Phil Ivey: 5 Things To Know About Poker’s Biggest Star

Phil Ivey is one of the biggest names in poker and is regarded by some as the best all-around player in the world. He has 10 WSOP bracelets to his name, won the 2008 World Poker Tour title, and has been given the nickname, “The Tiger Woods of Poker.”

While these headline achievements and distinctions paint a pretty clear picture of why Ivey is one of the defining figures of poker though, there are also a few interesting things you may not know about him. Read on for a bit more information on the living poker legend.

1. “No Home Jerome”

Phil Ivey learned how to play poker from his grandfather when he was only eight years old. By the time he was 16, he would practice every week and play at his friend’s house. Soon thereafter, while still in high school and thus too young to play in actual casinos, Ivey acquired a fake ID with the name “Jerome Graham” on it. With said ID, he began frequenting Atlantic City casinos and playing poker against competitive adults. Since he rarely left the poker tables, he was dubbed “No Home Jerome” by the other regulars. This nickname ultimately faded away when Ivey began playing (and dominating) under his own name –– but it’s an interesting bit of trivia regarding his early days in the game, and it speaks to his dedication to poker.

2. Cheating Scandal in London

Despite all his triumphs, Ivey has also found himself on the wrong end of gambling scenarios from time to time. Just a few years ago, he lost a court battle with a London casino over a cheating scandal. The vaunted poker pro had played a version of baccarat called Punto Banco at Crockfords Club in Mayfair and amassed £7.7 million (about $10.2 million) in winnings. But he was sued by the casino on the basis that his style of play –– employing a technique known as edge-sorting –– was not legitimate. Edge sorting involves identifying tiny imperfections on the backs of cards so as to identify them when they come back around, and Ivey’s argument was that the ability to take advantage of the practice constituted a legitimate advantage. Ultimately, the case was dismissed and Ivey never received the winnings he accumulated (though his initial £1 million stakes were returned to him).

3. Artwork NFT Collection

The ever-emerging crypto world has begun to influence poker in recent years, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Ivey’s name is at the forefront. Just last year, Ethernity Chain and Impossible Brief released a collection, of artwork NFTs (aNFT) celebrating the poker pro’s spectacular career achievements. These future collectibles are aimed at giving the collector community the highest quality art while immortalizing the faces of sports legends. The Phil Ivey aNFT collection specifically includes special editions like Q, K, and Ace, among others. And if a collector acquires enough assets (and the right ones) to complete a Royal Flush, they are offered special opportunities –– like participating in a charity poker game featuring Phil Ivey.

4. Rumored Net Worth

Any poker pro of Ivey’s stature (and there aren’t many) has won so much money both publicly and privately that it’s difficult to know exactly how much he has at his disposal. That said, Ivey’s rumored net worth from poker winnings is said to be around $100 million. This appraisal is based on known winnings, like those from the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour competition, and others in the public arena. Factoring in sponsorships, business ventures, online poker, and other gaming activities though, it wouldn’t surprise us if that $100 million estimations is actually on the low end.

5. World’s First Multiverse NFT

Phil Ivey doesn’t stop at artwork NFTs. He also got to work with The Shoe Surgeon (a celebrity sneaker designer) to collaborate on (and launch) the world’s first multiverse NFT. Built for the Moments marketplace, the NFT was designed to celebrate an iconic bluff in poker history, specifically capturing a moment from a poker contest between Ivey and Tom Dwan. The product was accompanied by a limited-edition release of The Surgeon x Phil Ivey Hybrid Sneaker –– a digital shoe that can be worn in the metaverse (though there’s a real-life version as well).

Phil Ivey is truly one of the most interesting and inspiring poker legends of this generation (and there is a fair few of them!). We hope you’ve enjoyed this closer look at him, and encourage you to read more of Facts Podium’s celebrity posts when you get the chance.

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