Friday June 14, 2024 at 4:56 am
Breaking News

All eyes were on Phil Ivey at the final table of 2024 WSOP Event #29 $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Championship. First place paid out $347,440, but Ivey was gunning for bracelet #11 and his first WSOP victory in ten years. It came down to a heads-up joust between Danny Wong and Ivey. When the dust settled, Ivey locked up an eleventh bracelet and moved into second place on the all-time list behind Phil Hellmuth's 17 victories.

Phil Ivey Wins Bracelet #11 (Pic by @WSOP)

Ship it to Phil Ivey. It took ten years before Ivey got another chance to bask in the warm glow of the winner's circle. The gambling world has vastly changed since Ivey's last victory at the WSOP in 2014. It took him 14 years to win his first ten bracelets between 2000 and 2014, but then he had to wait another decade to win one more.

It was still the 1990s when Ivey rolled into Sin City. The cocky and fearless gunslinger wasn't afraid to go swimming with sharks in the dingy, smoke-filled rooms of downtown Las Vegas. It was the next step in the inevitable progression of a professional gambler. Ivey had paid his dues during his long nights of grinding in Atlantic City. That's when he was known by locals in New Jersey as "No Home Jermone." Well, a young Jerome headed out to Vegas and quickly made a name for himself and it didn't take long before the poker world took notice of Phil Ivey.

At the 2000 WSOP at Binion's Horseshoe, Ivey shipped a $2,500 PLO tournament and beat Amarillo Slim heads up for his first bracelet. It was one of those defining moments when the new guard took down the old guard. An aging, grizzled and gruff cowboy had been curb stomped by a kid from New Jersey. Elvis had left the building, and Ivey made it his new crib.

2002 was a defining year at the WSOP, which was the year before Chris Moneymaker turned the poker world upside down. 2002 was known as the Year of Ivey when he won three bracelets. He took down Seven-Card Stud, Stud Hi/Lo, and SHOE -- which had been a staple in the "olden days."

In 2005, the WSOP relocated to the Rio Casino, where Ivey shipped $5K PLO in a memorable battle against Robert Williamson III. At the time, RW3 was at the peak of his PLO powers in the mid-2000s, but Ivey chewed him up and ate all his Taco Bell. Ivey's second PLO victory also marked his fifth bracelet.

During the 2009 WSOP, Ivey won two more bracelets -- which were #6 and #7 -- when he was the last player standing in Omaha 8/Stud 8 and NL 2-7 Lowball. During the next summer, Ivey notched bracelet #8 at the 2010 WSOP in H.O.R.S.E.

In 2013, Ivey had to head to the other side of the world to win bracelet #9 in an 8-Game mixed tournament at the now defunct WSOP Asia Pacific.

In 2014, Ivey won another 8-Game Mix title in consecutive years. With a tenth bracelet victory, Ivey joined legends like Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson. The trio were in a three-way tie for second place behind Phil Hellmuth. Chan and Brunson reached 10 wins in 2005 and that was the last time either would win a WSOP event. Helmuth tied the dynamic duo in 2006, passed them in 2007, and essentially never looked back.

Once Ivey reached the epic milestone of 10 bracelets, it seemed like he was gearing up to make a run at Hellmuth. But then... crickets. Nada. Nothing. Zilch.

Ivey got stuck on 10 bracelets for 10 years. He's had plenty of bad press during the last decade for his non-poker activities, legal kerfuffle, and a messy divorce.

Let's face it, if Ivey played as many WSOP bracelet events as Hellmuth, he'd probably have more wins than the Poker Brat. But that's just not Ivey's style. Any way you cut it, a decade is a long time to go between WSOP victories.

Since Ivey's last bracelet win in 2014, Hellmuth bagged four more gold bracelets with wins in 2015, 2018, 2021, and 2023. Erik Seidel finally got off the schneid after he was stuck on eight bracelets for almost 14 years. Seidel busted his slump with #9 in an online event in 2021, then he snagged #10 last December at the inaugural WSOP Paradise in the Bahamas. With ten wins, Seidel moved into a four-way tie with Ivey, Chan, and Brunson. Hellmuth had a seven-bracelet lead over Ivey and Seidel heading into the 2024 WSOP.

In 2022, Ivey flirted with bracelet #11 multiple times. He lost a heads-up battle against Aleksejs Ponakovs in the $100K High Roller and settled on a runner-up finish. He also took third place in the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship that was won by Adam Friedman.

