There can be no greater testament of a player’s skills at his or her chosen game than being compared to a legend of another sport. When Phil Ivey is called the Tiger Woods’ of poker, you better believe that he is the one of the best, and perhaps THE best.
Beating Boredom with Poker
What do you do to beat the boredom and mundane everyday work? Well, if you are Phil Ivey, you play poker. That’s what the future World Series of Poker (WSOP) champion did with his co-workers while working a telemarketing job in New Jersey. Little did Phil know that what started as a pleasant hobby would soon become his calling card, quite literally.
The more time he spent playing poker and honing his skills with his work mates, the better he became. The regular play in the stress-free environment of casual poker enabled Phil to gain confidence and simply improve his natural ability.
A Grade Above
It was only when one co-worker after another fell to the wily skills of Phil, did they realise that this guy belonged in the professional leagues. One thing that they didn’t know was that he had already begun doing the rounds of the professional gaming centres from the time he was a teenager. In fact, he got one of his nicknames, ‘No Home Jerome’, from an ID tag he had used to play in Atlantic City.
The old millennium was coming to an end, and a new one, the 2000s, would script the unstoppable rise of a poker player that would wow the critics, fellow players, and the general public as well. This was no mean feat.
A Magnificent Run
The streak of wins began in 2002 and firmly cemented Phil Ivey as a true poker great without question. It was in that year that he became only one of four players in the history of the game to win three bracelets at the WSOP. This led to another nickname for the great gambler that has since stuck, ‘The Phenom’. With the magical year that he had, Phil Ivey burst onto the world scene, making everyone sit up and take notice.
He has now added seven more bracelets to his tally, making a grand collection of ten. To add another feather in his cap, Phil is the youngest ever poker player to have reached the benchmark of ten bracelets at the age of 38. What has only served to increase the legend of the man is the fact that he has appeared in nine World Poker Tour finals, and won one of them.
Simply the Best
Many people have talent, but few have the perseverance to transform that talent into genius; something that Phil Ivey has done. The signs were always there. His watershed moment in 2002 did not happen by accident. People did get a teaser of the limitless talent of the player in 2000 when he won one of his first bracelets at the Port Limit Omaha. It was, however, his defeat of the iconic poker player, Amarillo Slim that had everyone uttering Phil’s name in hushed tones. He was the first player to have beaten the icon.
Over the years, Phil has done complete justice to his enormous talent by consistently being in the top rankings at the major tournaments.
Now, when you have nicknames like ‘The Phenom’, and the ‘Tiger Woods of Poker’, it only follows that you are considered as one of the world’s best. This is exactly what the poker world considers about the genius talent of Phil Ivey – that he is the best all-round player.