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Phil Ivey interview

By Paul McGuire

Phil Ivey won his fifth World Series of Poker bracelet in the Pot Limit Omaha with Rebuys event. Phil Ivey sits in the highest stakes cash game in Las Vegas. It’s called “The Big Game” and the other players include Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, Chau Giang, Barry Greenstein, Johnny Chan, Bobby Baldwin, and Lyle Berman.

Phil Ivey
   Phil Ivey wins 5th WSoP bracelet - © Paul McGuire
Phil Ivey had to beat a tough final table. Phil Hellmuth was seeking his tenth WSOP bracelet and was seriously motivated to win. Ivey was also up against Robert Williamson III, who is one of the best Pot Limit Omaha players in the world. Also at his final table was Allen Cunningham. At the time, Cunningham had won the more money than any other player at the 2005 WSOP.

Here are excerpts from an interview conducted with Phil Ivey moments after he won his fifth WSOP bracelet:

Q. It’s been a couple of years since your last bracelet, what exactly happened?

Phil Ivey: Well, I haven’t been playing too many tournaments because of the cash games. But Barry Greenstein gave me a call two days and woke me up out of my sleep. He told me that the tournament didn’t start until 2 o’clock and that’s why I ended up coming down here and playing.

Q. Why haven’t you been playing in a lot of tournaments?

Phil Ivey: Tournaments are such a grind. You have to be play for three days. You have to give all your attention and all your concentration on it. For me, if I can’t give a 110% of my attention on a tournament, then there’s no need for me to play. And that’s why was happening last year. I wasn’t giving it my best shot, so that’s why I stopped playing tournaments.

Q. How many bracelets do you think you can win?

Phil Ivey: I hoping to have thirty before I quit and get to thirty eventually. Now it’s so hard to win these tournaments with 700 or 800 player sin each event. So to get a bracelet right now is very special.

Q. How good was your heads up opponent Robert Williamson?

Phil Ivey: Well, Robert is a very tough player. He’s probably the best Omaha player at the table. I was happy that I had him so dominated in chips the whole time. There was nothing he could do because of the chip situation. We both we didn’t want to get all our ships in the flop in bad situations. We were waiting for each other to make a mistake.

Q. Are you going to play in any other World Series of Poker events this year?

Phil Ivey: I’m definitely going to play in the main event. But I haven’t been too many World Series of Poker tournaments ever since I started playing in the big cash games because of the time it takes to win these tournaments. The fields are so big it’s such a long shot these days to win any tournament. I feel my time is better served playing in the live games.

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