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Famed poker pro ends WSOP drought, secures 11th career victory

Updated June 13, 2024 - 8:56 pm

Phil Ivey’s bracelet drought at the World Series of Poker is over.

The renowned pro won the star-studded $10,000 buy-in Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Championship Six-Handed event on Thursday at Horseshoe Las Vegas, defeating Danny Wong in heads-up play.

It is Ivey’s 11th career bracelet, which are awarded for WSOP victories, breaking a tie with Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Erik Seidel for second on the all-time list. Phil Hellmuth owns the all-time record with 17 career WSOP victories.

Ivey’s last bracelet came in 2014, as he has played fewer events at the WSOP over the years.

“I’m motivated. If I can play, I will. A lot of times I’m not in town,” Ivey told WSOP.com. “I keep showing up, playing, performing. I want to keep winning.”

Ivey, 47, earned $347,440 for the victory and added to his reputation as the best player of his generation. He has over $10 million in WSOP winnings and more than $45 million in career live tournament earnings to rank 12th on the all-time money list, according to Hendon Mob Poker Database.

Wong, who was seeking his second career bracelet after winning an online event last year, took home $225,827 and pushed his career WSOP earnings to more than $2.2 million.

Action in the tournament was halted early Thursday and resumed three-handed in the afternoon with Wong holding the chip lead.

Jason Mercier lost a key pot against Ivey with both players getting low on chips and went on to finish third. Mercier, 37, was looking to become the 10th player in history with seven or more bracelets but couldn’t find traction following the afternoon restart.

Wong had almost a 3-to-2 chip advantage entering heads-up play as a large crowd surrounded the table, but Ivey quickly took control and continued to make hands against his opponent.

Wong survived one all-in before falling soon after when Ivey drew to a wheel (7-5-4-3-2), which is the best hand in 2-7 Triple Draw, in which players try to make the lowest possible five-card hand.

This was Ivey’s first victory in a tournament with a $10,000 buy-in and is his latest in a non-Hold’em event. Surprisingly, none of Ivey’s 11 bracelets have come in poker’s most popular variant.

“It feels good to win always,” Ivey said.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on X.

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