One of the most decorated poker professionals in history looks set to compete for a landmark eleventh World Series of Poker bracelet in 2022.
Phil Ivey returned to competitive action at Event #2 of the WSOP campaign at Bally’s, and while he would be dumped out of the competition in seventh place, the Hall of Famer would land a payday worth more than $33,000 (£26,000) for his troubles.
The assumption is that the 45-year-old will now compete in more WSOP event this year, with the ultimate aim of winning an eleventh bracelet – only Phil Hellmuth has more with 16.
Remarkably, it’s been the best part of a decade since Ivey last triumphed in a World Series of Poker tournament – that came in the Eight Game Mix event of the 2012 series, where he landed a tenth bracelet and a payday of some $166,896 (around £133,000).
There are plenty who believe the American is the best player in poker history, even if his WSOP title haul does not match up to that of Hellmuth, and his 2002 season – in which he won three of his World Series bracelets – is recognised as perhaps the finest breakthrough in the game’s history.
Sadly, his reputation has been tarnished in recent years over accusations from a couple of casinos over his perceived cheating – the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, and Crockfords in London, have both successfully sued Ivey, and he was made to pay back more than $10 million to the former while winnings of $12 million were withheld from him at the latter.
Leaving those ugly legal battles aside, Ivey is – and perhaps continues to be – one of the greatest poker players in operation today.
Who Has Won the Most WSOP Bracelets?
If Ivey can win a WSOP bracelet this year, he will jump up to second on the all-time list of winners.
The incomparable Hellmuth leads the way on 16, with Ivey tied on ten with Doyle Brunson – who has now retired from the professional ranks, and Johnny Chan, who at the age of 65 has also started to wind down his tournament entries.
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Another scratch that Ivey will want to itch in 2022 is winning a Main Event, which is an accolade that still eludes. Many of his peers have won multiple Main Event titles, and that is still considered something of a king-maker in the game.
The late, great Johnny Moss – the inaugural winner of a WSOP Main Event and a competitor in the ‘Biggest Game In Town’ back in 1949 – of course won’t be adding to his haul of poker gold, although keep an eye out for Erik Seidel.
The veteran ended a 14-year drought in the WSOP by winning the online Super Million High Roller in 2021 – claiming the single biggest payday of his career at around £780,000. Even at 62, Seidel continues to be a contender.