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January 30, 2015

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November Nine:

World’s best poker player has sights set on bracelet

Ivey says Main Event is one tournament he’s always wanted to win

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Phil Ivey waves to supporters after finishing in the final nine at the World Series of Poker at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 15, 2009.

Final Table Chip Count

He’s called the great poker player in the world, the Tiger Woods of poker and the chosen one.

Yes, Phil Ivey really is that good. And he knows it.

“There’s no perfect way to play against me because I make a lot of adjustments,” Ivey said on ESPN’s InsideDeal. “I’m pretty good at adjusting to what my opponent is doing.”

Ivey has less than 10 million chips, putting him seventh at the final table, but still is considered one of the favorites to win the bracelet.

Why? Because the Main Event is the one tournament Ivey has always said he’s determined to win.

At 33 years old, Ivey has already won seven bracelets, including two this year. The Main Event is the final tournament of the 57-event World Series of Poker.

“This year, for the most part, I was very prepared,” Ivey said. “I was on a very good schedule. I was doing what I needed to do and very in tune with poker.”

Although Ivey could make $8.5 million in winning the tournament, he might have more than that tied up in side wagers with other poker professionals.

When pressed by ESPN’s Inside Deal, Ivey would not state how much he has wagered on World Series of Poker side bets.

“I’m not comfortable discussing that stuff,” Ivey said.

If Ivey does win, he will become the first established professional to win the event since Juan Carlos Mortensen in 2001.

He would officially become the face of poker. Ivey said he didn’t know how he would deal with that.

“I’ve never been one to plan ahead, so I’ll start worrying about that once I’ve won the Main Event,” Ivey said. “I don’t want anything else going on in my life except playing one hand at a time when I sit down at that table.”

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