Showing posts with label Phil Ivey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phil Ivey. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Phil Ivey poker book

The analysis of Phil Ivey poker playing style

"I'm a firm believer in learning the game by playing the game."  
                                                               -- Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey is rightfully considered as the most dangerous, most feared, and the best poker player in the world. Phil Ivey is universally recognized as the absolute best all-around poker player in the world.  No Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, 7 Card Stud, 2-7 Draw Lowball, mixed games, H.O.R.S.E., ring games, heads-up, cash games, tournaments, online or live...  Phil Ivey is a master of all crafts.

Phil Ivey has won 10 World Series Of Poker bracelets,
World Poker Tour title
and appeared at 9 World Poker Tour final tables. 

World Series of Poker bracelets
YearTournamentPrize (US$/A$)
2000$2,500 Pot Limit Omaha$195,000
2002$2,500 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo$118,440
2002$2,000 S.H.O.E.$107,540
2002$1,500 7 Card Stud$132,000
2005$5,000 Pot Limit Omaha$635,603
2009$2,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball$96,367
2009$2,500 Omaha Hi/Lo / 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo$220,538
2010$3,000 H.O.R.S.E.$329,840
2013AA$2,200 Mixed EventA$51,840
2014$1,500 Eight Game Mix$166,986
An "A" following a year denotes bracelet(s) won at the World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific

World Poker Tour Titles
YearTournamentPrize (US$)
2008$10,000 L.A. Poker Classic$1,596,100

Phil Ivey is also the best Fixed Limit Hold' Em poker player alive.

Further proofs: 

- Phil Ivey won $16,600,000 from billionaire banker and heads-up limit hold'em expert Andy Beal in 2006.  
- He won over two million dollars from Hoss_TBF, who many pros think is the best FL player.
- After facing Phil Ivey in a serie of FL heads-up matches, the German nosebleed high stakes online Limit Hold'Em specialist 'IHateJuice' Kagome Kagome declared: "Phil Ivey is the final boss in Fixed Limit heads-up" 

IHateJuice: "Phil Ivey is the final boss in Fixed Limit heads-up"

So analyzing the playing style of Phil Ivey is a necessity here, on the only serious website entirely dedicated to Heads-Up Fixed Limit Texas Hold' Em Poker.

Here are a few points to resume and explain the poker playing style of Phil Ivey.

Hyper-aggressive maniac

Phil Ivey playing style have been labelled as maniac by poker expert.  His style is hyper aggressive.  

Some criticizing his HULHE style. Read the following criticisms about his playing style that I've found all over the web: 

He makes a big fundamental mistake against them: he reraises quite a lot pre-flop out of position, from the big blind. Since his style is based on continuation bets automatically on the flop and turn, no matter what hits.... 
The German specialist never reraise the big blind pre-flop and always play position...
But he should practically never reraise against those dudes pre-flop, check the flop automatically, and reraise post flop if he likes the board / his cards, exactly like he plays HU Omaha 8 in the last few days (masterfully I might add). He will also get more value when he hits something. You rarely hit well in HU limit holdem, so it's basically a game of position.

Raising in the big blind with shitty hands like K4, Q9, A6, etc ? it will bring him nowhere, even if usually he has more than 50% pre-flop, never reraise pre-flop out of position...  Once he corrects this fault, his edge (over anyone) in feeling strength and weakness and value betting will allow him to beat them more often than not.

That is probably a profitable strategy against most players that are scared to create big pots all the time with marginal hands.

Phil Ivey is $100 Million rich off poker exclusively. So, he must do something good!

I will certainly not criticize the best poker player in the world. Nonetheless. it is always interesting to see what some "experts" have to see about him. By the way, reading their analysis was a good way for me to learn more about Phil Ivey's playing style.

Tilt Control / reverse hit-and-run

A maniac with tilt control.  Yes it is highly possible to be an hyper aggressive maniac and have tilt control.  Phil Ivey's aggression is , just as any successful aggros.  You can't be that successful just by being a raising lunatic.

