Phil Ivey on DAT Poker Podcast: I Still Love the World Series of Poker

In an interview on the DAT Poker Podcast, Phil Ivey said he’s still passionate about the World Series of Poker, but it’s not his main priority these days.

phil ivey dat poker

Phil Ivey still loves the WSOP, although it appears not as much as he used to. (Image: DAT Poker Podcast/YouTube)

For some players such as Daniel Negreanu, a co-host of the podcast, WSOP bracelets are important. Others, namely most of the modern high rollers, aren’t motivated to grind low and middle-stakes events to chase bracelets and the WSOP Player of the Year award.

In the past, Ivey grinded a heavy WSOP schedule each summer in pursuit of winning bracelets, which he typically had side bets on. He won his 10th bracelet in 2014, tying him for second place all-time with Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson, two legends of the game. He’s been stuck on 10 ever since, and part of that reason is because his focus has been elsewhere, namely on the nosebleed cash games in Macau and other parts of Asia.

Does Ivey still love the WSOP?

On Day 1 of the 2019 Main Event, Ivey stuck all of his chips in the pot in a race — an odd play so early in the tournament. Some poker players questioned his desire to win World Series of Poker events anymore. But the Poker Hall of Famer assured Negreanu, Terrence Chan, and Adam Schwartz, the hosts of the DAT Poker Podcast, that the WSOP still matters to him.

“I still love the World Series of Poker,” Ivey said. “It’s definitely my favorite group of events. I just had some personal things that I needed to deal with the last couple of years so that I was not really able to give my attention and energy towards it. But I look forward to playing those events in the future and stuff when they come back.”

Ivey didn’t elaborate on the issues he dealt with in recent years that prevented him from grinding full WSOP schedules. But he said that unless something more pressing pops up, he’ll be in attendance at the upcoming World Series of Poker, which takes place in the fall this year (Sep. 30 to Nov. 23).

Ivey’s presence at the WSOP might not be welcomed by those who are seated at his table, given that he’s a difficult opponent. Even so, he’s always popular in the poker community. At the WSOP each year he’s around, Ivey always attracts one of the largest rails. Fans love to huddle around his table to catch a glimpse of one of the greatest poker players in action.

The iconic poker star then said on the podcast that “I put things ahead of poker now. Poker is not number one in my life anymore. My mental health and physical health, my family, things like that, I prioritize those things.”

Ivey is one of the most well-rounded poker players ever. He ranks second in WSOP bracelets (10), had the winningest online poker account ever on Full Tilt Poker with $20 million in earnings, has over $31 million in live tournament cashes, and is one of the most respected cash-game players in history.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.

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