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Back in January 2014, Ivey League launched with the tag phrase “Teaching the World to Win at Poker.” With an impressive lineup of coaches, the site offered several levels of subscriptions and produced fresh content on a regular basis.

After over three years of cranking out fresh content, the site has announced they will cease producing new videos as of May 1.

This closure signals the end of Phil Ivey’s foray into poker coaching and leaves some wondering what might be next for the future Hall of Famer.

Interesting Concept That Had a Ton of Potential

I remember vividly when Ivey League launched because I was the content editor for at the time. In the months leading up to the site’s launch, I remember a lot of anticipation surrounding the endeavor.

Some of you remember that Ivey purchased the popular website LeggoPoker, shut it down and then created Ivey League. The site wasn’t merely LeggoPoker rebranded but was supposed to be its own unique training destination.

The concept was solid. Ivey League was going to offer videos from some of the top names in the game. It was going to be a mix of old school, new school, live and online pros and it wasn’t going to be limited to helping you improve your Texas Hold’em game. Poker is more than Hold’em and they wanted to teach you how to win at poker because, as the site said, “it’s more fun when you win.”

The Closure of Ivey Poker and Continuation of Ivey League

Ivey Poker shut down their gaming site in October of 2014, but many of us working with the site were let go near the end of the 2014 WSOP. Following the shutdown of the gaming site, Ivey League continued as a standalone product and has done so for almost two and a half years.

However, what started as a promising concept hasn’t quite panned out in reality. If you go back and look at the profiles of many of their coaches, many haven’t produced new material in years. Ivey’s last video was released this past September, and both Cole South and Patrik Antonius haven’t produced anything since 2014.

That’s not to say they haven’t hired new coaches or added fresh content. They absolutely have. I can confirm this personally as I’ve been providing bio content for the site as needed over the last couple of years.

Coaches such as Jared “RikaKazak” Bartlett, Victor “TheStudent” Vermuelen, Chris “Fox” Wallace, Joe “Golfdish” Allis and others have been cranking out content on a regular basis.

Lack of Real “Star Power” Hurt the Site

While the site boasts an impressive roster of coaches, none of the bigger names have been actively posting and this has really hurt the site. When you launch a company with the name “Ivey League,” you expect the site’s namesake to post on a somewhat consistent basis.

In lieu of Ivey posting regularly, had some of the other big name players like Patrik Antonius, Griffin Benger and Andrew Lichtenberger been posting a bit more frequently, that would have certainly helped with the site’s popularity and exposure.

That’s not to knock the other coaches. I’m not. The roster of active coaches on the site is impressive and each offered something that can help you improve your game. Rather, the lack of regular postings from their “star players” hurt the site.

Ivey League Also Hurt by Online Content Saturation

If Ivey League had come out a few years earlier, chances are that their course would have been dramatically different. Charles Rettmueller over at PokerTube suggested that the slow progress of iPoker regulation in the U.S. hurt Ivey League. While that may be partially true, the biggest factor in it not being a monumental success is the sheer volume of poker coaching content that’s available online for free.

Just take a look at the various individuals that regularly stream via Twitch. That is new potential coaching content that’s released on a daily basis, for free. Then there’s the players that are regularly releasing content on other mediums such as YouTube.

Doug Polk is a prime example of someone that produces a lot of great material for free on YouTube that someone can use to improve their game. While it is true that this material is used to drive Doug’s paid site, there’s still enough there to help beginners and intermediate players strengthen their game.

James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.