This may surprise those who do not know it, but Phil Ivey is the king of “stop losses” online. Ivey refuses to play after losing a certain number of buy-ins which can be as low as two. This commitment to only playing when winning is a big part of why Ivey has been the number one earner in online poker history despite playing about 10% as much as players such as Dwan, Galfond, and CTS. Ivey does not succumb to tilt, he merely turns off the computer and comes back at a different time when he is more focused.

When asked about the "hit and run" strategy, Phil Ivey said: The only time I think this strategy makes sense, is in the “reverse hit and run”  Phil Ivey frequently used at the super high stakes heads up games at Full Tilt Poker. Whenever he would lose one buy-in, he would immediately sit out and end the session. Whenever he would win, he would keep playing for an entire session unless he ever ended up -1 buy in again. This let him book very large wins, but never large losses. He didn’t always stick to this plan though and I can point out a few obvious faults, but it sounds like a good way to avoid large tilt losses against the best players in the world at the highest stakes.

The important thing to note is Ivey leaves fairly quickly when he is having a losing session.  On the other hand, when hes winning, the opponent ends up playing a lot longer.  But most impressive thing about Ivey is, not only is he very good, he also has restraint to leave when he is losing. Especially since he has the biggest bankroll and therefore, it would be so much easier for him to continue playing.

Zero tilt factor for Ivey

On the flip side, Phil Ivey will ride out a winning session until he's too exhausted to continue. 

Phil Ivey's maxim is that if he's winning he won't leave the table until he has all of the chips or he is too exhausted to play any further.

Money / Bankroll 

As said on forums, playing any form of heads up against Phil Ivey is suicidal. He is like a casino in that he will never run out of money. 
He got the bankroll advantage over everybody. 

Phil Ivey earned over $13,800,000 in live tournaments which helped him build his mammoth poker bankroll. Some people have estimated that Phil Ivey is currently worth around 100 million $ with around 25-35 million dollars belonging to his poker bankroll. Phil Ivey have so much money that he once forgot he has 750000 dollars in chips stashed away in a casino.  This guy can’t be short of money.  $$$$$$$$$$$$$

Phil Ivey net worth = 100 Million bucks

Dedication / obsession = "10,000 hour principle"

Like any highly successful individual, Phil Ivey's success come with a price.  Read the following:

Phil first showed interest in poker at 8 years old when his grandfather used to play card games with him. His grandfather would cheat a lot to show the 8 year old Phillip the risks of the game and to discourage him from gambling. 

However, it had the opposite effect on Phil Ivey: he got more and more interested in the game of poker, and when he was in his early teens he had already decided that he would become a professional poker player. 

He started playing for cash in home games when he was 16. Two years later, despite the fact that he lived outside Atlantic City, he managed to get hold of a fake ID with the name Jerome Graham so that he could play in the casinos in Atlantic City. He was known as 'No Home Jerome' because he was frequently staying there and rarely went out. These were the times when he often lost a lot of money. Eventually, he improved his game and started getting better.

He has been a professional since he was in his early 20's, and won a bracelet in early 20's. So now he's been a pro for over a decade...

Plays at the Bellagio, for up to 24 hours straight, against the world's best players.

On top of that, he says he thinks about the game relentlessly, he thinks about the game before he goes to sleep, and when he wakes up in the morning.

He has always played a very loose style of play, so it gives him a lot of experience, since he knows almost every situation.

He still says that to this day, he is learning a lot about poker, and learned 5 new things during this years wsop main event, that has made him an even better player. He also says he spends time analyzing past hands.

But on top of that, he says that he can think well, and put himself in other people's position well. He knows how to play the situation and the people, and can successfully play a wide range of hands. He can accurately assess what other people are thinking, how they think they way they do, why they think that way etc.

He is an expert at all types of poker, from limit 7-card stud, to no limit holdem, so he certainly brings skills from one form of poker to the other (actually, none of his bracelets are in holdem).

HE said during an interview that he played practically everyday, 12 hrs a day for 5 yrs.

You can resume this point in one sentence.  
The "10,000 hour principle" = raw experience and pure volume of play. 

The "10,000 hour principle" is explained in the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.



