Phil Ivey stepped into the winner’s circle for the first time since January 2016 this week.
He earned HKD $4,749,200 (USD $617,396 ) for his victory in the 2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro HKD $250,000 (USD $31,849) short deck ante-only event.
The 10-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner has been keeping a low profile of late. Staying out of the public eye may have something to do with his lengthy legal battle over contested baccarat winnings.
Ivey accounts for his whereabouts by saying he has been traveling a lot and spending time with family in an interview with PokerNews. “Just kinda all over the place,” he said.
2018 Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro
The four-event Triton Super High Roller Series Montenegro at the Maestral Resort & Casino in Budva, Montenegro, runs through May 18.
The four events include:
- Short Deck Ante-only HKD $250,000
- 6-Max Side Event HKD $240,000
- Main Event HKD $960,000
- Short Deck Ante-only HKD $960,000
Ivey’s win came in the first event of the series that also attracted:
- Daniel ‘jungleman12’ Cates
- Jason Koon
- Steve O’Dwyer
- Isaac Haxton
- Andrew Robl
The first short deck tournament on the live poker circuit had 61 entries with the top nine making money. Ivey overcame a 1-to-4 chip deficit against Cates to claim the title.
Ivey chipped his way back into the lead by keeping the pots small. The final hand began with a raise to 700,000 by Ivey. He held queen-jack of clubs. Cates called with the ace-seven of diamonds.
Both players checked on the flop of the king of diamonds, jack of spades, and 10 of diamonds.
Ivey bet 1,000,000 on the nine of spades turn. Cates followed by moving all in for about 6.3 million. Ivey made the call and faded Cate’s outs. The six of clubs on the river gave the pot to Ivey, along with the title and a very nice payday.
In the winner’s interview, Ivey said: “I feel pretty good, and it’s always good to have a great start. I am looking forward to the events with bigger prize pools and hope to win some more.”
Here are the final table results with the winnings in USD:
- Phil Ivey ($617,396)
- Daniel Cates ($415,870)
- Gabe Patgorski ($251,810)
- Jason Koon ($173,420)
- Furkat Rakhimov ($119,340)
- Ivan Leow ($89,570)
- Alan Sass ($72,800)
- Wai Yong ($63,440)
- Mikhail Smirnov ($61,490)
What is short-deck poker
Also known as Six-plus hold’em, this variant of the popular poker game removes deuces through fives from the deck.
The game originated in 2014 and found big supporters in Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan a few years ago. Since then, the game has been gaining in popularity, especially in the Asian high-stakes poker games.
Aces play as both the top end of an ace-high straight or as a five to complete a nine-high straight, which is the lowest straight possible. With 16 fewer cards, straights are more common than flushes and flushes beat a full house. Otherwise, the game pretty much plays the same as hold’em.
Short deck has quickly become a favorite game of Ivey’s. Of course, there isn’t a poker variant that Ivey hasn’t embraced or mastered. He is a legend after all.
Ivey plans on playing more tournaments
The World Series of Poker opens its doors in Las Vegas in less than two weeks. But will Ivey be playing in the WSOP this summer?
With the WSOP on every poker player’s mind, and Ivey returning to the headlines, every poker fan wants to know.
Good news! Ivey says yes.
When asked what his plans are for the WSOP, Ivey responded: “I want to play some more tournaments. I plan on playing the World Series of Poker this year. Short deck, long deck. It’s okay.”
Now, the only thing that is left to make the summer complete is some outrageous bracelet bets. With Ivey in town, prop bets are sure to follow.