Phil Ivey certainly has been a busy man. In the week that his nascent Ivey Poker App launched on Facebook, news emerged that the man known as the Tiger Woods of poker has become brand ambassador for Tribal Poker Online in California.
Tribal Poker is a collaboration between Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment chief executive Jim Ryan and the Pala Band of Mission Indians.
The Pala Band of Mission Indians have been active in the gaming industry, running their own casino resort from their reservation in San Diego County, California, for many years, and now the group’s parent company, Pala Interactive, is looking to offer online poker within the state.
Although online poker is still officially illegal in California, many states have independently begun to legalise the game and the Pala Indians are hoping the Golden State will follow the example of Nevada and New Jersey in legitimising the game. In June, eight Indian tribes joined together to support the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2013 in an attempt to attain exclusivity for their casino’s in future state online poker legislation.
Now, with the help of BWIN.Party, Pala Interactive hopes to use software provided by Realtime Edge Software (RTE) to run its own online poker efforts.
Ivey himself has been going through some turbulent times as of late. For a long time the face of Full Tilt Poker until Black Friday in 2011, he is currently going through a costly divorce with his former wife Luciaetta Ivey, overseen in the state of Nevada.
The poker pro is also in litigation against London-based private poker club, Crockfords Casino, over $12.1 million in winnings the casino says ivey obtained unfairly.
But he’s had plenty to celebrate, too, with Ivey Poker acquiring poker training site LeggPoker, and the brand itself acquiring a growing roster of poker pros under the Team Ivey badge including 2011 EPT San Remo champion, Rupert Elder, rising star Cherish Andrews from Pennsylvania and online poker multi-millionaire German Giuseppe Pantaleo.
The Ivey Poker App also launched on Sunday morning, which offers cash games, Sit and Go and multi table tournaments (MTT) on the social networking site, Facebook.
However, his success with Pala Interactive depends much on internet gaming laws shape up in the state of California.