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.
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.
Lots of very cool @wpt_global events going right now including the $1 for 1 million. I may have gotten a little carried away with the planning of it; as a result, we expect an overlay… pic.twitter.com/mGCzkIIYm2
— Brad Owen (@TheBradOwen) July 22, 2022
$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|
|Wednesday, July 20||1pm||Flight 1A||$1|
|Sunday, July 24||1pm||Flight 2A||$1|
|Wednesday, July 27||1pm||Fight 3A||$1|
|Sunday, July 31||1pm||Flight 4A||$1|
|Wednesday, Aug. 3||1pm||Flight 5A||$1|
|Sunday, Aug. 7||1pm||Flight 6A||$1|
|Wednesday, Aug. 10||1pm||Flight 7A||$1|
|Sunday, Aug. 14||1pm||Flight 8A||$1|
|Wednesday, Aug. 17||1pm||Flight 9A||$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.