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Phil Ivey Aiming for Phil Hellmuth in WSOP Bracelets

Phil Ivey’s victory in Event #3 at the WSOP APAC at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia for his ninth WSOP win has him thinking of making a run at Phil Hellmuth, who leads the world in WSOP bracelets with 13.

“I’m trying to catch Phil [Hellmuth],” Ivey declared. “It’s tough. He keeps winning them, but I’m looking forward to the summer.”

Ivey’s win put him in a tie with Johnny Moss for fourth place in the WSOP bracelet chase. Their nine bracelets trail the ten collected by both Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson and, of course, Hellmuth’s 13. Ivey is also in fourth place in live tournament winnings with more than $17.6 million. In that category, he is on the heels of Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Trickett and Hellmuth.

Ivey told WSOP officials how special his most recent victory was to him. “I definitely wanted to win this event, especially when I got deep and realized I had a chance,” Ivey said. “The last five final tables I made, I didn’t win. I was getting very frustrated, so I was very happy to win this tournament.”

The AUD$2,200 Mixed Event featured a rotation of games that included Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, 2-7 Lowball, Triple Draw, Razz, No-Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha and Seven-Card Stud. A total of 81 players bought in, bringing the total prize pool to AUD$162,000. Only six places cashed, with Ivey collecting AUD$51,840 and sixth place finisher Kevin Song taking home AUD$8,978.

There has been some talk on online poker forums regarding the value of Ivey’s ninth WSOP bracelet, considering the short field of players and low prize pool. And WSOP APAC Event #2 also had a rather modest first place prize of AUD$69,000. It caused poker pro John Eames to question the value of the bracelets as he tweeted “@WSOPTD do you think having first prizes of $69k and $52k help keep a @WSOP bracelet the most coveted prize in poker?”

It didn’t seem to bother Ivey, who admitted that his legacy in poker is sometimes on his mind. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to think about my place in poker history and where I’m going to stand, so it is important to me to win these bracelets,” Ivey said.

Ivey won’t have much time to celebrate, as the AUD$10,000 Championship Event starts on Thursday and the AUD$50,000 High Roller Event is slated for Saturday. And don’t forget the Caesars Cup on Sunday, where Ivey will captain Team America against Team Asia/Pacific and Team Europe.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.