Few people have made as much of an impact in their industry as Phil Ivey. A world-famous professional poker player, Ivey has been at the top of his game for over two decades. His wealth, charm, and undeniable talent have earned him fans from all around the world.
Within the upper echelons of the poker world, even stars like Daniel Negreanu told NBC Sports that Ivey is the best poker player in the world. Meanwhile, casual poker fans know that Ivey is one of the most influential names in the industry. Despite being relatively young at 45 years old, Ivey has already cemented himself as a real poker GOAT.
Born on February 1, 1977, in Riverside, California, Phil Ivey spent most of his formative years in New Jersey. There, Ivey attended Old Bridge High School. Soon, though, Ivey would start spending more time in nearby Atlantic City, where he used a fake ID (which was under the name Jerome) to enter casinos. Despite being underage, his passion for poker made him a staple in many local poker rooms, and he was soon dubbed “No Home Jerome” since it seems he barely left. By the time he turned 21, he had already become a dominant card player and was on the way to becoming a professional poker player. By 26, Ivey was already playing against industry icons like Chip Reese and Johnny Chan.
In 2002, Ivey married his long-time sweetheart Luciaetta. Unfortunately, though, this relationship ended in divorce in 2009. Presently, Ivey is allegedly still dating bikini model Nellie Garcia. The couple resides in Las Vegas. When Ivey isn’t busy playing poker, he likes to indulge in his other hobbies which include collecting NBA memorabilia, golfing, and playing video games.
Though it’s not certain when Ivey played his very first poker match, the first match that signaled his entry into the big leagues was in 2000. That year, he joined and won the World Series of Poker (WSOP), during which he even bested Amarillo Slim. For the next several years, Ivey would continue to rake in wins and break records. To date, Ivey has 10 WSOP bracelets, one World Poker Tour title, and has several dozen final table appearances. He is also known for being the youngest (and fastest) player to win ten bracelets. Other records he holds include the most bracelets won in non-Hold’em events and the most mixed-game bracelets. Unsurprisingly, Ivey is also a part of the Poker Hall of Fame.
Given his star power, Ivey has also made a career outside of being a player. Previously, he was earning millions as an ambassador for the now-defunct Full Tilt Poker. Today, Ivey also offers poker coaching on platforms like MasterClass and his own site Ivey League. Earlier this year, it was also revealed that Ivey would be releasing a personal documentary. Filmed partly at the 2022 WSOP, some fans speculate that it will feature his friend and fellow poker pro, Doyle Brunson. According to Deadline, a Brunson biopic is also in the works and will likely showcase his similarly successful poker circle.
Unlike many other wealthy professional poker players, Ivey made the bulk of his fortune through poker itself. Given his many cash finishes, endorsements, and private investments, Ivey’s current net worth is estimated to be around $100 million. This estimate could have been higher, however, Ivey has seen some losses. Similar to top golfer Phil Mickelson who lost about $40 million, Ivey’s also lost money in unfortunate circumstances. Most recently, he had his 2019 WSOP winnings seized after being accused of edge sorting.
Regardless of the hurdles he’s faced, Ivey remains a very successful poker player. Known for his quiet demeanor and private personality, Ivey continues to inspire and elevate the poker world both on and off the felt.