Source: Phil Ivey via Facebook
Phil Ivey is regarded by many as the number one poker player in the world, and as such, leads a seriously impressive lifestyle.
Some tongue-in-cheek commentators have even claimed that representatives of the winner of ten World Series of Poker bracelets have previously campaigned to Merriam-Webster, trying to get his picture included next to the definition of the word “baller.”
Although this was a joke, it could easily be true. The man is a money-making legend after all. So what does the greatest overall poker player do aside from bossing the world of Texas Hold ‘Em?
Ivey has made $23 million in tournament winnings so far in his career, but also likes to spend time in Macau and Manilla these days in the “Big Game,” in which $1 million pots are a regular occurrence. Needless to say, he has accumulated an impressive amount of wealth, and has an estimated net worth of around $100 million. And as it happens with most exceedingly rich people, he isn’t afraid to spend it. The 2008 World Poker Tour winner certainly likes to ride around in style. He owns a Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren worth $500,000, as well as a $400,000 Rolls Royce. Ivey has also appeared in a car commercial for the 2015 Chrysler 300, which served to boost his fame as one of the most recognizable poker players in the world.
Ivey isn’t just recognized for being an expert at poker, he also likes to gamble in other casino games. He has been known to throw the dice in craps at Foxwood for $50,000 a roll, but his favourite casino game other than poker seems to be baccarat. The 40-year-old has been known to play the “punto banco” version of the game in various top casinos including the famous Crockfords casino for high rollers in London. For players like Ivey, luck rarely comes into play when in a game of poker. So baccarat, which is very much a game of chance and guesswork, can make a refreshing change. The rules of baccarat are pretty simple. In fact, in baccarat players can even bet on their own hand to lose and the dealer’s hand to win. There are also side bets available where players can bet on the player or the banker receiving a pair. This pays out at 12/1, so is a great addition to the game if it comes off.
Phil Ivey has shown that poker players can be marketable in the same way as other sports personalities like Tiger Woods or Cristiano Ronaldo, and has doubtlessly helped boost the image and popularity of poker all over the world. While still playing and making numerous appearances in TV shows and tournaments, he is also sought after by casinos who want the poker star to endorse them. Nowadays, the likes of Ivey and Tom Dwan are helping Macau continue its rise as the new number one gambling destination in the world. Ivey says that these days he spends around three to four months per year in the Chinese gambling haven.
It takes a lot of hard work and grafting in online tournaments to make it to the big stage and accumulate a large amount of wealth like Ivey did. But once you do, as the poker pro has shown, the world is your oyster.