014 $1,500 8-Game Mix ($166,986)

Ivy is the fastest player to win his eighth (10 yrs), ninth (13 yrs) and 10th (14 yrs) bracelets – ahead of Hellmuth, Bronson, Chan, Eric Seidel and Jonny Moss. The drought between Ivey’s last bracelet was about to top eight years, and during that stretch Hellmuth added another three.

Phil Ivy still considered the ‘best player in the world’

No matter how much time away from the WSOP or his absence from winning WSOP gold and glory, Ivey’s appeal to poker fans around the world has never wavered. Most importantly, his poker peers who share a green feel with them still revere and respect Ivey.

“When an elephant is in the right state of mind, he’s the best,” Bronson said.

Brunson played with Ivey on the final season of High Stakes Poker, while Hellmuth and Negreanu were playing WSOP day in and day out with Ivey alongside them.

“Phil Ivey is one of the all-time greats of poker,” Hellmuth said. “He has the rare distinction of being one of the best players in the game today, right now. I like to think of myself in the same way.”

Negreanu has never been shy about praising Ivey after spending most of his poker career feuding apart from each other.

“Phil Ivey is the best player in the world because I don’t subscribe to the idea that poker is one game,” Negreanu said. “I think Phil Ivey is the greatest of all time, in all games, in all formats. He crushed online alerts. He crushed live mixed games. He crushed No-Limit Hold’em tournaments.”

Ivey has earned more than $1.4 million from this series at the WSOP and has pushed the series to over $8.6 million. Ivy’s career earnings have now exceeded $37 million, placing him at number nine on the money list of all time.

The WSOP is far from over for Ivy as he continues to chase his 11th bracelet to cement his legacy as one of the best in the world. When the book is written about Ivey’s poker career, will this year’s WSOP be just a small footnote to what could have been? Or does it contain a chapter titled “I’m Back!”

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