Phil Ivey Finally Appears at WSOP1 year ago
If you’re among the best in the world at any game or sport, and suddenly disappear from sight, people are going to talk. And when you suddenly surface for the biggest event of the year, people are going to talk even more!
— PokerNews (@PokerNews) July 11, 2016
Where he has been for the last several months is almost as big a question as that of Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan’s whereabouts, although both are believed to have been playing high-stakes cash games in Macau and more recently Montenegro.
Ivey’s return could easily have been short-lived – respect for legendary players not really extending to letting them take your chips too easily!
Ivey was down to his final 7,000 at one point when he shoved all-in from the cutoff with K♥ 4♥. Joe Kuether woke up with 9♠ 9♥, and Ivey needed some help. The flop appeared 10♦ 5♥ 5♠ 5♣ 10♥ , and as WSOP.com reported:
Ivey taps the table, backs up, and starts to get up. However, the dealer quickly points out that the hand is actually a chop with the full house on board. Ivey says, "oh," and quickly gets comfortable again. Kuether has a sense of humor about the hand, joking "That is binding right?" as the small pot is chopped up.”
Perhaps he hadn’t been playing poker at all these last few months! His results last year online had been nothing short of horrendous, losing some $3.5million or so – as well as becoming embroiled in two huge court-cases on either side of the Atlantic revolving around card-counting, with millions of dollars at stake.
In any event, Ivey’s luck on his re-appearance on the world stage continued when he moved all-in with A♠ 7♠ for 5000 chips (half his starting stack) only to be called by David Hilton. The rest of the players got out of the way and Hilton tabled K♥ K♠ putting him way ahead of the crowd favorite.
According to the WSOP.com live updates:
The flop offers little in the way of help to the ten-time bracelet winner as it comes 9♦ 8♠ 2♣, but the 10♠ on the turn offers Ivey both straight and flush draws to crack Hilton's pocket kings. The river is the J♦ giving Ivey a jack-high straight, and sending his rail, which is four people deep in parts, into chants of 'Ivey, Ivey, Ivey!'"
Ten-time bracelet winner Ivey, who has taken almost $2million if his lifetime tournament earnings from WSOP events, eventually survived the day with 26,100 chips and was joined by other big names such as Daniel Negreanu (18,600), Todd Brunson (108,500), Fedor Holz (93,300) and John Juanda (75,200).
With all three starting flights completed in the $10K buy-in event, some 5500 of the 6737 entrants will head into Day2 – again split into separate flights, though this time only two – with Timothy Sheehan being chip leader on 405,000.
Naturally it is very early in the tournament, and with 2 hour levels in play there is plenty of time for players to fight their way into contention for a chunk of the $63,327,800 prize-fund.
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