Before the start of the World Series of Poker, Daniel Negreanu went on Twitter and offered an even-money bet that he or Phil Ivey would win a bracelet this summer.
Anyone who wagered against the duo lost late Friday.
“There’s gonna be a lot of broke people in the poker world,” fellow pro Mike Matusow declared.
Ivey won the $1,500 buy-in Eight-Game Mix event in front of a large crowd at the Rio Convention Center, besting 484 other players to earn his 10th WSOP gold bracelet and ensure he and his friend will collect on “The Bet.”
Ivey is now tied with Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan for second on the all-time bracelet winners’ list behind only Phil Hellmuth (13). Ivey was presented his bracelet by WSOP executive director Ty Stewart, who noted that Ivey’s 10th victory came during the WSOP’s 10th year at the Rio.
“Doyle is one of my poker idols,” Ivey said. ” When I first came to Vegas and started playing in the big games, him and Chip (Reese) were guys that I looked up to playing poker. Of course it’s meaningful tying him.”
The victory marked Ivey’s first bracelet in a WSOP event in Las Vegas since 2010. His most recent bracelet prior to Friday came in the $2,200 buy-in Mixed Event at the 2013 World Series of Poker Asia Pacific.
Ivey put up the majority of the money to cover Negreanu’s public wager, and he reportedly will earn at least $200,000 on the side bet in addition to the $167,332 first-place prize.
“It was really interesting because I wanted to win for Daniel,” Ivey said. “He doesn’t really step out there and make big bets too often, so I knew he was really rooting hard. It was a different kind of feeling. I really wanted to bear down and try to win for him.”
Bruce Yamron of Naples, Fla., finished in second place and collected $103,375. Yamron held a slight chip lead at the start of heads-up play, but it took Ivey only 20 minutes to steamroll his longtime acquaintance.
“We’ve been friends a long time. I started playing in Atlantic City with him 15 years ago,” Ivey said. “He’s just a great guy.”
Dan Heimiller of Las Vegas, who won the $1,000 buy-in Seniors No-Limit Hold’em Championship this month, was third. Negreanu, meanwhile, finished ninth as he made a run at winning the side bet on his own.
“(Negreanu) had a couple opportunities late. I had almost no opportunities,” said Ivey, who cashed for only the third time during this WSOP. “Me and him were down here pretty deep in this tournament. This was a very good opportunity.
“The tournaments are dying down and there’s not too many left, so I knew I had to get this one or else it’s going to be pretty tough from here.”
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.