Only Wai Kin Yong and two bad beats could stop Phil Ivey from winning his first Partypoker Live Millions Super High Roller title.
The enigmatic poker pro joined 49 other hopefuls at Casino Sochi for Event #5 of the high roller series. Like his peers, Ivey paid the $50,000 entry fee and got to work grinding the short deck event on Tuesday.
After a relatively smooth opening session, things almost fell apart. With the end of Day 1 closing in, a fortunate river card gave him a second chance at success.
Luck Swings One Way for Phil Ivey
Pre-flop, Sam Greenwood moved all-in with K♠J♥ and Ivey made the call for his tournament life with A♣J♦. The A♥Q♣T♥ flop gave Greenwood the lead and left Ivey needing a minor miracle to stay alive.
The T♦ on the turn brought a glimmer of hope for Ivey. With an ace, king or 10 able to save him, the T♠ duly arrived, giving Ivey a reprieve and a playable stack.
That double-up proved to be the catalyst for Ivey. On Day 2, the eliminations of Paul Phua, Seth Davis, and Mikhail Rudoy took the field down to five. At this point, Ivey was the overwhelming chip leader and he made sure everyone knew it.
Pressuring those around him at will, Ivey looked like a lock for the title. Indeed, when Super High Roller Series standouts Aaron Van Blarcum, Carey Katz, and Greenwood fell in succession, only Yong could stop Ivey.
Ivey’s Luck Runs Out
— Poker Central (@PokerCentral) March 11, 2020
Heads-up, small-ball poker became the order of the day. Neither player was content to waste time as raise/fold pre-flop poker dominated. Eventually, something had to give. Looking down at J♦T♠, Yong moved all-in.
Ivey called with pocket aces and stood just five cards away from a Partypoker Live Millions Super High Roller title. However, the poker gods had other ideas. The T♥T♦9♥ flop left Ivey needing another miracle to survive.
This time though, help never came. The 7♠ and Q♠ completed the board, leaving Ivey with the short stack.
One hand later, Yong got it done with another dose of luck. This time, all the money went in on a Q♥9♠J♥ flop.
Ivey’s Q♣J♦ was in the lead but Yong had outs with J♣T♣. One of those outs, the K♠, arrived on the turn. The 6♥ on the river brought the tournament to a conclusion and gave Yong his fourth live poker title.
Super High Roller Series Sochi Event #5 Result
- Wai Kin Yong – $800,000
- Phil Ivey – $525,000
- Sam Greenwood – $350,000
- Cary Katz – $250,000
- Aaron Van Blarcum – $200,000
- Mikhail Rudoy – $150,000
- Seth Davies – $125,000
- Paul Phua – $100,000
For Phil Ivey, the $525,000 consolation prize takes his lifetime tournament earnings to $29.1 million.