Phil Ivey Shows His Lighter Side in WPT Global $1 for $1 Million Ad

4 min read

Phil Ivey sitting at a table that isn’t covered in green felt is kind of like seeing a fish ride a bicycle. It’s a sight that most poker players don’t expect to see.

That’s exactly the vibe that WPT Global was going for — and which it achieved — in a new commercial promoting its new $1 for $1 Million event.

Phil Ivey smiling at a poker table
The usually stone-faced Phil Ivey cracked a few smiles at this year’s WSOP. He’s also showing off his lighter side in a new commercial for WPT Global’s $1 for $1 Million event. (Image: Chris Wallace/CardsChat)

In its new ad for the promotion, WPT Global cast Ivey and WPT host Tony Dunst as call center operators answering questions about the groundbreaking event that seems as incongruous as the two high rollers working minimum wage jobs. It’s a tiny bit of humor that adds some much-needed levity to Ivey’s often staid and serious demeanor.

Ivey slowly stepping back into the spotlight

Ivey has long had a love/hate relationship with the notoriety that came along with being dubbed the best poker player in the world back in the early 2000s. He appeared everywhere from shows like “Poker After Dark” and “High-Stakes Poker” to print and television ads for Full Tilt Poker, which he represented until its demise on Black Friday.

Ivey was the face of poker, though he didn’t necessarily revel in the attention. In fact, when away from the tables, Ivey rarely did interviews or appeared in public other than to play a round or two on his favorite golf courses. That’s a pattern that continued for years, with Ivey going radio silent and even skipping appearances at the WSOP, preferring instead to play high-stakes cash games in Macau, far away from the prying eyes of US railbirds.

All of which goes to make Ivey’s recent reappearance even more entertaining for poker fans everywhere.

Since becoming a WPT ambassador, Ivey has also slowly been rebuilding his social media presence. And, by slowly, we mean that he’s posted twice on Instagram since June, which may not sound like much, until you realize that until then, he’d only posted once since December, 2020. His Twitter account shows slightly more activity, with all three of his tweets in 2022 being WPT promotional posts.

Helping Ivey lighten the load and the atmosphere in this new campaign is the aforementioned Dunst and fellow WPT ambassador Brad Owen, who posted a fun video of his own on his Twitter account with some old-school ESPN Sportscenter vibes.

$1 for $1 Million: What you need to know

Running from July 20 through Aug. 22, WPT Global’s newest series is nothing if not ambitious. With 18 starting flights and a buy-in of just $1, the tournament is guaranteeing a $1 million prize pool for players from around the globe, other than in the US. Starting flights will run twice daily and be limited to 5,000 players each. Re-entries are permitted.

Players can enter as many flights as they wish and will carry their largest Day 1 stack onto Day 2, should they be part of the 13% of the field that advances from each starting session. The tournament’s eight-player final table will take place at 1pm UTC on Monday, Aug. 21.

WPT Global $1 for $1 Million Schedule
Date Time (UTC) Event Buy-In
Wednesday, July 20 1pm Flight 1A $1
11pm Flight 1B $1
Sunday, July 24 1pm Flight 2A $1
11pm Flight 2B $1
Wednesday, July 27 1pm Fight 3A $1
11pm Flight 3B $1
Sunday, July 31 1pm Flight 4A $1
11pm Flight 4B $1
Wednesday, Aug. 3 1pm Flight 5A $1
11pm Flight 5B $1
Sunday, Aug. 7 1pm Flight 6A $1
11pm Flight 6B $1
Wednesday, Aug. 10 1pm Flight 7A $1
11pm Flight 7B $1
Sunday, Aug. 14 1pm Flight 8A $1
11pm Flight 8B $1
Wednesday, Aug. 17 1pm Flight 9A $1
11pm Flight 9B $1
Sunday, Aug. 21 3pm Day 2
Monday, Aug. 22 1pm Final Table

The $1 for $1 Million tournament isn’t the only WPT Global event with a seven-figure guarantee. As part of its Summer Festival, which carries a total guarantee of $3.5 million, WPT Global is also running a more traditional main event with a $330 buy-in and its own $1 million guarantee. Day 1 sessions start on Friday, Aug. 12 with the final table taking place on Monday, Aug. 22.

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