After a self-imposed exile from 2011 World Series of Poker competition due to his representation of Full Tilt Poker and the fact that players had not yet been reimbursed, Phil Ivey returned to the 2012 WSOP tables in Event #2, a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em tournament.
Full Tilt players still haven’t been paid and players worldwide are still awaiting news on whether the deal between PokerStars, the U.S. Department of Justice and Full Tilt will actually be finalized anytime soon. After the failed purchase by Group Bernard Tapie to acquire Full Tilt, many players are understandably skeptical of PokerStars taking over the beleaguered site.
Considered by many to be poker’s all-around best player, Ivey entered the first available open event, but busted out of the tourney when his pocket 10’s lost to Maria Ho’s J-10 on a board of 9-3-2-7-8, giving Ho a straight on the river. The eight-time bracelet winner, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing in the Full Tilt fiasco, first reappeared on the live poker scene following Black Friday in Macau last November. The lay-off didn’t affect his poker skills, as he won $2,130,200 in a $250,000 buy-in tournament at the Aussie Millions in January. Ivey now is in second-place on the poker tournament all-time money list with over $15 million in cashes.