Originally Posted by MediaBLITZ
I would like to hear from you (not a challenge, just would respect your view) on what aspects of Ivey make him so good? We know he's good, feared, respected in all the games - why is that? And "because he's good at all of them" does not really answer why. MORE BELOW
DON'T MISS THE FACT THAT:
DWAN FINISHED 5th IN LAST YEARS WSOP H.O.R.S.E. CHAMPIONSHIP
MERCIER 14th IN THE 7-CARD STUD CHAMPIONSHIP AND 7th IN DRAW LOWBALL
LAMB 8th IN THE POKER PLAYER'S CHAMPIONSHIP (like HORSE with more obscure games)
I do acknowledge that these guys are the up and comers who have yet to arrive near the staus of Phil Ivey, but they are coming.
Those are some solid results in mixed game tournaments, sure. Don't ignore the fact though that Dwan was entering every
tournament in a desperate bid to ship a big prop bet, so it was inevitable he was going to run deep in something. And I'm not saying these guys can't play mixed games - I'm just saying that NLHE and PLO are far and away their best
games. They're arguably among the top players in the world in big bet games, but when it comes to all the others they wouldn't even be close. Still good, but nowhere near the best. (You missed a triple-draw final table for Mercier in 2011, BTW - he finished 6th)
Ivey didn't play the WSOP this year, but take his previous two years: two bracelets in 2009 (2-7NL and O8/Stud8) and another one in 2010 (HORSE). Where the guys mentioned above make final tables, Ivey closes and wins
them. Put simply, he's still leagues ahead of Lamb, Mercier, Dwan et al when it comes to games outside of NLHE and PLO and they would almost certainly tell you that themselves.
Dwan at the very least has said it in relation to the HORSE cash game challenge I mentioned above.
As to what makes Ivey so good at all these games, I don't claim to be smart enough or have anywhere near enough information to give a definitive answer - and the reality is there just isn't a single, neat and tidy answer. It'll be a multitude of factors all coming together.
I've read comments from a lot of top players to the effect that Ivey adjusts to his opponents better than anyone out there, and that would certainly be a big part of it. I know Barry Greenstein has commented before that Ivey spends a lot
of time studying his opponents. Those are just two things though, and the reality is that he'll be the player who puts all
the required skills together best: reading people, putting them on ranges, bet sizing, controlled aggression, adjusting, learning and developing away from the table, and more besides. The thing that makes him the best of the best is that he does everything
well and he doesn't really have any leaks (when it comes to poker, at least - craps may be a different story).