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Legendary Poker Player Phil Ivey Bursts on Day 1 of The $1 Million WPT Big One for One Drop Tournament


Every poker enthusiast knows of the World Poker Tour (WPT) because of the crazy live and online events they host, which are filled with poker stars and have tremendously high stakes. The Big One for One Drop is one of those tournaments with an insane buy-in price of $1,000,000. The event happens every 2 years, and for the year 2023, it started on December 18th.

The breaking news from the event was that poker legend Phil Ivey lost on the first day. Just to show you how big this surprise was, Phil Ivey is considered one of the best and richest poker players of all time. He is even a Poker Hall of Famer and WPT Ambassador. In his illustrious career, Ivey has come out in first place in many competitions and has won over $40,000,000 in all-time money.

It’s quite impressive to imagine that a game considered to depend on strategy and luck has won someone over $40 million. However, the truth is that it probably took Ivey a lot of practice to build on his skills, with a series of wins and losses.

Whether it’s playing at live poker events or online poker/casino sites, he threw his hat in the ring and mastered the game. Even though it comes at a heavy cost at times, for you it doesn’t have to. Some of the top 10 online casinos give players the chance to try out poker for free and learn the game. Once you become a pro, you can proceed to stake real money.

The silent rule in poker is to ‘put your money where your mouth is’ and seeing Phil Ivey burst on the first day of a $1 million buy-in game was astonishing. So, what exactly happened to the poker icon?

Phil Ivey Couldn’t Find a Fold

It started slowly for Ivey, who lost a good chunk of his $1,000,000-chip stack early on. He competed all day before getting into a game with Dan Smith in a monster pot on Level 8the last level of the night.

When the flop came out, it was A ♠ 10 ♣ 2 ♠. Smith checked under the gun and bet 80,000 with Q ♦ J ♦ while Ivey called with A ♥ J X. After the K♠ on the turn, Smith checked again and bet 180,000 with the straight he had just hit. For a second time now, his bet was called.

It didn’t matter what the river was, so Ivey checked it one last time to the high-stakes crusher. After seeing this, Smith shoved all in for 425,000, and Ivey had used all four-time extension chips when he decided to call. Finally, it was decided, and Ivey was out of the game just a few minutes before the session ended. Only David Einhorn and Talal Shakerchi were in, and both busted on Day 1 of this freezeout game.

Before the game started, Phil Ivey told Poker News that he hadn’t played recently and was ‘coming in cold’ to the event. 

Smith Comes Out Ahead in Day 1

After the late pot against Ivey, Smith went from having a slight lead in chips to making his presence felt in the event going into Day 2. He got 3,680,000 chips, which is 180 big bets. At the end of the game, Santhosh Suvarna and Adrian Mateos both had just over 2 million chips. Many famous people, including Jason Koon, Isaac Haxton, and Fedor Holz, paid $1 million to play in this charity event.

Chris Brewer left Wynn Las Vegas late Monday night with less than 15 big blinds, which was the least amount of money.

Because registration ended after Level 5, the payouts were made known with first place taking home $7,114,500 and second place winning $1,224,800 once the competition was over. 

As for day 1 of the Big One for One Drop tournament, here were the results:

  1. Dan Smith – 3,680,000    
  2. Santhosh Suvarna – 2,160,000    
  3. Adrian Mateos – 2,035,000    
  4. Mikita Badziakouski – 1,605,000  
  5. Matthias Eibunger – 1,360,000 
  6. Isaac Haxton – 1,160,000 
  7. Jason Kloon – 1,020,000 
  8. Mario Mosiboeck – 850,000   
  9. Rick Salomon – 840,000      
  10.  Nick Petrangelo – 700,000      
  11. Fedor Holuz – 630,000 
  12. Stephen Chidwick – 355,000 
  13. Martin Kabrhel – 320,000      
  14. Chris Brewer – 275,000    

Is Phil Ivey Slowly Fading Away?

The answer to the question is probably not. Even in poker, a player can have a bad day, and this was the case for Phil. The fact that he also mentioned he hasn’t played in a while might have significantly contributed to his loss. All we can do is wait and see how he performs in the upcoming WPT tournaments.

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