Phil Ivey wasn't always the best player in the world.  "The Tiger Wood of Poker" encontered hard beginning.  In fact, I know it seem unbelievable but Phil Ivey was a fish in his early poker days in Atlantic City.  He says in his interview(s) that he (and later with his wife Luciaetta) was so broke that his electricity was turned off at times because there where months he couldn't pay his bills.

Never forget this word.  Perseverance.


Someone (Joey2714) on the twoplustwo forum resumed the greatness and superiority of Ivey in a few words.

Zero tilt factor, incredible concentration and ability to pick up on and relentlessy punish opponents who show weakness.

On the same forum post:'s really about skill, with experience, with the ability to play loose aggressive, and be very accurate with his reads and betting patterns recognition. Controlling the situation, and knowing what to do in most situations. Fearlessness, and the willingness to risk his chips on bluffs if he can sense weakness. With all of his knowledge from all forms of poker, he has a lot of knowledge and experience to draw from.

Plus, he's probably very much a natural. 

Ivey gets MAXIMUM value out his his hands, and has an extraordinary ablility to put his opponent on a hand. Saving one big bet, or earning one extra big bet.

He seems to be paying attention to everything, absorbing every bit of information that the other players give him.

Once voted "most feared player" by readers of a national poker magazine.  The reason Phil Ivey is the scariest poker player in the world is because when he’s reading you, it seems like he’s looking into your soul. Not only is he looking into your soul, but he’s opening it up and observing and calculating every detail. You can’t bluff him or win big pots off him. It’s just not going to happen; he knows what you’re doing. 

Why is Phil Ivey so good?

a) strong work ethic and competitiveness
b) tons of experience (which naturally breeds skill)
c) doesn't tilt
d) doesn't fear losing money
e) his reputation induces fear into weaker players

Some people on online poker forum resumed his style as following.

Phil Ivey's HUHU strategy:

Step 1. Raise preflop in position
Step 2. C-bet on the flop 100%
Step 3. ???????
Step 4. Profit

Phil Ivey's HUHU FL HE strategy:

Step 1. Raise pre-flop in position

            Raise pre-flop in the big blind with (1:1)
            Ax, Kx, Q3s, Q6, J8, T7s, T9, 98s, 33+
Step 2. Continuation bet on the flop and turn 100% of the time
Step 3. Leaving after losing one buy-in

            Keep playing when winning

Why is Phil Ivey so good?

a) hyper aggressive
b) incredible focus and concentration
c) Phil's reads. Uncanny ability to detect and exploit opponents's weaknesses and betting patterns
d) zero tilt factor
e) intimidating and fearsome

f) unlimited bankroll

When you face Phil Ivey in Heads-Up Fixed Limit Hold' Em poker...
You going down!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Phil Ivey vs The Brain

In NVGtard fantasy land (12-01-2010) :

"The Brain" heads up poker machine proves to be remarkably resilient, beating the best minds in poker over a large sample. When the limits are raised to 200/400 Hoss tbf flys to vegas and enters the Bellagio and plays it days on end only to break even until he tires and begins to lose. And so the machine sits outside the poker room unplayed and unscathed save a few suckers from time to time. The stakes are raised to any that the tourist wishes to play, from .50/1 to 500000/1000000. A billionaire is reported to have lost 4 million on may 23, 2011 during a break from highstakes craps. One day at the poker table Ivey is asked if he would play heads up nl omaha by a young upcoming susperstar from norway and Ivey responds that he would play anybody. The kid says I bet you wouldn't play the brain smugly. "Who's that?" asks Ivey. The kid points to the machine. Ivey says sure and spends the next 45 minutes inserting a giant wad of hundreds and over the course of the next 28 hours he beats it for 300 million dollars infront of the ever growing massive crowd of spectators. Finally after being down 324 million dollars and 28 hours of poker, The Brain ask Phil Ivey if he would let him play on credit. A fat executive hobbles out of the crowd red faced and screams hell no! and pulls the plug.

That's exactly what could happen if Phil Ivey was met to play Texas Hold' Em Heads Up Poker machine "The Brain".  This funny story was written by spaceman Bryce on the twoplustwo poker forum.