Last summer, Ivey cashed three times at the 2023 WSOP with two final tables (both were sixth place bustouts) including a deep run in the Poker Players Championship.

Ivey has been playing WSOP events more than usual this year. He cashed five times at the 2024 WSOP including an 11th place finish in Event #13 $10,000 Dealer's Choice.

Then it happened. After a decade of near misses and endless drama, Ivey struck gold at the Paris/Horseshoe on the Strip.

Event #29 $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Championship was a 6-handed affair that attracted 149 runners. The prize pool was $1.385 million with most of the cheesecake set aside to the champion. Only the top 23 places paid out. Among those who went deep and cashed included Steve Z, Chainsaw Kessler, Tobias Leknes, Chino Rheem, Naoya Kihara, Keith Lehr, Nacho Barbero, and Marco Johnson.

Chainsaw missed another rare shot at winning his first bracelet when he was picked off in tenth place. Steve Z was trying to win a third bracelet but he bowed out in ninth place. He's been having a resurgence the last two summers with five cashes in 2023 plus a third-place finish in a PLO event this year. It's been 23 long years since his last win in 2001 when he shipped a Pot-Limit Hold'em event back at Binion's and outlasted a final table that included Seidel and John Juanda.

Justin Saliba bubbled the official final table when he busted in sixth place. Out of the last six players, five of them combined for 23 bracelets including 10 from Ivey, six from Jason Mercier, five from Benny Glasser, and one each from Danny Wong and Jonathan Cohen. Philip Sternheimer was the lone bracelet virgin at the final table, but he met his fate in sixth place.

Cohen hit the bricks in fifth place, and Glasser missed a shot at a sixth bracelet when he was knocked out in shortly after midnight by Wong. The British pro banked $104,825 for a fourth-place finish.

With three to go, Mercier was the leader with 4.5M, followed by Wong (2.7M) and Ivey brought up the rear with 1.7M. The three slugged it out for two more hours late on Wednesday before officials decided to call it a night. The three-day event headed into extra time and a fourth day was necessary. Wong bagged 3.73M as the chipleader, followed by Mercier with 2.95M and Ivey with 2.26M.

There were three compelling storylines heading into Day 4. Wong won his first bracelet last summer in an online event, so he was attempting to win his first live bracelet and win bling in consecutive summers. Mercier was on the cusp of becoming only the tenth player in WSOP history to win seven bracelets. Johnny World Hennigan became the ninth player to hit that milestone when he slapped a seventh bracelet on his wrist at the start of the 2024 series with a win in Event #7 $1,500 Dealer's Choice. Mercier was hoping to join him. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

On Day 4, Wong went to work right away. He padded his lead and surged over 5M in chips while Mercier and Ivey dipped below 2M.

A short-stacked Mercier was in trouble, but Wong missed a shot to knock him out and Mercier stayed alive with a double up. Ivey also missed a chance to land a knock-out blow, but the cagey Mercier stayed alive for a little while longer. Wong eventually felted Mercier, who was picked off in third place which paid out $151,412.

With two to go, Wong held the lead with 5.3M to Ivey's 3.6M. Wong was now the only player standing in Ivey's way of winning bracelet #11. On the flip side, Wong had to defeat Ivey he wanted to win his second bracelet. A potentially momentous heads-up battle was set, but the duel was settled fairly quickly.

It didn't take long before Ivey seized the chip lead with the Wheel and led 4.68M to 4.26M. Ivey didn't squander the opportunity, and he steamrolled Wong over the next half hour to win the tournament and bracelet #11.

For a runner-up finish, Wong banked $225,827. Not too shabby.

Ivey won the $10K Triple Draw Championship for $347,440. With an eleventh bracelet, Ivey is now raging solo in second overall behind Hellmuth's 17 bracelets. Ivey is no longer tied for second with Chan, Brunson, and Seidel.

Event #29 $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Championship

Entrants: 149

Prize Pool: $1,385,700

Payouts: 23


Final Table Results:

1. Phil Ivey (USA) $347,440

2. Danny Wong (USA) $225,827

3. Jason Mercier (USA) $151,412

4. Benny Glaser (UK) $104,825

5. Jonathan Cohen (USA) $75,015

6. Philip Sternheimer (USA) $55,553

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