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Phil Ivey wins eighth WSOP title

22 Jun 2010

Phil Ivey won the $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. championship at the World Series of Poker on Tuesday morning to claim his eighth WSOP bracelet and his third in two years. And oh yeah, he took home $329,840 for first place.

The prize money was an afterthought for Ivey, who is now tied with Erik Seidel for fifth place on the all-time WSOP wins list. He became the youngest player in history to reach such a lofty plateau. Now age 33, Ivey has won more bracelets than all but game masters Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and the late Johnny Moss — and he shows absolutely no signs of slowing down and remains hungry to win more, assuming he can still find people to make prop bets against him.

"I think I can win 30 gold bracelets," said Ivey afterward. "I think I can reach that if I keep playing and stay healthy. It's within reach as long as people keep betting me on these bracelet bets."

Ivey now has $5,213,809 in career tournament WSOP earnings. His overall tournament winnings worldwide now approach the $13 million mark, according to some sources, which is the highest amount won by any player in poker history.

"How much did first place pay?" Ivey nonchalantly queried a bystander immediately following his victory. When he heard the amount, Ivey reached across the table for his eighth gold bracelet. All witnesses knew then and there what meant the most to the eight-time champion.

Indeed, Ivey seriously believes he can reach 30 gold bracelet wins. At the rate he's going, Ivey will hit magical number 30 at the 2021 World Series of Poker, at the age of 48. One must now ask -- is it conceivable that even Ivey's optimistic estimate may be too low?

Ivey's numerous wagering exploits – many unfathomable to the average person -- have become part of the popular modern folklore, making it difficult at times to separate fact from fiction. He routinely makes stratospheric-sized prop and sports bets. He reportedly bet $1 million on the Super Bowl a few years ago. He won.

Phil Ivey has won three WSOP titles in the last two years.

Phil Ivey has won three WSOP titles in the last two years. (photo by GreasieWheels)

Ivey wouldn't comment on how much he won in prop bets for claiming his eighth bracelet this year, except to say that it was "over $20."

This tournament arguably had the most fan appeal thus far in 2010. The final table was loaded with superstar talent and just enough wild cards to make the long night unpredictable. Five of the eight finalists were former gold bracelet winners, including Bill Chen, John Juanda, Ken Aldridge, and Jeffrey Lisandro. The five former gold bracelet winners finished 1-2-3-4-5, while the non-winners took the 6-7-8 spots.

Chen, widely-acknowledged as one of poker's top math theorists with one of the most logical approaches to the game of any player in the world, was the runner up. Chen held a 3.5-to-1 chip advantage over Ivey at one point, But Chen and a standing-room only crowd saw once again that no chip lead is ever safe when Ivey is sitting in the opposite seat. He had to settle for $203,802 as a consolation prize.

Juanda, a professional poker player from Las Vegas, Nev., was third to win $129,553 and move into first place on the WSOP Player of the Year points race. Juanda holds a 30-point lead over Dan Heimiller.

Aldridge, a former schoolteacher from Pleasant Garden, N.C., who won his first WSOP gold bracelet last year, finished fourth, while Lisandro, an the Italian player who claimed three bracelets and the 2009 WSOP Player of the Year title, was fifth.

Dave Baker, from Katy, Texas, was sixth, Albert Hahn, from Calgary, Alta., was seventh, and Chad Brown, from Las Vegas, Nev., was eighth.

Aside the final table players, former WSOP gold bracelet finishers who cashed in this event included Ryan Hughes (ninth), David Benyamine (14th), Heimiller (15th), Scott Seiver (16th), David Singer (17th), Farzad Bonyadi (18th), Steve Sung (31st), Chris Reslock (33rd), Katja Thater (34th), Jason Young (37th), and Max Pescatori (47th).

Heimiller cashed for the fifth time at this year's WSOP and is one of only six players with five WSOP cashes this year. The other players are: Pat Pezzin, Shawn Buchanan, Christian Harder, Dave Baker, and Tad Jurgens.

Modified from notes provided by Nolan Dalla for
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