Considered by many as the best poker player in the planet, Phil Ivey has unfortunately been missing in action for most of 2016. Despite this, he still managed to steal some of the year’s headlines even if the news wasn’t quite to his favor.
A few days ago, the American pro casually strode into an exclusive room at The Forum of Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila, Philippines for the fourth edition of the Triton Super High Roller Series. The last time Ivey was spotted in the bustling metropolis was at the inaugural event back in January 2016.
With the New Year just into its second month, seeing Ivey at the felt was quite a treat especially that expectations were crushed when he opted to skip out on the previous edition.
At the series, Ivey spent two bullets on the HK$250K buy-in 6-Max opener and one on the HK$1,000,000 buy-in Main Event. Unfortunately, he got the boot on both events, going as far as 8th place in the main – two spots shy of the money – until he fell dejectedly to the defending champion Wai Kin Yong.
Let’s hope that this rocky start does not deter him from attending more events in the coming months especially since last year was a particularly tough one.
Tough year for Ivey in 2016
Last year actually started off strong for Ivey, placing 5th at the US$200,000 buy-in Main Event of the Triton series. Shortly after, he proceeded to the Aussie Millions but unlike the previous years where he won back-to-back tittles at the AUS250K super high roller event for 2014 and 2015, this time he came out dry. Then his tracks went cold for several months.
In mid-year, Ivey briefly surfaced, turning up at the 2016 WSOP. He attended the Main Event but bailed immediately after an early bust. These were the only live events logged by the pro for the entire year.
If Ivey had a measly showing in the live tournament scene, his visibility on the online platforms was even more dismal. Ivey did not play a single online cash game, and it has been speculated that this could be due to his heavy losses in 2015, amounting to over US$3.7M.
Another possible cause for Ivey’s absence may be the separate legal issues against Borgata Hotel Casino and Crockford’s Casino. In 2012, Ivey won a combined total of US$22.6M by using a technique called “edge sorting”. Instead of raking it in big, he was accused of cheating and his winnings were withheld.
After a four-year battle, the courts ruled against him on both cases, which pretty much meant, he would have to pay a hefty amount of damages. Ivey intends to appeal his case to the Supreme Court.
Coming into 2017, the unexpected happened. Ivey was a no show at the Aussie Millions, a festival he regularly attended since 2010.
His absence was quite a shocker and highly disappointing to many fans that seeing him at the Triton Series these past several days has been special.
Article by Triccia David