It's nice to see that Phil Ivey's dominance made him a mythological figure just like Chuck Norris. 

Now you can say that Phil Ivey is the Chuck Norris of Poker.

Originally published in: 

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey is the best poker player in the world today.

Net Worth: $100 Million

  • Source of Wealth: Poker
  • Birthdate: February 1, 1976
  • Birth Place: Riverside, California, USA
  • Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  • Marital Status: Married Luciaetta Ivey (m. 2002–2009)
  • 9 World Series of Poker bracelets
  • 1 World Poker Tour title

World Series of Poker bracelets
Year Tournament Prize (US$/A$)
2000 $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha $195,000
2002 $2,500 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo $118,440
2002 $2,000 S.H.O.E. $107,540
2002 $1,500 7 Card Stud $132,000
2005 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha $635,603
2009 $2,500 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball $96,367
2009 $2,500 Omaha Hi/Lo / 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo $220,538
2010 $3,000 H.O.R.S.E. $329,840
2013A A$2,200 Mixed Event A$51,840

World Poker Tour Titles
Year Tournament Prize (US$)
2008 $10,000 L.A. Poker Classic $1,596,100

Greatest Feat:
In February 21-23, 2006, he played heads-up Limit Texas Hold'em versus Texas billionaire Andy Beal. With stakes at $30,000/$60,000 and $50,000/$100,000, Ivey won over $16,600,000 over the course of three days, during a heads up match at The Wynn Resort. Ivey was playing for "The Corporation", a group of poker professionals who pooled their money and took turns playing against Beal. Earlier in the month, Beal had beaten the Corporation out of over $13,000,000.  Phil Ivey was the only man able to defeat Andy Beal at his own game, high stakes heads-up limit hold'em.

Phil Ivey's HUHU FL HE strategy:

Step 1. Raise pre-flop in position

            Raise pre-flop in the big blind with (1:1)
            Ax, Kx, Q3s, Q6, J8, T7s, T9, 98s, 33+
Step 2. Continuation bet on the flop and turn 100% of the time
Step 3. Leaving after losing one buy-in

            Keep playing when winning

"I'm a firm believer in learning the game by playing the game."  
                                                               -- Phil Ivey

Why is Phil Ivey so good?

a) hyper aggressive maniac
b) 100% focus
c) Phil's reads

d) stop-loss
e) intimidating and fearsome reputation

f) unlimited bankroll

IHateJuice: "Phil Ivey is the final boss in Fixed Limit heads-up"

Originally published in:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chess, backgammon, poker, and bridge

Chess, backgammon, poker, and bridge
The four great minds games

Games like bridge, poker, and chess are great for business. These games all use methods that can can be incorporated into the way you view and make business decisions. Chess in particular requires strategic decision-making, concentration, tactics, and evaluation.

A complete information game where you are playing against the board.  A game were the better player always win.  A small difference in skill make a huge difference on the scoreboard.  Chess is a game of pure skill, concentration, and strategies.  Chess requires strategic decision-making, concentration, tactics, and evaluation.  No luck involved here.

Garry Kasparov is maybe the most dominant chess player of all time.

Just like chess, backgammon is a complete information game where you play against the board.  Backgammon is a tactical game of concentration, positional evaluation, and math.  The dice is the element of luck in the game.

The most notable player is the 3-times Backgammon World Champion and successful gambler Tim Holland.

It is a simple card game of hidden information who rewards attention and the reading of psychological situations.  An element of luck coming from the cards.  A game of skill and deception.

Currently, the best all-around poker player of the world is Phil Ivey.

Like many card game, bridge is a game of hidden information.  Bridge is about remembering every card, probabilities, and communication.  Some luck involved here.

Someone could make a living as a pro bridge player by gambling 
high-stakes bridge and/or being a paid partner for people.

The best player in the world and probably the best player of all time is "Mr. Bridge" Bob Hamman

So, apparently, unless you are a super grand master--chess is for fun and intellectual stimulation. Also, duplicate bridge is mostly "for fun". Backgammon is a game where you can be a pro and earn a living. Poker is a game where you can be a pro and usually earn even a better living than you usually can at Backgammon. :)