Phil Ivey Back on Top of the Poker World
Poker superstar Phil Ivey (recognized by most poker fans as the best No Limit Texas Hold'em player in the world) had a quiet 2011 but he's started 2012 off with a bang, winning the $250,000 Super High Roller event at the 2012 Aussie Millions for an AUD $2 million payday.
2011 wasn't a stellar year for Ivey, as he spent much of it on the sidelines and out of the spotlight as his divorce was finalized and as he sought to sever ties with embattled online poker site Full Tilt Poker (which he had previously been a very prominent sponsored player for).
Relations between Ivey and Full Tilt hit a very sour note in June 2011, when Ivey announced he was boycotting the World Series of Poker and suing Full Tilt due to damages to his personal reputation and the company's inability to pay money owed to US players. While the lawsuit was eventually dropped Ivey was a no-show for the World Series of Poker and would keep a very low poker profile for much of 2011.
A preliminary deal to sell Full Tilt's assets to Groupe Bernard Tapie was reached in November 2011 and Ivey resurfaced at the tournament poker tables not long after, playing in an international event in Macau, spending plenty of time at the cash games there as well in some of the world's biggest high stakes poker games.
Australia's Annual Aussie Millions Poker Festival
Like much of the poker world, Ivey made the trek to Melbourne this month for the annual Aussie Millions poker festival, with the Crown Casino (one of the most popular Australian casinos) playing host to the action.
Ivey captured most of the headlines in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event, falling just short of the final table when he finished 12th for $100,000, but his exit gave him time to enter the $250,000 buy-in Super High Roller event, which is one of the largest buy-in poker tournaments in the world each year.
That decision proved to be a wise one, with Ivey outlasting a field of 16 players when he defeated Patrik Antonius in heads-up play for the win and largest tournament cash of his poker career of $2 million.