Where is Phil Ivey?

Phil Ivey Absent from WSOP – Where is Poker’s Biggest Star?

He is without doubt the most recognisable figure in the poker world. The face of Phil Ivey has become synonymous with WSOP success over the years, but he has not graced the tournament rooms of the Rio this summer at all. This has left fans lamenting the failure of arguably, poker’s greatest talent to show up for WSOP 2017.

Phil Ivey
Phil Ivey

Absent from the live circuit

2016 could certainly be described as an unusual year for the superstar, with only one recorded live cash in the Triton Super High Roller in January. Since then, his only live appearance has been a brief one at the 2016 WSOP Main Event.

His 2017 has followed a similar path to 2016, as Ivey attended the Triton Super High Roller in Manila during February. One real surprise was that he didn’t show up for the Aussie Millions, as he has had excellent results there, particularly in High Roller events, in the past. The bigger shock though was that he missed all of the WSOP, including the Main Event which he says is an event he loves. The recent Montenegro edition of the Triton Super High Roller has taken place in recent weeks, and although Tom Dwan was present, Phil Ivey was missing.

Still playing live cash games

While Ivey has retreated from the tournament spotlight in a big way this year, he has been playing in Las Vegas. If he had plans to keep a low profile while playing at the cash tables in Bobby’s Room, he failed spectacularly when his bodyguard made headlines by throwing another player to the floor “like a rag doll” in a physical altercation.

More: Off Topic: Las Vegas going wild during the WSOP

Inducted into Poker Hall of Fame

The two inductees into the poker hall of fame have now been announced, and Phil Ivey will be joining the late Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliot in this exclusive club.

Despite being a near certainty to be inducted this year, having just turned 40 and become eligible, Phil Ivey has still remained absent.

Before the announcement Phil Hellmuth described his chances as 99%, while Daniel Negreanu said: “There’s the obvious choice, which is Phil Ivey; after that it’s up in the air. Ivey is a shoo-in because if he doesn’t get in then what exactly do you need to do to get into the Hall of Fame? He’s the greatest player, still is one of the best. There’s no reason not to get him in there.”

Legal problems perhaps provide the answer

For those worrying that he may have permanently retired from tournament poker or wondering about the reasons for his absence, the answer may be a legal one. He is currently busy with a team of lawyers fighting his edge sorting case in the UK’s Supreme Court. He also has an appeal in the works against the ruling made on his winnings from Borgata, which is also linked to the same edge sorting case. Ivey is not in the UK himself, and has lawyers there fighting his corner, but it still may be the reason why his focus is elsewhere this summer.

We can only hope that Ivey is back at the live tournament tables before long. The WSOP isn’t quite the same without him.

Article by Craig Bradshaw

More: The Day That Phil Ivey Won £7.8m From Crockfords Casino