CHRISTMAS IN MAY: Phil Ivey Tells PokerNews He Will Play WSOP


The World Series of Poker is great every year, but it’s better with Phil Ivey. The 10-time bracelet winner gave me an early Christmas present when he told PokerNews following his recent tournament win in Montenegro his general plans for the summer.

“Yeah, I plan on it,” he said when asked if he will play the WSOP this year. “I mean, I plan on playing this year.”

Ivey, who admitted he’s been regularly playing short-deck poker, a variation of Texas hold’em where the 2,3,4, and 5 are removed from the deck, in recent years out in Macau. He’s been M.I.A. from the public limelight the past few years and didn’t even compete in a WSOP event in 2017, not even the Main Event.

Ivey is one of my all-time favorite poker players. I’ve always respected his request for privacy and the fact he’s never been as open with the media as some other stars (i.e. Daniel Negreanu) doesn’t bother me. That’s his right. But the WSOP the past few years hasn’t been the same without the game’s best player, and I’m glad he at least plans to compete in some events.

Phil didn’t specify which events he will play or how many events he will play. I can’t imagine he’s going to grind the $1,500 events. But hopefully we’ll see him in the Main Event, $1 million One Drop, and a few other high-roller tournaments.

Welcome back, Mr. Ivey. Televised tournament poker hasn’t been the same without you.