Phil Ivey won the Monte Carlo Millions tournament this week at the famous Casino de Monte Carlo. The Monte Carlo Millions had a $3 million prize pool this year, fully covered by the Prima Poker Network. Five-time WSoP bracelet winner Phil Ivey took home the $1 million dollar first prize after beating Paul "Action" Jackson from Great Britain.
The Casino de Monte Carlo opened it's doors on Casino Square in 1863, making it one of the world's oldest casinos. It was finished in only three years on a piece of barren wasteland under supervision of François Blanc, founder of the Société des Bains de Mer, the company that still operates the casino. The casino is a favorite among Europe's rich and famous for it's Roulette and Baccarat tables, but this year it was time for something new: Poker.
"In more than a century, no one has ever played poker in the casino," said Monte Carlo Millions' tournament director Matt Savage. He continued "It's been an amazing tournament [...] worthy of the most spectacular casino in the world."
The Monte Carlo Millions had a total prize pool of $3 million dollars this year, a new record in European poker history. The prize pool was completely guaranteed by the online poker network, Prima Poker. 112 players from 22 different countries participated in this year's tournament, including 27 World Series of Poker bracelet winners and 7 World Poker Tour champions. Many poker pros played in this prestigious tournament, for example Phil Hellmuth, Howard Lederer, Antonio Esfandiari and Gus Hansen.
The final table looked like this:
- Richard Herbert 908,000
- Phil Ivey 2,317,000
- Kenna James 310,000
- Marc Goodwin 681,000
- Paul Jackson 809,000
- Bengt Sonnert 582,000
- John Juanda 160,000
After more than two hours of play two players remained for a heads up battle. Paul "Action" Jackson from Great Britain was a big underdog against bracelet winner Phil Ivey, who had five times as much chips as Jackson, after entering the final table as the big chip leader. After only one hour of heads up play it was over for Paul Jackson and Phil Ivey was $1 million dollars richer. Jackson took second prize for a nice $600,000.
Phil Ivey commented on his victory: "Coming to the final table as the chip leader, I couldn't do anything less than win. [...] I'm looking forward to coming back next year and defending my title." In 2000 Phil won his first World Series of Poker bracelet at the age of 23 and he has won four more in the last few years. He is highly respected by his peers and destined to become a true poker legend.