With more than history on the line, Phil Ivey was at the final table of Event #8 ($2,500 No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw) going for his sixth WSOP bracelet. Rumors were running wild that Ivey had up to $10 million in various prop bets revolving around him winning a bracelet. That totally eclipsed the official first prize of $96,361.
0Elia Ahmadian (left) and Phil Ivey prepare their chip stacks for the final table of Event #8 ($2,500 No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw). With seven final tablists, Ahmadian began the day in fourth place, while Ivey was sixth. It would be an uphill climb if Ivey was going to win that bracelet.
1With three bracelets awarded on Wednesday, there were three players involved in the bracelet ceremony at 2:20 pm. Steve Sung (left) won Event #4 ($1,000 No-Limit Hold’em), Freddie Ellis won Event #6 ($10,000 World Championship Seven Card Stud), and Jason Mercier won Event #5 ($1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha). All three players are Americans, so they stood silently while the “Star-Spangled Banner” was played in the Amazon Room.
2PokerRoad Blogger Steve Sung answers questions after the bracelet ceremony. Sung said that it hadn’t really sunk in that he won a WSOP bracelet until the ceremony.
3The final six players of Event #8 ($2,500 No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw), clockwise from seat 1: Raphael Zimmerman, Eric Kesselman, John Monnette, Rodeen Talebi, Yan Chen, and Phil Ivey.
4By the time there were four players left, Phil Ivey (center) had taken the chip lead. The other players, from left to right: Yan Chen, John Monnette, and Eric Kesselman.
5When heads-up play began between John Monnette and Phil Ivey, Monnette had the chip lead. But the match would continue for another three hours.
6Phil Ivey doesn’t look like someone playing heads-up for millions and millions of dollars. He almost looks — bored.
7Once the break is over, Phil Ivey is back to business, intently studying John Monnette as he reaches for chips to make a bet.
8While Phil Ivey is often regarded as one of the best poker players in the world, John Monnette is no slouch, particularly at deuce-to-seven. Monnette plays the game several times a week in California, usually in $200-$400 cash games.
9PokerRoad’s Joe Sebok (right) checks in with Phil Ivey during a break in the action to lighten the mood.
10Phil Ivey had slowly chipped his way up to not only take the chip lead, but to build a 3-to-1 chip advantage. But after Ivey raised, Monnette moved all in and stood pat with a 10-8-6-5-4. Ivey called with a 9-low and drew one card. Unfortunately for Ivey, he paired his nine, and Monnette won the pot to double up.
11Media Row was standing room only as it seemed like everyone with a press pass wanted to witness the historic moment that seemed all but inevitable — Phil Ivey winning his sixth WSOP bracelet. Producers for Bluff’s live broadcast were making plans on how to corral Ivey for a post-victory interview, knowing he wouldn’t stick around very long.
12The media may have gotten ahead of themselves. Not long after John Monnette’s double-up, he raised from the button, Phil Ivey moved all in, and Monnette called. Both players stood pat with 10-9 lows, but Monnette’s was better, and he won the pot to double up to a 4-to-1 chip lead over Ivey. Now it looked like Monnette would be winning his first bracelet before Ivey won his sixth.
13Down but not out, Phil Ivey moved all in with 6-4-3-2 drawing one card, and John Monnette called with J-10-8-5 drawing one card. Ivey caught a 7 for the second nuts to double up and narrow the difference between his stack and Monnette’s.
14After Phil Ivey’s double up, he regained control of the match and started chipping up again in smaller pots. By the time this photo was taken, he had regained the chip lead.
15In the final hand of the match, John Monnette raised, Phil Ivey moved all in with 7-6-4-2, and Monnette called with 9-7-5-2. Both players drew one card, and Monnette paired his seven — he was drawing dead. Ivey flipped over his card to reveal a five for a 7-low to officially win the pot — and the tournament. Monnette earned $59,587 for his second-place finish, but he’s still looking for his first WSOP bracelet.
16Bluff’s preparations were extremely effective, as Matthew Parvis was on stage for the victory interview just seconds after Phil Ivey had stood up. Ivey is notoriously media-shy, and if they hadn’t caught him right away, he might have avoided the interview.
17As quick preparations are made for the on-site bracelet presentation, Phil Ivey is congratulated by his good friend (and fellow WSOP bracelet winner) Paul Darden.
18As WSOP Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack congratulates Phil Ivey on his sixth bracelet, Ivey looks eager to get his hands on the bracelet that would be literally worth millions to him.
19Couldn’t resist the classic winner’s photo for this one, as Phil Ivey poses with his winning hand and his sixth WSOP bracelet.