Phil Ivey’s 5 Biggest Pots From His PokerStars Battles

If ever there were a tale to be told of two vastly different decades in the life of a poker player, Phil Ivey is the man who fits the bill best – but even his PokerStars nosebleed disaster days had its highs as we are about to see in his top 5 winning pots.

By: Andrew Burnett

First up, a little Ivey history lesson, starting when the noughties decade launched a legend who would rip through the highstakes scene like a whirlwind, booking massive tournament wins and fabled cash game victories, 7- and even 8-figure sums giving Ivey GOAT status.

When Black Friday hit early in the following decade, his $20million Full Tilt profit became history, along with his 8 WSOP gold bracelets.

As with so many other players, Phil Ivey had to forge a new path in poker, but PokerStars - and the new Full Tilt they took over and relaunched late in 2012 – were not happy hunting grounds for Ivey.

Among the $millions lost on PokerStars, though, were some huge pots won - none bigger than the following…

1.   Kings of the PLO tables

Even when things were going south for Ivey he would never shirk the toughest games or biggest stakes. The 6-max PLO at $200/$400 may not have been a match for the $1k/$2k of Full Tilt’s heyday, but the opposition was just as brutal.

Ben 'Ben86' Tollerene, Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom and the still anonymous Finnish pro WRUUUUM would give most poker pros nightmares. Ivey’s kings, however, brought him a close to $300k pot…

2.   Bluff or the Real deal?

Alex 'Kanu7' Millar and Jonas 'OtB_RedBaron' Mols are also among the elite highstakes players of the modern online game. It was the latter who flopped trips but had to call off a $100k shove on the river in the next hand, only to find out the bad news…

3.   Speaking the truth vs Trueteller

Timofey 'Trueteller' Kuznetsov belongs in the highest echelons of poker, but luck rather than skill decided the third biggest pot Ivey would ever land on PokerStars.

♥ ♦ ♣ ♠

Playing a No Limit Holdem hand as part of a $100/$200 Mixed game heads-up match,

Ivey: 10♣ 10♥
Trueteller: 7♦ 10♠

Ivey’s preflop 3x raise was flatted by Kuznetsov in the big blind, who must have loved the flop.

Flop: 2♦ 7♥ 7♠

A simple enough check-raise of Ivey’s c-bet brought them to the turn, and this spelled utter disaster for the Russian pro…

Turn: 10♦

…although he had little idea of this when his check-raise, that Ivey called, swelled the pot to $40k

River: 9♣

There was only one thing going to happen when the river card fell, and sure enough all the chips went in – the only saving grace for Kuznetsov being that he had Ivey well-covered, and therefore limited his losses to about $130k!

4.   Aces vs Aces vs Haxton

It was back to 6-max PLO for another $¼million pot, this time Ike Haxton sharing in the spoils as both men showed down aces in the hole.

5.   Ivey flops the wheel!

Another of the all-time best anonymous players fell to Ivey in our final hand, a $218k PLO monster that saw Ivey hit the flop hard.


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